Why does the stock Galaxy / Android app only keep the latest 25 emails?

Its pretty annoying and lame for me who receive well over 50 emails per day in my work email. That means I cant even see a whole day's email without "loading more" and I don't always have Internet connection where I am.

Is there any way to work around this issue?

Edit: I am on ICS

  • Which version of Android? ICS, Jelly Bean, something else?
    – jrg
    Sep 4, 2012 at 23:39

3 Answers 3


The stock email application and many other I've tested present a list of 25 emails per page.

The user can however load older emails on demand. This is done due to two main reasons:

  • to prevent large transfers of data that end up using the device communication thus leading to a faster battery drain;
  • to preserve memory consumption that in turn would leave your device slow and inefficient.

I haven't found any option on all the applications I've tested that allows the user to define how much emails should be presented each time.

I did find that the Gmail app auto-loads a new emails list when we reach the scroll limit, thus kinda facilitating the users trouble, but even with this scenario, the user needs to scroll all the way down to get the new list, and yet again, the Gmail app like the others, doesn't have a setting to define the number of emails to be loaded each time.

Essentially, this is a status-by-design conception used by Android and app developers. You may come across with an app that allows you to go around this issue, unlikely it may be, but for the stock app, the reason as to why it loads only 25 emails at a time are the ones explained that sum up as performance issues.

  • Thanks for your reply. I Compared to the ipad and it can hold a lot of emails in its memory. I guess im dissapointed android doesnt do this. I just checked the Gmail app and i feel like it holds a lot more than 25 emails in its memory. Either that or it loads more as I scroll and does it so quickly that i dont feel the transition.
    – rabbid
    Sep 5, 2012 at 1:39
  • Eventually this may change, but by the time this methodology was conceived, Android devices didn't had a large battery capacity, so system performance and battery duration was a huge problem. Nowadays, we already see highly capable Android devices with amazing improvements on performance and battery duration... Stay tuned ;)
    – Zuul
    Sep 5, 2012 at 1:46
  • My Gmail app (version 2.3.6) loads about 32 emails each time, but still a long walk when we talk about customization to 50 or more. Another aspect is that this is the Gmail app, that's intended for Gmail accounts. Either you work at Google or you're forwarding your emails to a Gmail account! Otherwise this app can't be used to solve your issue ;)
    – Zuul
    Sep 5, 2012 at 1:53
  • Haha ok friend thanks for your help. I guess i just have to wait and hope. This is enough to make me envy iOS though.. Is there somewhere i can log this to Google as a wish list?
    – rabbid
    Sep 5, 2012 at 2:39
  • In K-9 Mail you can change this via options -> account information -> retrieving messages -> number of messages to display (default: 25 here as well; menu items translated back to English, as I use a localized version). Beside that: Well said and to the point. It's internal storage and battery which are affected here. But the latter only for downloading: Once the mail headers are on the device, it wouldn't hurt the battery to keep them (for this there's a separate limit on how many days back to check/download).
    – Izzy
    Sep 5, 2012 at 6:05

There is no option to save more messages locally, and there's no good excuse for why you can't. The user can only load older emails on demand. This is done for one reason:

  • to make you more dependent on online connectivity, so that more people will need to subscribe to mobile data. This supports Google's goal of having everyone connected to the "cloud" and using their services.

It is not done to save battery; in fact less battery would be consumed if the messages were only transfered once over the radio and stored on the huge SD card that all Android phones have. Also, the faster access would reduce the screen-on time since you would see your older messages right away. It's also not done to save CPU or memory, since storage to the SD card would be easier on both.

  • 2
    Do you have any source information to back up your conspiracy theory?
    – ale
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:27
  • LOL! in fact less battery would be consumed if the messages were only transfered once over the radio That is an epic FUD, radio consumes battery.... :) And it sounds like someone wearing tin-foil hat... just saying...
    – t0mm13b
    Apr 15, 2013 at 15:55
  • @t0mm13b - the mails are already downloaded - it wouldn't cause an increase in battery consumption if they are left lying on disk and loaded on demand.
    – user93353
    Jun 29, 2013 at 3:49

If radio waves use battery and not saving the mails on the device causes the devices to download them again and again, at what time does downloading them 15 times use less battery than downloading them once ? Now, think of the poor souls who have no good dataplan, fun, don't you think ?


So, while I do not like conspiracy theories, this is just plain silly, sorry, there is absolutely no valid excuse I can think of to keep it this way. I can save 1000's of emails on other non-Android ARM devices and get pretty good performance (BB10, iPhone) .

The other thing is, when I delete a mail on blackberry/iPhone, it deletes it on the server (well, it is a setting) wheras on Android, it deletes it on the device only - I guess this has to do with this limitation as well - guess what, this is bad, too.

And, finally, this k-9 alternative is not doing it for me. I cannot get it to connect to the IMAP server, it validates the password, but says 'cannot connect' (in French). Now, I've set up IMAP mail servers on UNIX so I know what I am talking about, it appears to have some problem with the encryption, from what I could see - the same settings work in the stock Android app.

Anyway, if you like to use email on a mobile device, bb10 is what you need, imho - android's not even in the same league.

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