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Is Gmail not working? Try these fixes!

Don't panic! We're here to help you fix Gmail.
January 29, 2023
Gmail on smartphone stock photo 6
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Gmail is one of those services you don’t worry about until it’s gone. Is Gmail not working for you today? When it hits the fan, you need to get it fixed, but how? We’re here to help, as we break down the most common Gmail issues and how to fix them.

Also read: The ultimate Gmail guide

Editor’s note: Some of the instructions in this article were generated using a Pixel 7 Pro running Android 13 and a custom PC running Windows 11. Keep in mind that steps can be slightly different depending on your device and software.

Is Gmail down?

Is Gmail not working for you? There’s a chance it’s not working for anybody! This is not common, but Google’s services go down occasionally. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to check if this is the case.

You can head over to the Google Workspace Status Dashboard. This page will tell you whether any Google Workspace service is operational. Of course, Gmail is one of the listed apps. Alternatively, you can try a website like DownDetector. The site collects user reports to identify service outages. There’s even a map to see if the issue is local.

Close and reopen Gmail

Gmail on smartphone stock photo 7
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

This is a simple, yet very functional troubleshooting tip that works most of the time. Often, simply closing and reopening Gmail might fix any local issues. If you’re using a browser, try restarting the whole browser instead of merely closing the tab.

Make sure Sync Gmail is on

Sometimes, we mess up settings by accident. One that will ensure you can’t use Gmail properly is the Sync Gmail option. Go ahead and check the settings.

How to turn on Sync Gmail:

  1. Open the Gmail app.
  2. Tap on the three-line menu button in the top-left corner.
  3. Go into Settings.
  4. Tap on your account.
  5. Scroll down and find the Data usage section.
  6. Make sure the checkmark next to Sync Gmail is toggled on.

Check for updates

Google Play Store on smartphone stock photo 1
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Having an older version of an app isn’t usually a problem, but it can sometimes create some conflicts. This is especially the case when newer updates are more extensive, or when they include server-side changes. It won’t hurt to check the Google Play Store and see if there are any updates available for Gmail.

How to check for Android app updates:

  1. Launch the Google Play Store.
  2. Tap on your profile icon.
  3. Select Manage apps & device.
  4. Tap on Updates available.
  5. You can either hit the Update button next to the apps with available updates, or take care of them all at once by selecting the Update all button.

You may also want to make sure everything else is updated. See if there are any upgrades available for the browser, for example.

While you’re at it, you might want to check if there’s an update available for your phone.

How to check for Android updates:

  1. Go into the Settings app.
  2. Select System.
  3. Hit System update.
  4. Tap on Check for updates.
  5. Follow instructions and let the update run.
  6. Once your phone boots up, try using Gmail again.

Restart the device

It may sound silly, but this is seriously the most common troubleshooting tip, and it seems to work most times. Seriously, whenever you’re having problems with your tech, just restart it. It just may fix it. To do this, press the Power and Volume Up buttons simultaneously, hit Restart, and let the phone do its thing. When it reboots, try using Gmail again.

How to restart an Android phone:

  1. Press the Power and Volume Up buttons simultaneously.
  2. Hit Restart.

Remove your Google account

You can give your Gmail app a complete account restart, too. The simplest way to do this is to remove your Google account and re-add it afterward. This might create some inconveniences, as your Google account might be running multiple services on your phone, but it’s worth a try if none of the other methods are working.

How to remove a Google account on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Passwords & accounts.
  3. Find the Google account you want to remove. Tap on it.
  4. Hit Remove account and follow instructions.

How to add a Google account on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Passwords & accounts.
  3. Tap on Add account.
  4. Pick Google.
  5. Enter your email.
  6. Enter your password.
  7. Hit I agree.

Check your internet connection

Wi Fi devices stock photo 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Is Gmail even the problem? It just might be your internet that’s letting you down. Try testing other apps or websites to see if they work. You can do something as simple as launching Google and searching for anything. If this works, it means your internet is OK. Are other devices working? Check if you have any. If nothing else works, you might be off the grid.

Start by checking if Airplane Mode is on. Those using Wi-Fi or LAN should look at the router and see if it’s connected. Try restarting it. There’s usually a dedicated button, but you can also unplug the router and plug it back in.

If you’re using cellular data, you might want to see if your data connection is on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Under SIMs, select your primary SIM.
  4. Toggle Mobile data on, if it isn’t.
  5. If you’re outside your country or network coverage, also toggle Roaming on (this may incur extra charges).

Clear the cache and data

Cache and data help keep things running, but they can get corrupted. This is why it’s often a good idea to clear everything up and start new. Remember that clearing data eliminates all information, such as your account and settings. You’ll have to log back in and set everything up again. This might fix anything that’s keeping Gmail not working, though.

Clear cache on Android:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Apps.
  3. Find the Gmail app under See all apps.
  4. Tap on Storage & cache.
  5. Hit Clear Cache.
  6. Select Clear storage for a clean start.

Clear the cache on Chrome for Windows:

  1. On your Windows computer, open Chrome.
  2. Click on the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner.
  3. Go into Settings.
  4. Select Security and Privacy in the left-side column.
  5. Pick Clear browsing data.
  6. Check the boxes to select what you want to delete. I like clearing everything if there are serious issues.
  7. Select All time in the Time range.
  8. Hit Clear data.

Your browser might not be supported

Brave Browser on Android phone 2
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

While Gmail supports all the most popular browsers, you might be using one that isn’t part of the list. Here are Gmail’s supported browsers.

Browsers that support Gmail:

  • Google Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Safari
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer
  • Opera

It could be the Chrome extensions

Often, browser extensions or applications can interfere with Gmail as well. A quick way to check on this is by trying out Gmail in the web browser’s private or incognito mode. If Gmail works there, try disabling browser extensions one by one until you find the culprit.

How to disable a Chrome extension on Windows:

  1. On your Windows computer, open Chrome.
  2. Click on the three-dot menu button in the top-right corner.
  3. Go into Settings.
  4. On the left column, select Extensions.
  5. Find the extension you want to disable and turn off the toggle in its top-right corner.
  6. Additionally, you can delete the extension by hitting Remove. Confirm the action by selecting Remove again.

If all else fails and Gmail is still not working, you might want to hit up Google’s Help Center. Need more help with your Google problem? Connect one-on-one with a Google expert through JustAnswer, an Android Authority partner.