Ronny Lam

about://tech

How Many Labels Can gMail Handle?

Tonight I learned how organized someone can be with mail and gMail in particular. One of my Google Apps clients used to have gMail synchronized with Outlook using the Google Apps Sync client. At that moment we started to see some issues with emails being not visible in Outlook. Sometimes even whole folders were invisible. Thank God they were still visible in the web-client.

During Christmas I migrated this person to a brand new iMac. And then we started to see some real issues. Apple Mail not syncing, hanging, mails in the inbox not visible and whole folders not visible. The problem? More than a 1000 labels that were being synced as IMAP folders. Google suggests not to use more than 200 tot prevent performance issues. In hindsight the Google Apps Sync client performed really well with that amount of folders, although 500 is also the suggested max.

This client needs to use the gMail web-client to perform label actions, until we start to see some performance problems there also. I disabled syncing of the labels as IMAP folders one click at the time, almost giving me RSI. After one full hour of clicking I started to have some respect of how organized someone can be.

I can learn a lot from that with my three labels.