Using the web browser version of Gmail, is it possible to stop Gmail automatically checking for new mail?

Occasionally, I need to access my inbox to retrieve information but don't want to be distracted by new email.

Before switching to Gmail, I was able to do this via Mac Mail App ('Take All Accounts Offline' feature) and am looking for something similar.

  • Use an extension to embed JavaScript onto the page that blocks AJAX requests – ytpillai Jun 23 '16 at 3:44

No, not really. There's no setting within Gmail that would let you turn off retrieval of new mail while you have a network connection.

I can think of a couple of workarounds that could get you close to what you're after.

  1. Use the Gmail Offline Chrome extension. It offers a slightly simplified view of your Gmail mailbox. It occasionally polls Gmail in the background as long as you have internet access and Chrome is running. You could then disconnect from the network and you'll still be able to access your Gmail. Once you restore connectivity it'll re-sync (sending/retrieving messages, deleting/moving messages).

  2. Use a third-party mail client. This is probably your best option, since you would control when (and if) the client reaches out to retrieve messages. The Mac Mail app should be able to connect to Gmail with little problem.

Ultimately, you probably want to train yourself to ignore new messages when you're not ready to deal with them. You could always bookmark particular labels so that you go directly to that view rather than to the Inbox. (Example: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#label/work-related)

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  • If he has the expertise he can look through the JavaScript and remove the AJAX requests. That or he can just remove all the AJAX requests period using some sort of extension or a custom browser – ytpillai Jun 14 '16 at 1:00

Create a new label (I call mine "New Mail"). Then create a filter so that all incoming mail with size greater than 0MB = mark as read, skip inbox, label as "New Mail." When you want to "check" your email, look in New Mail. Once you've read it, move it to the inbox. Then you can work in your inbox without being distracted by new mail.

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