Q:

What should you do if you can't access Gmail?

A:

Quick Answer

Users who cannot access Gmail should first check the status of the service on Google's support page and apps dashboard. If these pages verify that Gmail is indeed down, a number of alternate methods to connect to it may work, such as POP3 and IMAP.

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Full Answer

Gmail accounts can be accessed via email clients that use IMAP or POP3, a means of access that is sometimes still available when the Gmail Web interface is down. Some such clients are Thunderbird and Microsoft Outlook. Google outlines the steps to set this type of access up at its support site.

Users who are running a number of different Gmail Labs functions simultaneously might experience conflicts that prevent access to email. If this is the case, switching to safe mode may fix the problem.

The plain HTML and mobile versions of Gmail may also be accessible when the regular Web interface is not working. The mobile version can be accessed by desktop and laptop computers. Users should be aware, however, that these versions do not have the full set of features that standard Gmail does.

Users who need constant access to Gmail may want to plan ahead by setting up offline access. While new messages cannot be obtained while Google's servers are down, anything delivered prior to the outage is automatically retrieved and outgoing emails can still be composed and saved for later sending.

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