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Gmail links sometimes relaunch Gmail rather than quickly opening the email

I am using the Gmail Chrome extension for ToDoIst. I use the "TDAdd" button in gmail and it adds a new TodoIst task with the link to my mail in my ToDoIst Gmail popup window. I save that task OK.

The issue is when I click on the link in the ToDoIst Gmail popup window to open my email. Some of the time the link immediately opens the email. But some of the time (maybe half?) it launches Gmail all over again (in the same browser window), so I see the Gmail "loading" bar etc, and then after 10 sec of so of that loading, then I see my email.

Is there a way to make the link always open the quick way and never have to reload Gmail?

I haven't yet been able to figure out a pattern of when it does it the slow way versus the quick way. Closing the browser and re-starting it doesn't seem to cause it as I can still get the quick way to work sometimes. Is it because an email was recently opened and so cached somewhere?

Any ideas? Is this something in the set up on my end, or something that needs to be fixed from your end?

I am running the latest stable version of Chrome with no extensions running.

All responses

Brendon Wadey  staff
Replied on Mar 11, 2014 - 19:09 UTC

Hi Nick,

Can you list each Emails full URL once it's loaded for us here. List the one that loaded quickly, and the one that did not. That should help figure out what could be causing the issue.

Also, any difference in the emails? Attachments, certain characters used etc?


Nick JH  premium
Replied on Mar 11, 2014 - 19:19 UTC
David Trey  staff
Replied on Mar 11, 2014 - 21:33 UTC

Hello Nick,

We can't exactly test these particular links whether they load quickly or not as Gmail of course won't allow anyone but you to access your mails.

Now, in your example, you've posted this link:


Twice - in the slow load and in the quick load section. Please confirm - is this a copy/paste issue or does the exact same link load sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly?

If doesn't sound like an issue on our end, though as Todoist doesn't do anything to these links - if you click on a linked task, it's the same as if you would have clicked on the URL from here or pasted it to the URL bar.

I don't see any pattern to this either, but please confirm if there are links like the one you've posted twice which load once quickly once slowly. Also, are you using any browser plugins, ad- or script-blockers, do you have multiple tabs in Gmail opened when this happens?

Best regards,

Nick JH  premium
Replied on Mar 12, 2014 - 12:33 UTC

Yes I can confirm that the exact same link load sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly, which made me think that it was a caching thing (perhaps within gmail or Chrome?).

I can confirm that with all Chrome extensions turned off (apart from ToDoist Gmail extension), and with no other tabs open, this issue still keeps happening.

Do you ever have this issue when you use the Gmail extension, or has anyone else reported it?

David Trey  staff
Replied on Mar 12, 2014 - 13:32 UTC


We've had such issue in the past and it affected every single mail - instead of opening it within the same tab, it opened every message in a separate tab causing Gmail to load from scratch. It's been fixed a long time ago and didn't recur so far.

We can't reproduce it now and it seems to work fine for us so yours is the first report of this ever since it was a permanent issue.

The fact that one link can open sometimes fast and sometimes slow makes it very inconclusive. In the past, this was a permanent issue for all links, we could reproduce it and we've made the links very simple - they now work just as a standard <a href="google.com">link</a> does.

Could you please try to uninstall our Gmail extension and install our main Chrome extension from https://todoist.com/chrome instead? Let us know if using this extension makes any difference. It shouldn't, but still - it would be helpful to confirm it.

Best regards,

Nick JH  premium
Replied on May 15, 2014 - 13:59 UTC

David and Brendon,

I have been looking more into this issue I was discussing with you a couple months ago, and I think I have figured it out.

I found that when I use Google Tasks (rather than ToDoIst) that the URL they use to directly link to an email NEVER relaunches Gmail, it always quickly just pops open right to the email.

However the ToDoIst Gmail extension sometimes totally relaunches gmail then opens the email, and sometimes quickly just pops open right to the email.

I noticed that the URL links in Google Tasks are formed differently than the URL links in ToDoIst.

I use a lot of labels in GMail, and the TodoIst links include the label information. Also if I did a gmail search, open an email, then add the email to ToDoIst, then the URL contains the search criteria.

However in Gmail Tasks the URL never contains label or search information, it simply references "ca" and "all".

