Standard View and Basic HTML View in Gmail

Gmail has two primary display modes, depending on what type of browser1 you use to access it. Standard view is what you’ll see when you sign in to Gmail from a fully supported browser, and gives you access to all Gmail features.

If you don’t have a fully supported browser, we still want you to have access to Gmail; that’s why we’ve developed a basic HTML view of our service that’s compatible with almost any browser. If you sign in to Gmail using a browser that isn’t fully supported, you’ll automatically be directed to the basic HTML view.

The basic HTML view is a little different from what you’re used to because the following features aren’t available:

  • Chat[advt]
  • Spell checker
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Ability to manage filters
  • Adding, editing, importing, or deleting contacts
  • Custom ‘From:’ addresses
  • Rich formatting
  • If you need to access these features, please sign in to Gmail from a fully supported browser, and make sure you have cookies2 and JavaScript enabled.

If you’re directed to the basic HTML view of Gmail, but would like to try using the standard Gmail view, you can try to visit http://mail.google.com/mail?nocheckbrowser. Keep in mind that standard view may not work, even with this link, if your browser isn’t supported. [source]