Why does #GMail take so long to display my new messages?

Gmail icon

If you’re importing mail into your GMail account, you may have noticed that it can take a bit of time for the new messages to appear. The reason for this is pretty straight-forward – GMail is analyzing how frequently you receive email at each account, and schedules its checks based on this. So, if you’re not receiving much mail through that account, it may take up to an hour for those messages to appear in your inbox.

GMail does this to reduce strain on their servers, as checking for new messages for every account more frequently would require much more in the way of resources.

That being said, if you’re waiting for something important, you can force it to check, by:

  • Going to GMail: http://gmail.com/
  • Clicking the gear icon ‘7 gear icon
  • Choosing ‘Settings’
  • Clicking ‘Accounts & Import’ at the top
  • Clicking ‘Check mail now’ next to the account you’re looking for
  • Any new messages will be retrieved and should now be in your Inbox

You can also click ‘View History’ which will show you the last 5 times GMail checked for new messages, and what was retrieved.

If you do want to speed up your interval, there are a few different ways to do it. You can sign up for some newsletters (ideally daily ones), or move all your social media notifications into that account (and turn them on), anything to get more email coming through. Some people have tried setting up automated scripts to send them emails at more frequent intervals, to varying degrees of success.