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How can I change the rate at which Gmail checks for new emails?

I've noticed that when I receive a new email on my Gmail account, it sometimes take up to 15 minutes for the notification to show up on my phone (Samsung Galaxy s9, Android 9).

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    AFAIK does not periodically checks for mail. Instead it uses Google push notification for "instant" notifications. On modern Android system the push notifications are no longer instant for battery saving. Therefore the system enters a deep sleep mode and wakes up only every 10-15 minutes. I don't know if you can configure this behavior. May be disabling the battery optimization for Gmail has an effect but I am not sure. – Robert Nov 17 '19 at 12:09
  • @Robert thanks this is great information, I was wondering why notifications were faster on my old phone. Definitely very interested in a fix, as I want to be able to reply to emails promptly. – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 17 '19 at 16:10
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The new mail system does not use the classical POP/IMAP wherein there was a scheduled check on the server for new messages. Now, the notifications are directly pushed to the device by using the Google Play Services infrastructure. Most Android phones use Doze to preserve battery life. That is if the device is not being used for some time, it will enter a battery saving mode wherein it will not actively listen to incoming push notifications, instead it will wait for some time to do a routine check. As soon as you move the phone, it should wake up and do an instant check.

Most phones will have a way to partially allow the apps to continue to work normally under the lockscreen. The settings will depend on your device, but you can try looking into: Settings > Apps & notifications > Special app access > Battery Optimization. In there, disable the battery optimization for Gmail app.

Screenshot:

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  • Thanks, disabling the battery optimization for Gmail solved the issue: I now receive notifications almost instantaneously (a few seconds). – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 3 '19 at 2:45

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