After adding new contacts to a group in Gmail Contacts, an email sent to that group will be missing the recently added contacts, with no alert to that fact. You can check the emails to see if they're missing, but with hundreds in a group that's not really feasible, so I end up waiting many hours or a day before I dare send a message.

I don't expect anyone here to fix their bug, but I hope someone can tell me what the amount of time that I need to wait to be safe is.


How long do I need to wait before sending a message in Gmail to a group that I've just added contacts to?

4 Answers 4


The general answer we get from Google support is that unless otherwise stated, changes will take about 30 minutes to propagate to all servers. This is mostly in relation to API changes though - I've not heard/seen delays of hours or more from changes made via the UI.

If my users were consistently reporting significant delays for certain functions I'd be contacting support to ask why. Users expect that if the UI says something is done, then it truly is done.


no one knows.

the only way for google to be consistent to your data would be to block all services which allows you to access the contacts until all changes to the contacts are committed.

no one wants that.

everything happens in the cloud, massively parallel. so, relax and give it some minutes to populate the changes across the several webapps.

(and i would not call it a bug)

  • 1
    If I can instantly send messages to the individual contacts, I should be able to instantly send messages to the group. Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 7:02
  • the information, that an existing contact is now part off an existing group is not yet synced back to all services. you can mail to the contacts because that is information which is synced already.
    – akira
    Commented Jul 2, 2010 at 7:10

That basically is the problem with caching data but you can't seriously expect Gmail to work without caché. Akira's answer is completely right and you should accept an answer (click on the green checkmark on the left of the answer) because you are not going to get a better one.

  • 1
    I know how to accept an answer, but his, while useful doesn't give me the specifics of how long I have to wait for the cache. And actually gmail doesn't need to use a cache for that info. If they can send an email immediately, then as soon as you hit any confirmation buttons on a contact, they could send the info. They're already in semi-constant communication with the server, as noted by how quick a sent email gets posted in the inbox. Commented Jul 14, 2010 at 15:24

Just logout and login again and the contact group updates you did are visible

  • I'm not sure that this problem with contact groups is still current? This question is over 3 years old. When I add a new contact to a group, it is instantly available when I email that group.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 20:38
  • @Winaro, do you have any source for this information? Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 8:56

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