Gmail for Android not sending your emails? Try this!

As an Android user, one becomes somewhat accustomed to broken apps, or just having random little things going wonky from time to time. Yeah,  laugh it up, iOS users. Nonetheless, if the application is something you use everyday, like Gmail, it can be almost infuriating if it doesn’t work properly. It is a Google app, after all, and you’d imagine that big G puts a lot of work in to their Android apps. This is true, but that doesn’t make them perfect. Take Gmail for example – it doesn’t always send your emails.

I’ve been visiting family for the past ten days for the Thanksgiving holiday, and have been constantly on the go and not around a computer. This required that I rely on my G2 for communication, especially via Gmail. While it does a good job most of the time, I have seen the Gmail app sometimes fail to send emails. Over Thanksgiving, when I needed Gmail the most, it completely shit out on me, causing some communication conflicts with my job, and my home.

After replying to an email from a housemate asking when I would be returning, I promptly replied. The next day, I received another email from my housemate asking the same question, only to find out that my reply from the first email had been in my Outbox, and had been “sending” for over a day. It wasn’t until a similar conflict happened with my job, and that’s when I got down right pissed, and seriously began searching for a fix to this issue. Turns out, there are many “fixes” for this particular issue, but only one seemed to work for me.

Some of these methods range from simple and logical to downright ridiculous. After trying out a couple, only to see my emails still sending, one caught my eye that just looked it should have been my first thought in the first place. From what I’ve seen, this issue seems to affect Android 2.2 Froyo users primarily, but I wouldn’t be surprised if others on lower versions of the OS are experiencing this.

If your Gmail application isn’t sending your emails, you may think to uninstall it, only to find out you can’t in any elegant fashion.

So try this very simple way to get your emails sending again:

  1. Go into Settings>Applications>Manage Applications
  2. Find Gmail in the list of applications (you may have to press the All tab at the top if you don’t see it)
  3. Clear the application’s Cache and Data. You’ll get the picture above when you try to clear the data, but this will be re-synced later on.
  4. That’s it. You’ll have to relaunch Gmail and manually re-sync your accounts, but after that, the issue will be solved.

This may save you from yelling some choice words at anyone who crosses you amidst your frustrations.

I didn’t find out how to do this on my own.  I found the answer on AndroidForums. Thanks BadBoy!

  • Bruce

    That’s a great tip! I have Froyo myself, and I find clearing data and cache helpful for other apps as well. Gallery and Camera come to mind, but it’s a good first step for any nagging problem with an app.

    • Stepheng

      Works like a charm for regular e-mail also. It doesn’t delete the outbox which is great!

      Stephen G, Alabama

      • Toby Jones

        If you delete gmail’s data, it does delete the outbox, so you’ll have to compose those emails again.

        • Yep it does delete the outbox indeed… maybe would be useful to mention it in the article. Besides, it does not fix the problem at all as it may happen again immediately afterward. Short-term “fix”….

          • Bob

            I had info in my unsent emails that I didn’t want to lose, so I didn’t use your method. I turned my phone completely off and re-booted.
            My emails got sent.

  • hkjc

    This is an old tricks since Android 2 but works all the time in such non-responding-sending situation. Still, might be still lots of people not recognize this is a solution.

  • Mark M Winston

    This worked perfectly. Literally tried a nandriod back up and titanium backup twice before trying this. Feeling pretty stupid right now. Nonetheless, I’m glad gmail is working again. Thanks for the tip.

  • DannO

    Just worked for me! I was going nuts since emails weren’t being marked as read or archived and sending wasn’t working. Thanks sharing the simple steps!

    • Anonymous

      Same here, that droved me nuts. Thanks Blake!

    • Anonymous

      Same here, that droved me nuts. Thanks Blake!

  • André Rocha


  • Eldar

    Worked! Thanks. Thought for a moment that my wife will kill someone.

  • Anonymous

    Worked perfectly – THANKS!

  • Lexvagal66

    Gee…thank you very much.

  • Me

    What will happen to my gmail contacts that are downloaded from the droid?  Will they be saved?

  • Haribaai

    Thanks – worked just dandy

  • Wzollerhyde

    Excellent…thanks…been having this problem on and off too.  Had it with my former Droid 2 keyboard app and I too forgot about clearing the data.  Let’s hope this works well!  I might have to go in every week or so to clear it out.

