How to Switch to Gmail Basic's Simple HTML View

Use HTML Gmail when you have a slow connection or an old computer

Gmail offers a simple HTML version for users with slow internet connections or old computers. The Gmail basic HTML interface is similar in appearance to earlier iterations of the Google email service, and it relies only on the most essential browser features.

Information in this article applies to the use of Gmail in all web browsers.

Gmail HTML vs. Standard Gmail

The HTML version of Gmail loads faster than the standard version. Unlike regular Gmail, choosing to compose a message opens a separate web page, which provides more room to type messages. However, if you want to add text formatting to Gmail messages or embed links, then you must use the appropriate HTML code. Although Gmail Basic HTML lacks many features, it works in almost any web browser on any device or platform, including MS-DOS.

Gmail Basic HTML interface

You don't have to switch to the HTML view to send a plain text message in Gmail.

How to Switch to Gmail Basic HTML View

To view your Gmail in simple HTML, open the Gmail HTML website in any web browser and log in to your Gmail account if prompted, then select I’d like to use HTML Gmail.

A screenshot of the Gmail homepage with the "I'd like to use HTML Gmail" option highlighted

You may have to go to the Gmail HTML website again if Gmail automatically opens the standard interface.

How to Switch to Full Gmail Standard View

To switch to the standard Gmail interface from Gmail Basic HTML, scroll down to the bottom of your inbox, then select Standard next to Gmail view.

A screenshot of a Gmail inbox with the Gmail view option highlighted

If your browser automatically loads Gmail in HTML view, you can open the standard version at any time by using this link: http://mail.google.com/mail?nocheckbrowser.

Depending on your browser, certain features may not work in Gmail standard view when you follow the above link.

Features Not Available in Gmail Basic HTML

Gmail Basic HTML does not support the following standard Gmail features: