Google is killing Gmail’s basic HTML view (but not Gmail) in 2024


Update: You may be here because you heard Google is “sunsetting Gmail” this year, as a fast-spreading hoax online has it. The hoax purports to show an email from Google saying that “the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.” Here’s one version we spotted on Twitter/X:

Rest easy, Gmail isn’t going anywhere, but one way of accessing it is, as you can read about below. Most will have been defaulted to the “new” Gmail view long ago, so unless you have been specifically requesting the “basic HTML” view, nothing should change for you.

Another day, another Google product goes to the graveyard. The company is sunsetting Gmail’s basic HTML view, which allows users to look at their emails in a bare-bones state, starting January 2024.

The company updated its support page to reflect that Gmail will automatically switch to the Standard view after the deadline date. Users on Hacker News posted that they got an email from Google signaling the end of the feature.

“We’re writing to let you know that the Gmail Basic HTML view for desktop web and mobile web will be disabled starting early January 2024. The Gmail Basic HTML views are previous versions of Gmail that were replaced by their modern successors 10+ years ago and do not include full Gmail feature functionality,” the email reads.

Even today, when you try the access the HTML version, Google shows a message saying that the version is designed for “slower connections and legacy browsers” and asks you to confirm that you don’t want to use the standard version.

Google shows you a message asking you to confirm if you want to switch to Gmail's HTML view

Image Credits: Screenshot by TechCrunch

The HTML version lacks a lot of features such as chat, spell checker, search filters, keyboard shortcuts, and rich formatting. But it is useful in situations where you are in a low-connectivity area or want to just look at emails without any extra bells and whistles. It’s not clear if Google plans to add a mode for low connectivity. 

Google is currently focusing on infusing AI-powered features into its products, including Gmail. Last month, the company launched a Duet AI feature to help users write emails. Last week, it allowed the Bard chatbot to integrate with Google accounts so you can ask questions about email history.

We’ve updated this post since it originally published on September 25, 2023 to reflect the rollout of this change in February 2024, as well as a hoax apparently related to it.


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