Gmail not working
May 18, 2008 3:59 AM   Subscribe

When I start Gmail, it hangs, without fully loading. I input my name and password, and it attempts to load, but hangs before fully loading and showing my mailbox. My only alternative is then to load the HTML view. This is a very limited and unworkable mode. I've tried Google's standard fixes with no avail. Can anyone help?

I run XP Home Edition, on a Toshiba 1.5ghz laptop. This problem showed up a couple weeks ago. Google's fix is to dump cache; that did nothing. They also say there could be software contention but give no hints.

I get the same results with Firefox and IE, and I have tried friends' computers and have the same problem.

I need the standard version because I do a lot of work on Craigslist, and when hitting an ad's email link, Gmail prevents me from getting to the compose box.

GRRRRRR!!!!!!!!! Any askfi help will be greatly appreciated.

Terence from Texas
posted by lometogo to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Gmail gave me problems on an old computer I used to use. Two things to try, when it hangs on the blank screen, hit "reload". This always used to work for me. Also, try switching to the "Older version" if you can get to the main screen (I don't remember if HTML view has the link, it's in the upper right corner of the main screen). Good luck.
posted by one at 4:17 AM on May 18, 2008

I get the same results with Firefox and IE, and I have tried friends' computers and have the same problem.

What is common between the failures? Your account? Your network?
posted by cmiller at 5:33 AM on May 18, 2008

If it happens on friends' computers, and they can use GMail without problems, then there's something specific to your account, perhaps some google account setting, or some unusual message.
posted by idb at 5:56 AM on May 18, 2008

Best answer: Try going to
posted by bonaldi at 5:58 AM on May 18, 2008

In my experience across various machines (Intel and Mac), Gmail gets poky below a certain number of gigahertz. Crazy as it sounds, 1.5 gigs is most likely below the speed threshold for Gmail these days.

Bonaldi's link to nocheckbrowser has worked best for me on slow machines. After you've tried this, and other suggestions, you might think of bumping up your RAM in the laptop.

And take heart. When I logged on to Gmail yesterday, the "Loading" message was accompanied by a new, baby blue status bar below. I take this as a sign that the Gmail folks are cognizant of the loading slowdown and taking steps to ramp up the speed.
posted by Gordion Knott at 6:40 AM on May 18, 2008

That's interesting -- this just started happening to me but only on Firefox on my Mac. I'd say around 4 days ago. (It works fine on Safari, and on Firefox on my PC.) I'm glad I'm not the only one, at least. I've been whining about it on Twitter and nobody has commiserated with me so far. :( Will be watching this thread with interest.
posted by iguanapolitico at 6:57 AM on May 18, 2008

iguanapolitico, in your case it's probably a firefox extension that's messing with gmail
posted by winston at 7:32 AM on May 18, 2008

I too have noticed that GMail seems to have increased the amount of AJAX crap it loads in the backgroundm, resulting in a large memory footprint for any browser running its program and amazingly slow performance for machines only a few years old. Ironically, Yahoo Mail, with more features, now seems to load more responsively on older machines. As does Hotmail/Live and AOL's web version.

With GMail, however, if it's not working out on an older machine at all, you can switch to POP or IMAP mode and access GMail through your favourite desktop email client. Or you can forward all the GMail to one of the other web email sites and read it there.
posted by meehawl at 7:33 AM on May 18, 2008

Try going to instead of your usual link. I find it helps when I get that freeze onmy better halfs laptop.
posted by Iteki at 7:37 AM on May 18, 2008

This happens to me too, on firefox 3.0 r1 and vista. The easiest workaround I've found is to open up Google Reader (, log out there, and then log into gmail. Tedious and effective!
posted by damsorrow at 9:42 AM on May 18, 2008

Gordion Knott , the Gmail devs are definitely working on their sign-on process, that's probably why you are seeing changes.

"One of the areas we worked on was the initial loading sequence: everything that happens behind the scenes between the time you press the "Sign in" button on the login page and the moment you land in your inbox. While the improvements we made won't resolve every "This is taking longer than usual..." message you might see when loading Gmail over a slow connection, we've seen a real reduction (up to 20%) in overall load time compared to when we started."

Not sure if this is related to the OP question.
posted by Exchequer at 9:42 AM on May 18, 2008

Response by poster: Bonaldi, I find your solution to be the best one when it comes to just signing in to Gmail. Thanks.

However, the problem still remains when I answer an ad on Craigslist. I hit the email reply link, and I am immediately sent to Gmail and again, the damn hangup and non-completion. If I then use your solution or the HTTPS solution, I have lost the link btw the CL email link and Gmail.

I did try another Gmail address I use and experienced the same problem. I suspect, as Exchequer says, the fixes they're implementing may be having regressive effects on some of us.

What a shame since I've been with Gmail for a long time and always loved them.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by lometogo at 11:56 AM on May 18, 2008

FWIW, I've noticed that gmail loads slower in the past few days as well.
posted by radioamy at 9:43 PM on May 18, 2008

Yeah, I've noticed my Gmail account (a Google Apps for Domains email account, actually) loading slower the past few days, and there's a new progress bar that pops up as the page is loading after you first log in. As meehawl noted, seems like there's more Ajaxy stuff afoot as of this weekend.
posted by limeonaire at 6:18 PM on May 19, 2008

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