  • jolie garcia

    geez all those nice pictures i attached, i will never be able to get them back now….is there another way to fix this problem without losing your pics?  I did not save them b4 this problem happened. And they are not in my sd card.  Only on my camera.

    • mike

      Restarting the phone worked for me.

  • jolie garcia

    i forgot to mention that after i attached the pics to gmail and clicked send, i cleared the data and cache as you instructed, but i went in my camera and deleted all the pics i sent thru gmail. Now they are lost….thats what i get for trusting gmail…..

  • jd_chandra

    Great stuff mate. thanks for that. just fixed my problem. bit annoying it couldn’t be fixed any other way.

  • I love Android but little things like this shouldn’t happen. If Apple can manage to make it work for iOS why can’t Google fix it for Android? 

    A small annoyance, and not enough for me to consider going back to iOS but still.

  • Jimgt1500

    Thank you for doing a great job explaining this problem. I am the worst person at tech stuff. Thank you again.

  • Carolyn Smith

    if you are having problems sending email from Android and use Verizon, you need to set up a mail box with Verizon. Have not been able to send email for months, deleted inbox, outbox etc, created different gmail, just about ready to pitch the phone in the trash. Finally logged on to Verizon and there it was, the fix. Entered my phone number, they sent me an email saying my mail box for the phone was set up and all those unsent emails left for parts unknown seconds after it the mailbox was set up!!! It is fixed.
    Search on Android email at Verizon.

  • Corridasloucas

    Thank you,

    Also happened to me now on SG note with
    ICS-IceCreamSandwich 403, after the update. The stupid email not going out in
    app GMAIL. So I cleaned data and cache and everything runs fine now.

  • Bob

    I had info in my unsent emails that I didn’t want to lose, so I didn’t use your method. I turned my phone completely off and re-booted.My emails got sent.

  • james

    Worked on ICS on a Samsung Skyrocket. Thanks! I feel pretty damn stupid for not trying that too. it usually does the trick.

  • Eric

    Thank you so much! I think I know a fair amount about Android–running a rooted Galaxy s3 with Cyanogenmod 10.1 Android 4.21, but I couldn’t figure out how to get my email to send when it suddenly stopped a week or so ago. I thought maybe the nightly version of Cyanogenmod was the problem, reverted to a backup, it still did it. Then I found this post, and it worked immediately! Thank you!

  • Dumpling

    Thanks Blake and Bad Boy!

  • Lawyer in Idaho

    This worked perfectly. I didn’t have to sign into Gmail again and I didn’t lose any information. My emails now send seamlessly. Thank you so much.

  • Ross

    Thank you for posting this – worked like a charm!

  • mikemarkham

    I have a rooted 2.3.5 and it worked for me, thank you.

  • el1jones

    Genius- it worked for me.

  • Hana

    Will you lose the messages you have in Outgoing Mail?

  • milosmith5252

    Thanks! I have the Nexus 5 rooted and it worked quick!

  • MG

    didn’t work trying to reply to emails still comes up “Fail” Help

  • MG

    I tried your method and I have tried turning phone off and on again and I still get Failed message when I try to send email or reply to email LG Leon Gmail version 5.10. Anyone know of something else I can try ?

  • lsqus

    Didn’t work for me. Still having problems sending. Any other work around? Updating the app doesn’t help either cause there’s no new update really 🙁

  • RJB Phillips III

    found my problem, applications mail , outgoing server, require sign in was on but I failed to put in the Password below the user name. did not see it. the password part below the requiire sign in User name; after alll the re-installs, changes happened to see the password under the name but only saw after clicking off the require sign in shut down applications went back in turned on t he Require Sign-in and then it wanted both the name and the password. sent out several emails and got text replies per my request. Hope this may help someone like me.
    71 and just got smart phone 8^)

  • Venus Anqui Librando

    It worked! Thanks a lot! Now I can send job applications through my phone. ?

  • Ruth Galura

    Actually I turned off my phone totally and then relaunched it! Voila!! Thanks for all you tips. Now I don’t need to PANIC 😀

  • Jaime Stuardo


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