Google is scrapping a handy Gmail feature – how your emails will be affected

You probably log on to view your emails using Google’s Gmail service more than once a day, but soon you will be limited in how you can view your messages. Google is scrapping the classic ‘Basic HTML’ view of Gmail in favour of its now-default Standard View, meaning everyone will have to read their emails using the modernised layout.

Gmail has defaulted to this Standard View on desktop for a few years now – which also includes extras such as Chat and Spell Checker – but it still offers the Basic HTML view that displays all your emails and all Gmail’s features in a stripped-down version, but Google confirmed it’s killing Basic HTML.

“You can display Gmail on your browser in Basic HTML view until January 2024. After this date, Gmail automatically changes to Standard view,” Google states in this support document, as spotted by The Register.

Gmail’s Basic HTML mode shows all the same information but in a version designed for older computers to still be able to handle. It’s also useful if you have a poor data connection, as it requires less bandwidth to fully load than the newer look.

Google shares the evolution of their Gmail app

If you want to see what your Gmail looks like in Basic HTML view, you can click here to view your Gmail inbox in that mode. If you miss the retro vibe of Windows 98 then you might enjoy it, but you’ve only got four more months to bathe in that nostalgia.

Google is no stranger to ruthlessly binning its popular services. From the Google+ social network, to WhatsApp competitor Allo, the company has a frustrating habit of launching software with great fanfare, only to can it a few years later.

Gmail fans may remember the excellent Inbox email app that only lasted from 2015 to 2019 but was much more intelligent and useful than even 2023’s version of regular Gmail. And just this week Google announced it’s scrapping its Google Podcasts app “later in 2024”, instead putting access to pods in its YouTube Music app.

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Let us not forget that YouTube Music only exists because Google killed off its Spotify competitor Google Play Music in 2020 and morphed it into the YouTube-branded service. We’re a big fan of Google products and are excited for the new Pixel 8 phone, but no one should trust the company to keep even some of its best software available for very long at all.

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