10 Ways to Fix It When Gmail Isn't Working on Android

If a simple restart of the app or your device doesn't help, try one of these solutions to get Gmail working again

There are several gears that must operate in harmony to keep Gmail running smoothly. This means there's an equal number of places to check when it's not working. Regardless of the culprit, the most obvious signs Gmail isn't working on Android include missed notifications or emails that won't download or send.

Why Gmail Isn't Working on Android

Here are some examples of what could be happening:

  • The app is having temporary trouble connecting to Gmail.
  • Google's experiencing issues on its side.
  • Your whole network is having problems accessing the internet.
  • You're running out of Google Drive space.
  • The Gmail app is too outdated to function normally.
  • The 'Sync Gmail' toggle is turned off.
  • The app's cache needs to be cleared.
  • App notifications are turned off.

How to Fix It When Gmail Isn't Working on Android

Follow these steps in the order they're given below, which starts off with the easier and more relevant solutions first.

Before you start this article, check if Gmail is down. If it's not working for other people, too, then all you can do is wait for Google to fix the issue. However, if the Google Workspace Status Dashboard doesn't indicate a widespread problem, then you should follow these steps because the issue is now confirmed to be localized to your device or network.

  1. Close and reopen the Gmail app, or your browser if you're checking email that way. But don't just minimize it, actually shut down the app. The article explains more.

  2. Try opening a few random websites from your Android device. Try popular sites like visiting CNN, YouTube, your local news station, etc.

    If none of those sites work, then you're having a network issue, not a Gmail issue. See How to Fix It When There's No Internet Connection for a better guide.

    If those websites load just fine, then you can rule out big network problems. Continue with the next step below.

    Try your best to complete this step. The rest of these tips will not be helpful if your network is to blame for Gmail not working.

  3. Check the remaining storage in your Google Drive account. Gmail messages and attachments use up storage space in Google Drive. So Gmail not working on Android could actually be an issue with your whole Google account storage, preventing you from sending or receiving new mail.

  4. Update the Gmail app, if necessary. If you're running an outdated version, especially if it's really outdated, unfixed bugs could be the reason Gmail isn't working.

  5. Restart your device. This will force-close everything on your phone, including background processes and anything else that could be causing this hiccup.

  6. Check that Gmail is set up to sync your mail. If it's not, then it's actually working fine, just not the way you want it to. There's a good chance this is why Gmail isn't working if you were recently in the app's settings.

    Here's how to check: tap the three-line menu, scroll down and choose Settings, select your email address from the list, and then make sure Sync Gmail is selected at the bottom.

    sync gmail toggle in Android app
  7. Clear the Gmail app cache. When the cache gets too full or includes corrupted data, keeping it around is more hurtful than helpful.

    Clearing the cache is easy. Here's where the option is on some Android phones: Settings > Apps > Gmail > Storage & cache > Clear cache.

    Deleting the Gmail cache might erase email drafts and other settings. It will not delete messages already stored in your Gmail account.

  8. Troubleshoot notifications not showing up if the problem you're having with Gmail is that you're not being told about new emails.

    If this is your situation, then Gmail is more than likely working normally, but notifications are either turned off for just the Gmail app or for your whole device.

  9. If Gmail appears to be partially broken, where just some messages don't land in your Inbox, open your email in a web browser and review the Gmail rules you've created. There's probably a rule set up to automatically delete or move specific kinds of emails.

  10. Remove your Google account from your device, and then add it back. Android doesn't let you delete the Gmail app on most phones, but you can disconnect your Google account, and thus your Gmail access.

    Lots of services are probably tied in to your account, but as long as you re-add your Google account after disconnecting it, you'll regain access to everything you were used to seeing.

  • How do I fix a signature in Gmail?

    Signatures aren’t always a set-it-and-forget sort of item. You can change your Gmail signature at any time.

  • How do I fix spam in Gmail?

    While you can fix spam, you can report spam in Gmail and hopefully receive less of it.

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