Email Delivery Delay Using Gmail

I’ve had a Gmail account for around a year now, but have never used in much until recently. I have four different accounts for different purposes that I use regularly, and I had no need for another. With the new feature that allows you to send email from Gmail using headers from your other email accounts, Gmail started looking like an email consolidation solution for me. In addition, I can access it behind corporate firewalls that block other webmail services (maybe they just haven’t caught on yet).

I started forwarding all of my email accounts to gmail. When I hit reply to those forwarded emails, they appear to be coming from the account they were sent to, even though they were received, composed and sent from Gmail.

Everything was moving along smoothly, until today. I was on deadline with a newspaper ad. I emailed the 1.3 MB PDF file as an attachment to three different people. Three times each. It took two hours or more for my client’s to receive the files. Bad surprise. I sent the same file with Outlook and the client received it in a few minutes, as you would expect.

I guess that is the downside to using a Web based email service. The unexpected delays. I’ve had a hotmail account, and would have intermittent problems, so why should Gmail be any different? So be warned – using Gmail for business, especially in today’s fast paced, demanding environment, may not be a good idea.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are downloading email from another server, into gmail, you are very likely to experience delays, as Gmail will only download from your server periodically, based on they amount of email you typically receive. To immediately download email into Gmail from an external account, do the following:
1) From Gmail, click on “Settings”
2) Click on the “Accounts” tab
3) Scroll down to the “Get mail from other accounts:” heading
4) Beside the account you want to download mail from, click on the “Check Mail Now” link

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6 thoughts on “Email Delivery Delay Using Gmail

  1. when we are sending email using gmail account that will be delivered fast. But while you are sending through second account from Gmail it will contact the smtp server of that perticular domain. thats the reason it delays. If you send bigger attachments (even pdf also) directly from gmail that will also takes more time than ordinary email. because that attachment will be scanned at the google servers.

    COMO Group Australia

  2. I noticed the email delay as well. Anonmyous’s explanation makes sense…I guess Google scanning every email takes a while, especially for large files.

    I noticed that I didn’t get the handout that my TA emailed everyone else about. I couldn’t figure it out since I was sure that I was on my TA’s email list.
    Turns out that she did indeed mail it before my class, but I got it the next day.

    Heres picture proof:

    This picture shows that I received a particular email in my inbox at 4.56PM on Thursday, November 29, 2007

    However, when I opened the same email, I see that it was sent on Wednesday, November 28 at 10:44am.

  3. I’ve been having the same problems. Seemed like whatever emails that sent from got delayed. Happened several times for me., okay,, okay. For whatever reasons, always delayed for emails from … What can we do about this? This blog supported by Google? I hate to keep changing email accounts. I like GMail due to the facts of storage, eye catching, POP, IMAP, etc … Yahoo is too bland. Wow, as writing my comment in this blog, I just received an email which is 49 minutes delayed. Totally unacceptable. If this continues to occur, I will be forced to switch to Yahoo. The email sent at 4:40 PM PST and arrived at my GoogleMail inbox at 5:29 PM PST … What happened to Google Mail lately?

  4. Hi bottlecap,

    I would like to give you an update as well. Set aside the message that it was sent to my gmail account at 4:55 PM PST and arrived at the inbox at 6:09. Take a load of this, three other emails. One sent at 3:27PM PST, another sent at 4:40PM PST, and 5:15PM PST. The time the emails arrived at my Gmail inbox: 6:17PM PST. I don’t like it at all, fortunately, these were testing emails, what if they were important / urgent / emergency or from my work? Big trouble. I really hoped that the GMail development team / engineers should look into these blogs.

  5. This is completely retarded. I sat around waiting for an important email for almost an hour, while i was waiting I came across this page. I just assumed when I “checked my inbox” in google and impatiently clicked Refresh I was checking all my accounts. I followed your tip and instantly it downloaded all the emails I had been waiting for. Thanks.

  6. Seriously people? It’s a FREE email account. You get what you pay for. Start paying for Yahoo or Hotmail “premium” services, you’ll get the same delays for the same reasons

    If it’s soooo important & urgent, fax it or pick up the phone. Man, what a spoiled generation we have.

    You also have to take into consideration that Gmail is relaying email from the server you pop mail from and out to the smtp server. You;re lucky you can still do mail forwarding and popping.

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