How to Switch to Gmail Basic's Simple HTML View

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

Gmail offers a simple HTML interface for a quick, functional email experience in any browser. Be it curiosity, a confusing browser, or preference, Gmail offers a simple and basic HTML interface. It is similar in appearance to earlier iterations of the Google email service and relies on only the most essential browser features.

Simple and Simply Unsurpassed?

Do you find the Gmail interface you used years ago unsurpassed? Did you like the simplicity of one page opening to show you the list of messages, another page opening to show you a conversation, and a page opening to write a message? Did you appreciate the speed of those pages rendering and wonder how fast they would render on a recent computer? Do you, perhaps, have a DOS computer around on which you want to access Gmail?

Gmail Basic HTML should be fast and functional alike (though perhaps a tad less convenient) in almost any browser on any device or platform.

Switch to Gmail Basic HTML View

To open Gmail in a simple HTML view (similar to previous versions of Gmail) that should work in almost any browser:

  1. If prompted, enter your Gmail address to sign in and to continue to Gmail.

  2. Select Next.

  3. Enter your Gmail password.

  4. Select Sign in.

  5. With 2-step authentication enabled, obtain a sign-in code via app, SMS, or phone call. Then, type (or paste) the verification code and select Done.

  6. Select I’d like to use HTML Gmail. You may have to go to again if Gmail opened the standard interface automatically.

Switch to Full Gmail Standard View

To open the Gmail standard and fully featured interface from Gmail Basic HTML (for example, if you opened the HTML view because of a temporarily slow internet connection), select Switch to standard view in the Gmail header area.

Force Full Gmail Standard View in Your Browser

To have Gmail load using the standard view even if your browser or connection would have it load in Basic HTML view automatically instead, open in your browser.

Depending on your browser, certain features may not work in Gmail standard view if you force its loading, or the Gmail interface or individual emails may not display correctly.

Features Not Available in Gmail Basic HTML

As fast and potently convenient Gmail Basic HTML may be, it is not without drawbacks. Certain actions are less responsive—a new page has to load in the browser—and certain Gmail features are not available at all in the Basic HTML view.

Specifically, Gmail Basic HTML does not include: