When I switched to Gmail in 2004, I believed the hype. Never delete a message again--no need. We have tons of space, and you can search it all really fast like Google.
That time has passed. Gmail has gotten slower and slower for me, and as of the last few weeks it has become unusably slow. Before you ask, yes, I've tried it across lots of browsers and computers.
It can take 20sec to switch labels, and even longer to search for something. But here's the worst part--it takes just as long to send a simple message!?! Why? What does sending have to do with anything?
A few days ago I decided to start taking action. First I emailed support. OK, first, I tried to email support.
Have you ever tried to email Google support? It's almost impossible to find the contact form. Here's the support home page. I dare you to find out where to report this slowness issue.
You get to this page on slowness. After going through the wizard, you click on 'report your issue' at the bottom, and it takes you here. Wait, that's not a contact form, and you can't get to one from that page! Anyway, here is a contact form; I found it going through another problem wizard.
Needless to say, I haven't heard a response :)
Next step: I disabled chat, buzz & tried the older versions of Gmail. No luck. Then I disabled all labs, after which I perceived a very modest improvement, but still unusable.
Next I removed most of my labels. I have four now (down from 32). This seemed to help a bit as well, but still not much.
So this morning I went drastic. I deleted all my contacts and started deleting mail. Ridiculous huh? That totally breaks the original selling point of Gmail, but like I said I'm at wits end here.
Deleting stuff has resulted in the biggest improvement so far, but it's still slow. Perhaps a bit better than unusable now, but still terrible.
You are currently using 4247 MB (56%) of your 7459 MB.
In a last ditch effort, I bought some extra storage from Google thinking maybe I'd get some kind of premium level service. So far, no.
Google's been recently launching lots of cloud products, most recently a storage product to compete with Amazon's S3.
In other words, they obviously have the resources to make Gmail fast. So what's the deal? They must know about the slowness. The only reasonable explanation is that they are consciously under-resourcing it. Again, why?
Update: there are also a lot of good comments on HN.
Update 2: after a bunch of testing with my account, I'm confident at least my slowness involves something around having more than 4GB of mail. I deleted a lot of messages and got down to 3.6GB. It was then relatively fast again. I then sent myself a 25MB file (the limit) repeatedly until I got back up to 4GB. Right after 4GB, it got slow. Go figure.
Update 3: Google reached out to me and "fixed" my account. Here is what they said.