Gmail has rolled out a new version of webmail interface, dubbed as Gmail 2.0. The newer enhanced Web 2.0 AJAX based web mail user interface appear identical to the old version, only with new and enhanced JavaScript architecture. The new Gmail interface features faster reading speed by prefetching contents of Inbox’s email, ability to use Backward and Forward buttons or bookmarks of browser to navigate different sections and views of Gmail, updated contact manager with inline search and better manageability, create files based on current message and a new “Mute” label, plus other enhancements.

However, the newer Gmail user interface is not without problems. The issues facing users including the following:

  • Very slow loading of Gmail on initial load of Inbox or when switch to other sections or labels, or Contacts, All Mail or Sent Mail.
  • Although mail prefetching should load and display the content of email message quickly, but sometimes it doesn’t work, with Loading notification stays on screen, making webmail unresponsive.
  • Lock up or freeze web browser when loading Gmail.
  • Cannot upload and attach files and photos to the mail.
  • Apparent delay or time gap lapse between mouse over the link or check box and when users can finally click on it.
  • Crash the web browser such as IE7, Safari and Firefox.
  • When loading Gmail, CPU resource usage goes up to very high, i.e. 100%).
  • Getting the following message when opening Gmail web page:

    This seems to be taking longer than usual. If you are using a slow Internet connection, you can wait a bit longer for this page to finish loading, or just use basic HTML view for now. If you are using your normal Internet connection and you usually get past this loading step without any problems, please refresh this page in your browser. If you continue to have trouble loading your account, please visit the help center for troubleshooting information.

  • Gmail stuck or stopped loading the Inbox or any other mailboxes with “Loading…” message.
  • When composing email, auto-complete or autofill email address function to automatically fill in recipients’ email address based on what user is typing doesn’t work in the To, CC, BCC, etc. fields.

If you experiencing slowness in new Gmail interface or one or few problems as stated above, you can switch back and revert back to old (existing) Gmail web interface. Other than because of issues above, you may also want to switch back for the following reasons:

  • Don’t like the new Gmail page description which includes user’s email address in the page title, instead of just “Gmail – Inbox”.
  • Do not like the beautiful contact card that appears when hovering mouse over a contact name, including the easy access from anywhere to “recent conversations” feature on the contact card.
  • When turning off and disabling Chat, the chat box won’t disappear and go away, instead will stay on the screen, although it’s not signed in.
  • Hate the new Gmail Contacts page where users can no longer select a contact to compose a message to the person.
  • Feel that Google, and hence Gmail strength should be “simplicity”, and the newer version of Gmail offering too much beels and whistles or features.

It’s easy to switch back to the old Gmail interface, simply by just clicking on the Older Version link at the upper right of the Gmail webmail page.

Switch Back to Older Gmail Version

Unfortunately, the Older Version setting does not stick. If you’re already been redirected to new interface when logging in to Gmail, you will always come to newer Gmail interface whenever you come back to your Gmail mailbox. So far there is no preference can set that let users tell Gmail to stop forcing users to switch and stop reverting to new interface version. So you have to load in new interface, and then change back to old interface. But for users with loading problems, this is not an option.

However, there are few tricks that you can use in order to access Gmail in old interface even on first load. First hack is to use the following URL link location to access Gmail:

You can bookmark the link above or set it as homepage in order to always open Gmail in older version.

Another alternative is to change the Gmail display language to English (UK) in the “Settings”, or any other non English (US) language. Apparently the new Gmail web interface only been rolled out and applied on US English edition. If you change to any other language version, the Gmail will always load in old version as default webmail interface, at least until the locale is affected by the interface change.