It Only Took Me 1 Year To Discover the HTML Version of Gmail


I am a Gmail fan, as many of you I would guess. I have 5 different accounts forwarded to my Gmail account, so that I can control all my business emails from a single hub. I love the functionalities and the user interface, but there is one thing that always annoyed me: the slow AJAX platform.

Even if you have a broadband connection you will need to wait a couple of seconds for Gmail to load. If you have conversations with dozens of replies back and forth, they might also take a while to load completely. I just got used to the waiting times.

Then today I was reading my RSS feeds and I came across a post from Google Operating System that fixed the issue for me. It was a matter of 2 clicks to set the HTML version as the default one.

gmail html version

I had seen the HTML version before, but I thought it was loaded automatically when your connection was slow or faulty. Now I know that you can set it manually as the default. It only took me one year to figure it out….

Keep in mind you will lose most of the features under the HTML version, but if you are aiming for fast loading times only (which I do during business hours) it could work.

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24 Responses to “It Only Took Me 1 Year To Discover the HTML Version of Gmail”

  • medyum

    I love Gmail too and I am using Gtalk as well to communicate with friends, if only I can add my yahoo and msn friends then would be better…..

  • loans

    yeah u are rite…u need to set it according to the connection u have…I tried b4, smoothen after setup manually..

  • Arlo Gilbert

    Yeah I think they made that just for the internet users that don’t have the speed of a dsl or t3 connection

  • caTcode

    Clean and fast make gmail become my favourite stuff. without any changed Gmail still a great machine..

  • space code

    My connection is kinda bad sometimes so most of the time i get the basic HTML version. Oh btw, recently I noticed that when you log it and its loading your inbox, thrs an option to choose HTML on the bottom right

  • basketball

    How do you change gmail so when you send email it doesn’t say “email sent on behalf of”

  • Fastgone

    it took you one year to figure out?
    after read your blog, i think i dont need one year to figure it out
    cause recently my connecction is damn crap
    thanks daniel

  • BlogTalks

    Only a few seconds, it takes about 20 seconds to load load Gmail for me. Guess I should switch to standard as well.

  • Don M.

    I too noticed the loading page status bar. It’s funny how after looking at an interface for so long you can pick up immediate tweaks one day and totally ignore others like, for example, your HTML version of Gmail.

  • The Other Daniel

    I have only recently moved to gmail and didn’t even know that feature existed!, Thanks Daniel

  • Eli

    I’ve sort of known about the HTML version for a little while, but never really needed to use it until my internet connection was recently capped, then Gmail shows me a loading screen and says I should use HTML version for slow internet connections 😉

    It is really quite nice though, in fact I think it might look nicer than the regular version, but one down side is no Gmail chat.

  • Rakshit

    I use it frequently. The net connection is too bad out here.

    It took you 1 year to discover that. Well, it took me 1 and a half years to find out saved passwords in firefox. Silly am I.

  • Wendy

    I noticed the loading bar this morning and I was wondering what that was all about. I think I need to check out the other versions, I’m just nosy and like to see who else is online, even if I don’t actually want to talk to them 😉

  • Rockstar Sid

    I will help you in this,i have been using for years

    go to

    and write your pass and login,next scroll down and press html version 🙂

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Madhur, I do it anyway because it is faster here.

    @Ades, yeah I noticed that loading bar also, and I am glad I discovered the HTML version just in time to avoid it :).

  • Ades

    I noticed today that now there is a “loading bar” in gmail before it opens your inbox. And at the bottom right screen there is a link to HTML-version. It’s something new.

  • Madhur Kapoor

    I have to use the HTML version almost all the time as net in college is very slow.

  • Nate Nead

    Yeah, I have such a horrible internet connection, I’ve had to use the HTML version several times in the last couple years, when my connection is too slow etc.

  • job

    I love Gmail too and I am using Gtalk as well to communicate with friends, if only I can add my yahoo and msn friends then would be better..

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Lisa, for me it is much faster. It could because most of my messages have several pages of replies and signatures.

  • Lisa

    Have you noticed too that the loading page has changed? It now tells you which account is loading and at the bottom it gives you the immediate option of switching to the HTML version. I may have to check it out though, because ever since they made that change it loads even slower.

  • Jeremy

    It’s actually been around a long time, and if you use a browser on a PDA, that’s your only option.

    I personally think the full interface is faster, because it tends to do a lot of prefetching in the background. If you click on an email in your inbox, it comes up straight away, with no loading times. It’s not possible for Google to do that with the basic version.

    Then again, I have an OLPC XO-1 which doesn’t have much grunt, and Gmail tends to use up a lot of memory on that thing. It takes literally about 60 seconds for Gmail to load, and at least 5-8 seconds after clicking a message before it actually loads, because it has to run so much JavaScript. In the XO’s case, the basic HTML version is faster.

  • Arlo Gilbert

    I agreed. You are correct 🙂

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