Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Gmail: the slowest website I'm using
93 points by nyxtom on Oct 23, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments
Has anyone else noticed how incredibly terrible Gmail has become lately? In addition to a slow loading splash loading screen, the navigation isn't nearly as responsive as it used to be. Inbox was somewhat better when it was available, but I look back at classic gmail as being really responsive. I've personally switched to protonmail but I still use my gmail account to look up old information and maintain a few things. Doing this I just use the basic html page which works fantastic (I just wish I had the keyboard navigation on top).

Aside from Gmail, there are a lot of SWA these days that load tons of javascript and use loading splash screens (a lot of SASS) apps. I reference Gmail because of all the webapps I expected to never be slow, Gmail was supposed to be one of them. That being said, I'm thankful that I can even use the Basic HTML option at all and I wish more websites allowed this option.

Yes. Most actions have become so slow that quickly closing the Gmail tab after doing something (e.g. sending an email) triggers the onunload confirmation dialog most of the time. That didn't happen nearly as often with the old version.

I've also started experiencing that even though all actions are cleared and I can navigate away that sometimes those actions "didn't take" and I'd be cleaning up emails for the N-th time.

It's interminably slow.

Worse, I have multiple accounts – and it always defaults to the 'wrong' one, which means I have to go through the splash screen all over again.

I'm moving to Fastmail as soon as I have time to switch things over.

I believe it defaults to the account you sign into first, so you can log out of all of your gmail accounts, and log into what your want your "default" to be first.

If you're using chrome and logged into your google account on chrome, I think you're already logged in.

I don't know how you'd do this if you didn't want your chrome account to be your "default" account. I personal use firefox.

FYI, Containers in Firefox make life much better for having multiple Google accounts signed in at the same time.

I thought I was doing something wrong! It NEVER defaults to the one I am expecting.

It's funny, just yesterday night I was trying to send a quick reply in Gmail. I clicked on the mail I wanted to reply to. Gmail said "Loading..." I waited and waited, how long can it take to load a single mail message? Then as a last resort I went to inbox.google.com and wrote my reply in seconds. I find it ironic that Google wants to abolish Inbox in favor of Gmail, when Gmail became worse than Inbox has ever been.

My solution was to use a machine that's similar to what Googlers use. Even though devs at Google use 64GB RAM and Xeon chips, I've found that an Eight-core Ryzen chip at 4GHz with 32GB of RAM on Linux makes Gmail fly. I can run and work with Mutt efficiently on a Raspberry Pi, but I need an desktop machine to make Gmail work fast. We live in interesting times.

Gmail is unusable in my 2012 MacBook Pro. I wonder how Gmail works on low-end Chromebooks.

I use Gmail on my 2014 Acer Chromebook C720 (2GB of RAM). Works fine. Takes a while to load initially but I leave the tab fine and it works fine for searching, reading, composing, working with labels, etc.

Same device, same year, more impatient. Just like most of the web apps I have to use (facebook,slack), it feels terribly slow compared to what I have been used to before (before what? before. the web constantly gets slower). Meanwhile, I run crouton on the same device and can do amazing stuff with blender, git, emacs, latex, python, etc.

Weird how the web allows seemingly simple task to become so performance intensive for the computer. Reading email and performing similar tasks is nothing new to the computer world (thunderbird, outlook, evolution have worked well and fast for years).

It seems that somehow, throwing more developper at a given problem (such as email interfaces) seems to only make products slower.

Maybe forcing google devs / management to use 4gb ram machines would incentise them?

Requiring 16gb or more for email is excessive.

I Agree. Programmers in general should use worse machines sometimes.

Gmail uses a ton of memory though. On a memory constrained device like a Chromebook, you'll want that memory if you're not interacting with Gmail very often.

Is it the UI that’s slow? Or the network?

PG wrote this[1] essay in March 2012, where he was saying the same thing. Paul Buccheit reviewed the essay and had a suggestion to make. PG wrote "GMail is painfully slow.", PB changed it to "GMail has become painfully slow."

[1] http://paulgraham.com/ambitious.html

Your comment reminded me of the essay hence posting it here.

Gmail app is still pretty fast. When they launched the new one, I was hoping to find a function where you can run a fast version (just like html for slow connections in old gmail, which was super quick even for slow connections) but could not find it anywhere. You can switch back to old gmail, that is faster (less slow) if you like, or if you like the smart compose, you can just kill the apps GMail loads by default - Calendar, Hangouts, keep, Tasks, and much more. Then it may become faster.

The new design is very slow and does not good look on firefox at least. I am trying to use a mail client whenever I can for my primary email ID's. but if you want to check an email quickly on the browser and you see that new design, it's not very welcoming. I even tried switching between the design options that they provide, and still not helpful at all

The splash screen alone drove me back to using the HTML version - it's just so much faster!

Direct link:


Google went trough a lot of effort to make their products slow on any browser other than Chrome. So I guess it's their way or the high way.

Still slow on Chrome, though.

I also see slow downs on Chrome.

That mail loading icon just halts at times, it seems random ish.

Same. It's ridiculous.

I remember when gmail was introduced (invite only) and it was blazingly fast and so appealing. Years ago, on browsers that haven't had their JS optimized even 1/10th as well as modern ones.

Wirth's law.

Gmail tab in chrome usually take between 500mb to 2gb or RAM on my computer... That probably explain part of the issue...

> I look back at classic gmail as being really responsive.

The classic Gmail is still available and you can still use it though...

I switched to fastmail, but I honestly miss Gmail's interface whenever I for some reason log in again.

Nor can I really confirm that slow loading speed. I keep hearing about it on hn, but it always finishes within 1 seconds on my end... And is even quicker on refreshes or navigating

/edit: chrome network monitor said 5.6s. it was useable after ~1s though. firefox takes ages, however

I am using the new UI, and I haven't found it to be particularly slow. I like it, primarily for the ability to snooze. I wouldn't switch back to the classic version, although they took away that menu option for me a week or so ago so it's not like I could anyway.

I too use Proton Mail, but I still have to use my Gmail and Google account for various things I don't have control over.

I've developed a workaround for the slowness, I star an email and when I open it, the email appears much faster as compared to when I open the email in the gmail tab it belongs to.

I too switched to Protonmail. Privacy reasons aside Gmail is always the slowest to load and on sketchy connections often doesn't load at all. I see this most on airline Wifi.

I disabled "Hover actions" under general settings and the slowness is fixed for me.

Yes! I did some profiling of it and it took nearly 2 minutes to finish loading, and 30mb of data transfer! All for checking my email.

This is on a fairly decent MacBook pro with 150mb down, living near one of the largest data centers in the world.

I avoid going to the gmail website as much as possible. It's way faster to just use POP/IMAP access or to use my phone.

they have become the victims of their own success

Shortcuts works as expected and no slowing for me, who handles about 300 email a day ( mostly tagging and standard reply )

Gmail is slower than Yahoo mail now!

They hired the guys that did the Reddit re-design I reckon (after they did hotmail :).

Also the design is too American/AOL looking.

Then don't use gmail. Or use gmail with an imap client if you insist on retaining that service. gmail is not the only web mail service.

> I've personally switched to protonmail

So what's the point of this post then?

The point of the post is to see if others are having the same issue or not.


The diversity of the Gmail team killed gmail?

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact