Even though you might sometimes wish your emails would stop coming in, you probably wouldn't really want that to happen. But if you haven't updated your Chrome browser in a while, Gmail might really stop working for you before the end of the year.
First things first: This only affects you if you use Gmail in the Chrome browser. If any part of that sentence doesn't apply to you--for example, you use Gmail in Firefox--then move along, Nothing to see here.
Ordinarily, your reaction to "which browser version do you have?" might be, "who cares?" but in this case, it's important.
Beginning February 8th, you may have noticed a banner at the top of Gmail's interface containing a reminder to update to Chrome version 55. Google has confirmed that Gmail is no longer supported on Chrome below version 53. That means Windows XP and Windows Vista are especially vulnerable.
"Gmail users that are still on Windows XP and Windows Vista are the most likely to be affected, because v49 was the last released version which supported those operating systems," Gmail explained on its blog. "As previously announced in April 2015 and November 2015, these systems are no longer maintained by Microsoft, and we strongly encourage you to migrate to more secure and supported systems."
Obviously this could potentially be a big problem, either right now or down the road, if you don't do something about it.
Here's how to fix Gmail
The best solution is to download the latest version of the Google Chrome Browser. It's as simple as that.
But if you're still using Windows XP or Vista, you can't upgrade the browser, because Google no longer creates new versions of the browser for those operating systems. That means you have two options:
- Upgrade your operating system. Windows 10 is a vast improvement for a number of reasons, folks.
- Switch to a different browser. Just because Gmail will stop working with Chrome, that doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) use Gmail on Firefox.
It won't stop working tomorrow
If you don't—or can't—update Chrome, Gmail will continue to work normally through the rest of 2017. However, once December rolls around, you'll start being redirected to the basic HTML version of Gmail. Your sensitive information will be more vulnerable to security risks since you won't have access to new features and bug fixes.
But really, to avoid any type of email interruption, your best bet is to download and install the latest version Chrome and to resume life as usual.