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Fix: Gmail notifications not working on Android

Imagine having an email client that doesn’t notify you about received messages? Yep, that’s what some Gmail users on Android experienced recently. If you are among the affected group and Gmail notifications are not working for you, make sure to check the solutions we listed below.

Table of contents:

  1. Check in-app notification settings and system settings
  2. Whitelist Gmail from system optimization
  3. Check the Time
  4. Grant necessary permissions to Gmail
  5. Enable Sync
  6. Clear cache and data from Gmail
  7. Update the app and device firmware
  8. Sign out of your Google account and sign in again

Why am I not getting Gmail notifications on my phone?

There are various reasons why Gmail notifications are not working on your Android smartphone. Starting with a system bug (or Gmail bug) that some Samsung users run into.

Moving on, notifications might be disabled in the app or the system optimization measures are forcibly preventing Gmail from working in the background.

Solution 1 – Check in-app notification settings and system settings

Let’s start by thoroughly inspecting both system and in-app notification settings. There are small chances that certain alerts are disabled by mistake or by a system bug. Additionally, ensure that the DND (Do Not Disturb) is disabled.

Follow these instructions to check notification settings for Gmail:

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Tap on the hamburger menu and then open Settings.
  3. Choose General settings.
  4. Tap Manage notifications.
  5. Ensure that everything is enabled.
  6. Open Mail under your Gmail address and make sure that notifications are enabled.
  7. Reboot your device and check for improvements.

Solution 2 – Whitelist Gmail from system optimization

The battery life/SoT race has led many OEMs to create quite annoying system utilities that tend to kill background apps.

This comes with the intention to make everything smoother while saving some battery juice, especially when idle. However, these utilities tend to kill some important apps and thus prevent important push notifications from coming through.

The procedure might differ based on your device (Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi all have this background optimization built-in).

Solution 3 – Check the Time

Another important thing is to ensure that your time and date are properly set. The best way to do so is by using the automatic time zone settings, based on your geo-location. This should prevent issues with certain apps.

Here’s how to enable Automatic time on Android:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Open Date & time.
  4. Ensure that “Use network-provided time” and “Use network-provided time zone” are enabled.

Solution 4 – Grant necessary permissions to Gmail

Moving on, you can try and set Gmail as the default app and ensure that it autostarts. This is usually far from being a necessity for an email client to work on Android.

However, we read a bunch of reports from Samsung Galaxy S10 users that had issues with Gmail. For some, tweaking permissions and using Gmail as the default client helped.

Follow these steps to check permissions for Gmail:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Apps and then select App manager, Manage apps, or All apps (depends on device’s manufacturer).
  3. Locate and open Gmail.
  4. Choose Permissions.
  5. Grant all necessary permissions.
  6. Now, get back to the list of all apps, tap on the 3-dot menu and open Default apps.
  7. Set Gmail as the default email app.

Solution 5 – Enable Sync

This might sound like a shot-in-the-dark kind of solution but craziest things happened by mistake. Namely, if Gmail Sync is erroneously disabled, now emails won’t come through to you.

This doesn’t apply exclusively to Gmail notifications not working, but it’s still an essential troubleshooting step worth following.

Here’s where to check whether Gmail Sync is enabled:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Choose Accounts & sync.
  3. Ensure that Auto-sync data is enabled.
  4. Then select Google.
  5. Locate Gmail and ensure that sync for Gmail is indeed enabled.

Solution 6 – Clear cache and data from Gmail

Another thing you can do is clearing cache and data which will reset the app. If you have any non-Gmail address linked to the Gmail account, you’ll need to set them up again after this procedure.

Follow these instructions to clear cache and data from Gmail on Android:

  1. Navigate to Settings > Apps > All apps > Gmail again.
  2. Select Storage.
  3. Clear the cache first and then clear the data.
  4. Reboot your device.

Solution 7 – Update the app and device firmware

Moving forward, make sure that your Gmail app is up to date. Also, do the same for your handset firmware. When the issue massively occurred for hundreds of Samsung users, the problem was addressed with a patch.

Both OS and respective apps should update automatically by default. However, you can check for updates manually by following these instructions:

  1. Open the Google Play Store and search for Gmail.
  2. If there’s an update available, install it.
  3. Now, open Settings > System.
  4. Check for system updates and install them, too.

Solution 8 – Sign out of your Google account and sign in again

Finally, you can try and remove your Google account and add it again. That way, a possible Gmail halt might stop occurring and your push notifications should come through. Just make sure to back up your data before logging out.

Here’s how to remove Google account and add it again:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Accounts & sync.
  3. Select Google.
  4. Tap on the menu at the bottom and remove the account.
  5. Reboot your device, add the account and check for improvements with Gmail notifications.

With that said, we can call it a wrap. Thank you for reading and we certainly hope one of these solutions helped you with Gmail notifications not working. If you have anything to add or take, do so in the comments section below. We look forward to your feedback.

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David Stone
David Stone
April 17, 2020 8:10 pm

This is the only thing that worked for me regarding not getting gmail notifications for a new email on my android . After doing all the other obvious stuff to make sure you are going to get notifications, you have to change the setting for syncing the labels. For some unknown reason, the default doesn’t set them all be synched.

For my google pixel 3–

1) Go to Settings
2) Go to the Gmail address in question
3) Go to Manage Labels
4) Change any that are not synched to sync ‘Last 30 days.’

Restart phone and it should work.

Connie Nogle
Connie Nogle
April 25, 2020 8:02 pm
Reply to  David Stone

Hey ! THANK YOU , that helped more than the article! 🙂

Alexey Borisov
Alexey Borisov
April 28, 2020 11:42 am
Reply to  David Stone

Worked for me as well. Thanks David

Jim B
Jim B
May 22, 2020 11:39 pm
Reply to  David Stone

Did not work. This is what I hate about Androids. They work, they work, they work – and then they don’t work and you have “factory reset” them and spend an entire day rebuilding the phone from scratch.

Marco
Marco
June 9, 2020 12:20 pm
Reply to  David Stone

This did the trick David, thank you so much! (The article didn’t help otherwise)

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