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Gmail inbox is not updating? Top 4 fixes

Gmail inbox not updating

Users report that Gmail inbox is not updating on Android. It seems that new emails do get to Gmail when they use Gmail for Web but can’t be seen on the Android client. The problem is most likely related to the app itself and the way it performs on Android. You can learn how to fix these issues and get to see and be notified about incoming emails momentarily by following the steps below.

Why is my Gmail not updating?

You might not be able to see your emails because the Gmail app (Android client) is not syncing automatically. You can sync emails manually, enable Auto-sync, and also tweak some system settings that concern Gmail.

If that doesn’t help, you can clear local data from Gmail or uninstall updates/reinstall the app and try again.

1. Sync the emails manually

Of course, your phone needs to be connected to a stable Wi-Fi or mobile data network in order to retrieve emails from Gmail servers to the Gmail app. If you are sure that’s not the cause of the problem, open Gmail > Inbox and swipe down from the top force sync.

You should see all the new messages. In addition, make sure that the new messages you were expecting are not in the Spam folder and that system-wide Data Saver or Airplane mode is not enabled.

2. Check Gmail settings

Moving on, there are a few settings you should check to ensure that Gmail is syncing. The first thing to do is to enable Sync Gmail in Gmail settings. After that, you should check if Gmail has permission to work and use data in the background.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Tap on the hamburger menu at the top left corner and open Settings from the bottom.
  3. Select your account. It should be just below General settings.
  4. Choose Manage labels and tap Inbox. Set 30 days or All. You can do this for all other labels, too.
  5. Check the Sync Gmail box.
  6. Now, close Gmail and open Settings (system settings).
  7. Choose Apps.
  8. Locate and open Gmail from the list of available apps.
  9. Tap Battery and ensure that Gmail is allowed to work in the background. You can go as far as to disable Optimization for Gmail to ensure that the app can always sync in the background.
  10. Also, open Mobile Data and Allow Gmail to use data in the background.Gmail inbox is not updating

3. Clear local data from Gmail if Gmail Inbox is not updating

You can also reset the app by clearing the local data before you reinstall the app or uninstall updates. Gmail does keep substantial data locally and it’s even advised to clear the data and force the app to resync from time to time.

Once you clear all data from Gmail, open the app and wait for it to resync. You might also need to allow again Gmail to work in the background and use Mobile data, as explained in the previous step.

Here’s how to clear local data from Gmail on Android:

  1. Once again, open Settings > Apps > Gmail.
  2. Tap Storage.
  3. Select Clear data and confirm when prompted.Gmail inbox is not updating
  4. Restart your device, open Gmail, and wait for it to sync your emails.

4. Reinstall Gmail

Finally, if the Gmail inbox is still not updating automatically, make sure to try addressing the problem by reinstalling the app. In this case, considering that Gmail comes as the default Mail app on many Android skins, you can just uninstall updates from the app and can’t remove the app completely.

Here’s how to uninstall updates from Gmail on your Android using Play Store:

  1. Open Play Store.
  2. Search for and open Gmail.
  3. Tap Uninstall.
  4. Restart your device, open Play Store, and update Gmail again.
  5. Check the settings we mention in the second solution, sign in, and check for improvements.

Alternatively, you can navigate to APK Mirror and get an older version. Learn more about APKs and how to roll back apps to an older version, here. Also, if you want to get Gmail emails on other Android or iOS clients (Outlook, Apple Mail), make sure that IMAP is enabled. To enable it, open Gmail on Web, open All Settings, and, under the Forwarding and POP/IMAP, toggle Enable IMAP.

And, on that note, we can conclude this article. Thank you for reading and feel free to tell us if these steps helped you fix the issue or not. Do you have any other solution to recommend if the Gmail inbox is not updating? Tell us in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in March 2022. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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