Email Stuck In Gmail Outbox? Try these Fixes

Gmail is one of the best email clients out there thanks to its intuitive and convenient usability attributes.

But not even the most well-reputed email tool is always perfect. You might be dealing with a Gmail app that keeps crashing or in your case, an email stuck in the Gmail Outbox.

When the intent is to get an urgent email out, such as one for work or to your child’s teacher, anything that makes your email get stuck in the Gmail Outbox is utter frustration. 

Yet, these situations still happen. Luckily, there are multiple ways to fix the problem. Sometimes the problem is due to the content of the message.

And other times it is external factors that you can control, while in other situations it is something outside of your control. 

In either case, we have compiled a list of quick and easy methods to help you figure out how to fix an email stuck in a Gmail Outbox.

Fixing Email Stuck in Gmail Outbox

Here are all the tips that will help you fix emails stuck in Gmail Outbox. Follow them in order until you find the one that fixes the problem.

  1. Check Internet Connection
  2. Check Attachments Size
  3. Clear Gmail Cache
  4. Check Gmail Offline Mode
  5. Update Gmail App
  6. Close Other Apps

If you’re an iPhone user, we’ve got a comprehensive article that will show you how to troubleshoot Gmail not working on iPhone. You should check it out.

1. Check Internet Connection

This most obvious problem for messages being hung up in your outbox is the inability to conduct the actual sending transaction.

It’s important to remember that you need the internet to transmit messages from your end to the receivers, but without a steady and stable internet signal, that is simply not possible. 

Checking internet speed
Checking internet speed. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

First, check if your internet connection is active. If not, you may need to reset your modem’s or router’s connection. If the connection is there, but spotty or extremely slow, it might be that your network is taxed too hard.

This is a common problem for those who request minimal internet speed from their Wi-Fi providers but have many web-connected devices operating in their homes. 

The resources are shared and with too many participants they can be stretched thin. You can run internet connectivity either from an app on your phone or a third-party website like Fast or Speedtest. This also means that your Outbox message may send, eventually. 

2. Check Attachments Size

You probably are not aware that Gmail only allows 256MBs for attachments. If you send an email with a larger attachment, it will hang in the Outbox because the size is too big.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot send larger files, you will just need to use an alternate method to accomplish this. 

One method is by placing the file into a cloud service like Google Drive, then copying a sharable link and placing it in the email. As long as you’ve set access permissions accordingly, the receiving party will be able to retrieve the file.

3. Clear Gmail Cache

If you are a longtime Gmail user but have never cleared the cache, your browser has likely retained a lot of it.

Now, the idea of caching is to make things run faster. But when cached data becomes corrupted, you can experience various problems including having emails get stuck in the Gmail Outbox

It works the same as if you’d clear cookies on an iPhone. Follow the steps below to clear the cache on a PC:

1. Access chrome://settings/ from the Google Chrome URL bar, and navigate to the Privacy and Security tab.

Google Chrome Privacy and Security
Google Chrome Privacy and Security. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

2. Select Cookies and other site data on the right.

Cookies and other site data on Chrome
Cookies and other site data on Chrome. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

3. Navigate to the See all cookies and site data option.

See all cookies and Site data on Chrome
See all cookies and Site data on Chrome. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

4. In the search box on the upper right type mail.google.com. Then, click the trash can next to the listing of the cached data and cookies to clear the cache.

Remove cookies from Chrome on a computer
Remove cookies from Chrome on a computer. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

Once you’ve cleared the cache, go ahead and see if you still have a problem with an email stuck in Gmail Outbox.

If you are using Gmail through an Android app, simply:

Clear Gmail cache on Android
Clear Gmail cache on Android. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor
  • Go to the Setting menu, then select Apps and notifications.
  • From the apps list, tap the Gmail app.
  • Tap Storage and cache.
  • Click the trash can over Clear cache.

4. Check Gmail Offline Mode

One of Gmail’s features allows you to read and respond to emails when your device is offline. Any messages you “send” during this time are actually queued to send for when you finally get online.

However, sometimes online mode is toggled on, resulting in Gmail assuming there is no internet connection available at the moment. 

Email stuck in Gmail outbox
See Chrome all settings. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

You can easily turn this off by clicking the Gear icon at the top of the email screen on your browser, clicking See all settings, and navigating to the Offline tab.

Turn off Gmail offline mode to fix email stuck in Gmail outbox
Turn off Gmail offline mode. Gardy Philogene/Gotechtor

Then, simply uncheck the option for Enable offline mail and click Save Changes. Once you refresh the site, check out your Outbox to make sure any lingering messages have been processed.

5. Update Gmail App

If you are a mobile user, the problem could be due to a bug in the old or outdated version of the app. This problem usually goes away with a new update.

To update your Gmail app to the latest and greatest operational mode, follow the step below:

  • Access the Google Play Store from your Android device.
  • Tap the hamburger menu, and navigate to My apps and games.
  • Select The Updates tab
  • If any updates are available you will see them listed, so select them and allow the update to install. 
  • You can then retry sending your email again

If you are an iOS user, the process is just as easy: 

  • Open the App Store.
  • Tap on the Updates tab.
  • If updates are available, tap on Update to install any new improvements.

6. Close Other Apps

Sometimes it is the operation of many other applications that are siphoning so many resources from the Gmail app that it malfunctions.

Try closing some running apps you are not using, then check if the Outbox messages process or retry sending them.

Conclusion

Having an email not go through or not download from the server can be aggravating, but the above methods are more than likely going to resolve the problem for you.  

Let me know if this helped fix your emails stuck in Gmail Outbox. If you found success doing something else, leave me a comment down below!

For years technology has been a big part of Gardy's life. He's an Android guy with a secret love for Apple products. You'll often find him drawing with a pencil.

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