No one likes email issues. After all, you need your emails now, not later. But if you’re a Gmail user, you’ve likely encountered issues with Gmail not working. Sometimes it’s a problem with Gmail, and there’s nothing you can do but wait. Other times, there are several troubleshooting steps you can take to get back to normal.
See If Gmail Is Down
Though rare, Google apps do sometimes go offline. Before doing anything else, check the current status of Gmail. The Google Workspace Status Dashboard lists all the main Google apps and their current status based on date. If there’s a green light and nothing under the current date, Gmail isn’t down.
If you’re dealing with sync issues, messages aren’t loading properly, or the app is freezing, you might be using an outdated version of Gmail. One of the most common fixes when Gmail is not working is simply updating the app. If you have automatic updates turned on, it’s probably not an update issue.
If you’re still having problems, you can also uninstall and reinstall the app. Go to “Settings -> Application Manager.”
Choose “App Info” and select Gmail. Tap Uninstall or Disable. Depending on your device, you may not be able to uninstall Gmail.
Check Sync Settings
Sometimes your sync settings get changed or turned off. This could happen due to an Android system update, installing another app (such as changing your default email app), or just accidentally tapping the wrong thing.
Check your sync settings by opening Settings on your Android device. Scroll down to Accounts.
Ensure “Auto-sync accounts” is turned on.
Tap your Gmail account and tap Sync.
You’ll see the last sync date for all services tied to your Google account, such as Gmail, Calendar, and more. The last sync for Gmail should be within the last 30 minutes or less, unless you’ve set your fetch options to a longer period within Gmail. Ensure the sync option is turned on for Gmail.
Restart Your Device
It may be a simple fix for issues with Google not working, but don’t underestimate the restart. This can help resolve sync issues, missing messages, login problems, and more. Restart your Android device, let everything fully load, then try using Gmail again.
Clear Your Cache
This is applicable to both the Android and desktop versions of Gmail. Cached files sometimes interfere with Gmail’s functionality. Clearing them out lets Gmail start fresh, hopefully avoiding any issues you were having.
Go to “Settings -> Application Manager.” Tap “App Info” and select Gmail.
Tap “Clear cache.”
Clearing your cache on desktop depends on your browser. You’ll usually find the option to clear the cache under Settings. Then look for History, Privacy, Security, or something similar. From there, you’ll have the option to clear your history, including the cache.
Remove Your Account
This is for Android only. And no, you’re not actually deleting your account. You’re just removing it from your device.
Go to “Settings -> Accounts.” Tap your Gmail account.
Tap “Remove Account.”
Restart your device, then go back into Accounts and tap “Add account.” Enter your Gmail account details. This is likely the Google account you use for your Android device, so any apps tied to it will log back in once you enter your information.
Eliminate Conflicts on Desktop
If you’re having issues with Gmail not working in your desktop browser, the problem is likely a conflicting extension. If you’re using a new browser, it might not be compatible with Gmail. Google recommends using Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge. Most Chromium-based browsers work well with it too.
If you’ve recently installed a new extension or add-on, disable it to see if this changes anything. You’ll find your extensions and add-ons within the menu on your browser. For instance, in Chrome, go to the Settings menu, choose “More Tools,” and select Extensions.
These fixes should cover most Gmail not working issues. If you’re missing a message or something similar, search Gmail for the message. It could have easily gotten placed under a different label automatically.