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Help! Gmail Won't Connect

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/18/2010

Connectivity issues can be the cause of many issues where Gmail won't connect - but beyond checking your Internet connection, what else can you do?

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    Use Gmail For IMAP and POP

    Gmail connection problems can be resolved by setting your account to be picked up in a mail client Gmail is a superb free web-based email system from Google. Offering flexible access to your email account from any device, Gmail is increasingly popular and offers unlimited storage space.

    As with all great web applications, however, you can run into the odd problem using Gmail.

    Problems connecting to Gmail can usually be attributed to Internet connectivity or issues with software – but recent changes to the free web-based email provider can mean that while you have changed nothing on your PC, your email seems to be unreachable, or at least very slow.

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    Gmail Connection Problems Explained

    The most common reasons for Gmail connection problems are Internet connectivity, either with your PC, or between your router and the Gmail servers.

    Such problems are rare and usually only intermittent at the Gmail end. However checking your Internet connection when you receive alerts on your Google Mail screen such as “Connecting to server" for any length of time and possibly resetting your router will get around the majority of connection issues, not to mention rule out your hardware as the issue.

    However there might be another reason for a lack of Gmail connectivity. Google Mail has recently announced changes to the way in which users connect to Gmail, with a result of greater security, but with a performance cost on older PCs.

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    In order to improve the security of the Gmail system, Google HTTPS has been introduced as the default method for reading emails in your browser through Gmail.

    Gmail connection problems can be due to use of HTTPS This is to prevent theft of personal data – when information is sent via the standard HTTP protocol (which you will recognize as part of the address of every website you visit) it isn’t encrypted. Using HTTPS is a secure method of transferring data across the HTTP protocol, which is different to the standard email protocols like POP and IMAP, which are found in email clients.

    If using HTTPS has slowed your connection to Gmail, you might want to try disabling it.

    First of all, sign in to your Gmail account.

    Via the Gmail menu across the top of the page, click Settings.

    Find the settings for Browser Connection and choose between Don’t use HTTPS or Always use HTTPS, and Save Changes when you are happy with this.

    Finally, you will need to alter the URL in your address bar to

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    Gmail Connection Problems – Mail Client

    On the other hand, you might find that when using a mail client such as Outlook that your Gmail doesn’t connect.

    There could be any number of reasons for this, but you will need to check your connection settings for your Gmail account are correct.

    Gmail supports both POP 3 and IMAP 4, effectively allowing you to access your mail messages across a variety of email clients. There are several benefits to this, not least that Gmail doesn’t allow the forwarding of multiple emails in one message, whereas the majority of desktop email clients do.

    Full details for setting up Gmail with an email client can be found at

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