How to Access Gmail When It's Down

Lots of folks are having trouble accessing Gmail today, and today's outage is just one in a long series of outages in the webmail application. However, you don't have to let that stop you from accessing your email and getting things done. Here's how to get your Gmail even when you can't access Remember that GigaBitWare offers UNLIMITED email accounts

Access Gmail Through Alternate Modes

Just because the Gmail web interface went down doesn't mean that Gmail is entirely down—often you can continue to access your account using one of the alternate web interfaces, which often are still accessible even when the regular web interface goes down.

Here's a quick look at each alternate method, one at a time, from the simplest to the most complex. (The more complex solutions are often better long-term solutions, while the simpler solutions are probably the easiest if Gmail just went down and you haven't already prepared for it.)

Try Plain HTML

Your best bet is to bookmark the link for the Plain HTML version of Gmail (or just bookmark this post), so you can quickly switch to this alternate mode if Gmail is giving you trouble loading. It doesn't have all the fancy features that regular old Gmail does, but it can do the job just fine in a pinch.

Use Safe Mode

If you use a lot of different Gmail Labs features, you might find that some of them will conflict with each other, or possibly cause Gmail to stop working. You can use the Safe Mode link to disable all the Labs features and hopefully get Gmail back up and running again. Just visit Some people recommend using the older version or bypassing browser checking links, but they won't let you access the Labs settings.

Use the Mobile Version

You can access the mobile phone versions of Gmail from your desktop computer, although they are very stripped down and lacking features. You'll be better off with the Plain HTML version, but in a pinch you can try the mobile version as well.

Use the iGoogle Gadget

If you aren't an iGoogle user, you can still use the gadget by simply browsing to it's page.

Use Gmail Offline Access

If you haven't already checked out the Gmail's new offline access, this is a must-use for anybody that really depends on Gmail access. You can continue to use your email whether Gmail is running or not, or even when your own internet goes out. It's not perfect, since it doesn't store every single email in your inbox locally, but it does store enough email to be a great solution.

Access Gmail Through IMAP / POP3

During the last Gmail outage, IMAP and POP3 access weren't affected at all, so those using a desktop or mobile client to access their email were still able to send and receive without even knowing there was an issue. Even if you use the web interface as your primary method of email access, it's a good idea to at least keep a Thunderbird installation setup with IMAP access to your email in a pinch.

Prepare For the Next Outage

Gmail doesn't have to go down globally for your email access to be cut off—your internet could go down, or your account could even be disabled. Whatever the case, it's a good idea to have a backup plan just in case the worst should happen.

We've got you covered with a number of methods for backing up your Gmail, starting with the really obvious solution of just using Thunderbird to back up your email with POP access, but you can backup your email with Fetchmail on Windows, Getmail on Linux, the standalone Gmail Backup tool, or even use Google Groups to backup your Gmail account. If you want to switch from using GMAIL and use the unlimited accounts our customers enjoy let us know by emailing GigaBitWare Support today.

Special credit to LifeHacker. Much of this article is a republishing of and article written at: