Gmail is an email service offered by Google for free but has plans for businesses that are paid for. It’s very popular and serves millions of users. Gmail can be accessed through the majority of web browsers and is also available for download as an app.
It is common for users to experience issues while using Gmail whether you are accessing it through the app or your browser. Some of the common problems you are likely to encounter when Gmail is not working include:
- You cannot send your emails.
- You don’t receive new emails as they don’t load.
- The Gmail inbox does not update when prompted.
- You don’t get notified of new emails.
- You obtain errors when you try to sync your account.
In whatever case, this article will review the most common causes and show you how to fix the errors and problems encountered in Gmail.
Let’s fix the Gmail not working issue.
Check the Storage Space on Your Device
In Play Store, there are so many apps that you can download. It’s very common for users to download so many apps and try them. The result is that your device will have so many apps that require memory.
The different apps also use more memory for storing cache and data. This will, in turn, leave your device with very little space which may be the cause of your issues with Gmail.
For Gmail app to work properly, you need to have some free space on your smartphone. Gmail app cannot load new messages or download attachments on emails if you have no free space for storing them.
It also requires some memory in RAM for the app to be processed and loaded into your device.
To get more space on your device, go to Settings>Application manager>Downloaded. Scroll through the list of apps and click on the one that you need to delete.
Open it and click on Uninstall. Free up as much space as possible. This will give your device the much space it needs to operate.
Check Your Internet Connection
You cannot access Gmail services if you are not connected to the internet. If your connection has poor signal strength, you will encounter problems trying to load Gmail.
If you are using your Gmail app, trying to refresh Gmail will return a window like the one shown above. It informs you that there is no connection and you should retry when there is a connection.
The same applies to the different web browsers. In short, there is no way to access Gmail if there is no internet connection. You are thereby required to ensure that your internet connection is working properly and optimally.
Keep Your Gmail Account Secure
Before you can access Gmail services, you will need to have your correct email and password. Make sure that you input the details as required when you are prompted otherwise you will never sign in to Gmail.
However, you may lose your password especially if your account is hacked into. This leaves you stranded even though you are the certified account holder.
To avoid losing entire control of your Gmail account, it’s important that you complete the 2-step verification offered by Gmail. This requires you to set up a question such as “What is the maiden name of your mother” and then set an appropriate answer. You also need to provide your mobile phone number and sync it with your account.
These two steps serve to ensure that any Gmail user does not lose their account to hackers. They help you recover your account easily. For the security question, you will need to have the right answer just in case Gmail ever needs it from you. For the phone contact, it will always be your first option for your account recovery.
You will be prompted to accept receiving a “Google Verification Code” which is usually a 6-digit number. Once sent to you, you will put it on the page that prompted you so that you get access to your Gmail account.
Update Google Play Store and the Gmail App
If you access Gmail through the mobile platform app, you need to have the latest version of Google Play Store. As you are already aware, Gmail email service is offered by Google. With the latest version of Play Store, the mobile Gmail app can remain updated on your device which makes it work normally.
You will always have issues with Gmail if you try to update it and yet Google Play Store is not updated. In case you have a problem with Gmail app, go to Play Store and click on the horizontal bars.
Proceed and tap on My Apps option, and you will get a list of apps that need to be updated. If you find that Play Store and Gmail are some of them, then tap on Update and give them time to update.
Turn on Gmail Notifications
If you have turned off Gmail notifications on your app or browser, you won’t be notified when new emails are sent to your account. You can fix this problem by turning on Gmail notifications.
Go to Gmail in your browser and tap on Settings located on top right of the page. Move down the settings and click on Desktop notifications. Choose and tap on New mail notifications on and tap on Save Changes to enable notifications.
Gmail and Microsoft Outlook
You can access your Gmail account in Microsoft Outlook. But before this is possible, there are some issues you need to resolve.
When adding a new Gmail account in Outlook, you will face issues with authentication and an error message “Your IMAP server wants to alert you to the following: Please log in via your web browser” will be displayed in Outlook.
An attempt to sync your Gmail account causes this problem and error message only if your Gmail account has its Basic Authentication enabled. All this comes by due to the tightened security measures by Google.
This assists Google to prevent access to some of its accounts being synced on devices and apps using Basic Authentication or is still being set up.
To fix this issue for your Gmail account, enable its Basic Authentication. You will do this by going to this Google website. When still on the page, you will be prompted whether you should allow apps that are less secure to have access to your Gmail account.
You should choose Enable at this point. When resolving this issue, you will have access to a page like the one shown below.
Enabling Less Secure Apps Resulting Window
After enabling the less secure apps access your account, you need to consider increasing the security of your account. Google offers this service in its two-step verification and as well as passwords to apps.
You can access these services by following the three links below.
Browser Extensions and Applications
Gmail can stop working due to some installed applications on your computer or as a result of extensions you have enabled on your browser. To fix this issue, you need to turn off all applications and extensions and then try to use Gmail and find out if that has solved the problem.
Accessing Gmail using the incognito (or private browsing) mode in your browser enables you to run it in the absence of extensions.
Clear Cache and Cookies
Cache and cookies enable you to access the internet fast by significantly reducing page load times. If you delete cookies and clear cache, some sites will take much longer to load because everything has to be loaded afresh. This will also alter all your settings on some web pages such as usernames and passwords as they will be deleted.
If you are using Google Chrome on your computer, go to Chrome and tap on More on the toolbar. Click on More Tools and select Clear browsing data.
In this box, select the options on Cached images and files and Cookies and other site plug-in data. Choose the amount of data that you need to clear from the Menu and select the beginning of time when deleting will start. Finally, tap on Clear browsing data.
Check Gmail Labs
Gmail may fail to work if you have some Gmail Labs on. You can try to fix this problem by following this link intended to make you open your email. If you succeed opening your email, proceed and disable the Gmail labs one by one. This should help you locate the one responsible for making Gmail misbehave.
To disable the labs, go to Gmail and tap on Settings option found on the right side on the toolbar. Select the Labs tab and click on Disable for any labs that you have enabled. Complete this process by tapping Save Changes option found on the page bottom.