Gmail Sync limits

Locked out of your account? As an administrator, you can check the User list in the Google Admin console to find details on which limits you hit and when access will be restored. Sometimes, you can reset the Gmail suspension.

Google Workspace limits the amount of bandwidth for syncing accounts. Exceeding these limits through sync can temporarily suspend an account. See Bandwidth limits for accounts.   
Reaching the bandwidth limit for sync might happen with any of these clients:
The actions of clients and services using IMAP, such as Mozilla Thunderbird and Apple Mail, don't count toward the sync bandwidth limit. There are separate bandwidth limits for clients and services using IMAP.

Migrations or bulk operations using sync clients

  • Avoid large copy and paste or drag and drop operations in your email client.
  • If you're migrating, use a supported migration option and avoid using drag and drop or copy and paste in Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook to upload messages. Try using the integrated import function in Google Workspace Sync. This option is important if you exceed the upload bandwidth limit using sync.
  • Avoid manually resyncing the client, particularly when using Google Workspace Sync. It can unnecessarily download the entire mailbox again, rather than syncing only the last changes.
  • For Google Workspace, try reducing your local mailbox size.
  • Avoid doing a complete GWSMO sync multiple times within a month.
  • Avoid recreating a user profile multiple times within a month.

Continuous retries

Some email clients might try failed actions repeatedly, until they use the account's full bandwidth allowance. To make sure they aren't retrying any pending actions, try to recreate the profile or sync relationship on all sync clients. If you've exceeded the upload bandwidth limit using sync, try the following steps:
  • Look for messages stuck in the outbox of any of your sync clients. Messages that Gmail rejected due to blocked attachments or attachment size might stay in the outbox and repeatedly fail to upload, tying up bandwidth continuously.
  • Some network issues might prevent clients from uploading messages, prompting them to try repeatedly. Make sure your network connection is stable, for example by switching between mobile data and Wi-Fi.
  • Drafts with attachments can consume large amounts of bandwidth as they get updated when the draft is saved. Avoid unnecessary and redundant drafts. 

Manage your sync clients

Having multiple clients means every message gets downloaded multiple times, increasing bandwidth consumption exponentially. To manage your sync clients:

  • Remove or disable unused sync clients and quit clients when not in use.
  • Changes made on one client or the web interface sync to all clients. So, avoid making large changes if you have multiple sync clients. Or decrease the amount of clients in use.

Check for unwanted sync clients

Sometimes, a user or admin might set up a sync client and stop using it without disabling it. Try either of the following approaches to check sync clients:

  • If applicable, navigate to the Google Accounts authorizations page and revoke any unwanted items under Connected Sites, Apps, and Services and Application-specific passwords.

  • Change the Google Workspace password to make sure any sync clients set up using that password can't access the account anymore. Then, enable desired clients one by one, a few hours apart to pinpoint any offending client.

Use an alternative method

As a workaround while sync is locked out, you can use the web interface or IMAP while you investigate sync issues. You can also do this permanently to minimize sync usage.


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.


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