Web Applications Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for power users of web applications. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In Gmail, there are 3 ways to check for new email:

  • Wait
  • Refresh page
  • Click the refresh button

How often does Gmail check while you're waiting?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

For a POP account it depends on how often you get mail. If one check results in new mail being found it will shorten the time until the next check, until it reaches a minimum wait time of 5 minutes. If it checks and doesn't find new mail, it lengthens the wait time until it reaches the maximum, which I believe is an hour between checks.

For mail sent directly to Gmail it has new mail coming in all the time, though they don't update your screen instantaneously.

In either case there will be a delay while Google is virus checking them, depending on the size of the message and the size and type of attachments.

share|improve this answer

It doesn’t check per se, theoretically at least, because the mail gets pushed to the web interface as it arrives (it is pushed via AJAX requests). Practically, it depends on your connection’s quality, your browser’s speed at a given time, your computer’s speed at a given time etc.

share|improve this answer
So with a fast internet connection, instant? – Frank Feb 5 '14 at 22:50
In theory, yes, it should take as long as the time it travels from the Gmail servers to your browser. I’ve seen emails arrive into my inbox seconds after they were sent (by people in the same room and on different mail services). – Alex Feb 5 '14 at 22:54

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.