So I believe the problem is the links you are using. You are simply taking the current page link (which makes sense) but it would work much better if you altered the URL to remove label and search information and instead added "ca" (you often have this already) and "all".

I proved this out by copying /altering / pasting various URLs into the Chrome omnibox (so I was not clicking on any hyperlinks). I could see with the ToDoIst formatted URLs, again they sometimes relaunched and sometimes quickly opened. However when I put in the "ca" and "all" they always quickly opened.

Here are some examples. These are original URLs that ToDoIst had in the hyperlink:
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#label/FM/1442d013ac1eb4e8 (I see that this URL is missing the "ca", I am not sure what this is, maybe referring to "cache"?)
https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/?shva=1#label/CS/14492b97e1f825ae (My label is "CS")
https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/?shva=1#label/CS/144b8007d71753fb (My label is "CS")
https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/?shva=1#label/CS/145f6d2ae1db670a (My label is "CS")
https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/?shva=1#label/CS/145dc5b03d3972d4 (My label is "CS")
https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/?shva=1#apps/documented/1440e6d46e1ebcc7 (from a search for "documented")
https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/?shva=1#apps/documented+differences/1459553eada66588 (from a search for "documented differences")
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#label/FM%2FDev/145f0d3f28325565 (My label is "FM" with a sub label of "Dev")

Here are the corrected URLs, all of which contain both "ca" and "all".

Previously you said that you cannot re-create this issue. Can you please try adding some Gmail labels and doing some searches, then adding a number of emails to ToDoIst and see if you can re-create it? You may need to close and reopen your browser after adding the tasks.

If you agree with my finding can you please start storing the URLs with the "ca" and "all" format?


David Trey  staff
Replied on May 15, 2014 - 14:39 UTC


Thank you for this information, I could reproduce this now with an email linked from the label search view.

I'm not sure we can address this, though. Unfortunately, Gmail uses a variety of different link formats depending on many factors, some of which we're not even sure of.

For example, this is how my links look like in Gmail:


I don't see shva=1 in them as you do. Other users see /u/1, others even something else, some are longer, some shorter so we may not be able to reliably alter them unless every single Gmail URL would have the exact same pattern regardless of any other factors. Only then we could add a certain tag/label in a certain place.

Given that it's a choice between a new tab when looking at labels or searching and possibly breaking this feature for users who get different links (I even get different patterns on a different Gmail account for some reason), we may go with the refresh as a solution that at least will make the link work. Nonetheless, I'll pass this to our developers to make sure and in case we do address it, I'll let you know :-)

Best regards,

Nick JH  premium
Replied on May 15, 2014 - 14:58 UTC


Interesting. I wonder what those different users who have differently
formatted URLs see when they use Google Tasks? Google Tasks always seems
to work for me, and I wonder if it does for them. We may see a better
pattern if we see what Google Tasks does.

I wonder if there is a resource out there somewhere that could explain how
a Gmail URL is built up, and what do terms mean like /u/1, shva=1, inbox,
ca, apps.

I am wondering if you could take a part of the existing URL and stitch it
together to make a new URL that would include whatever they need, but I can
totally understand this would be very difficult to test and would likely
end up breaking some people's links which you do not want to do.

Brendon Wadey  staff
Replied on May 15, 2014 - 16:36 UTC


We will of course look into improving this, as issues such as this has been around since we started doing this. Though, Gmail Tasks might not have issues because well, it's Google working with Google.


Brian Rous  premium
Replied on May 22, 2014 - 10:42 UTC

I have noticed in Firefox that there is a difference between gmail links in tasks created with the Todoist addin and those created with the gmail addin. The links created with the Todoist addin open gmail correctly whether opened from the Todoist addin or the gmail addin. Those created from the gmail addin will only open with the gmail addin - if you try and open them with the Todoist addin gmail just reloads and the correct email is not selected.

David Trey  staff
Replied on May 23, 2014 - 13:42 UTC

Hello Brian,

Please tell me, are you adding these emails as tasks after searching for a label in Gmail? If so - this is what's causing it.

Our app can only take the URL of the message as it is when the message is opened and if it's opened from a label view, it will have #label in it. Google Tasks is always converting the URLs and usually adds #all (or #inbox?) to the URL.

Unfortunately, our plugin can't do that as there are different types of URLs Gmail can produce, especially when using multiple accounts. Google's Tasks knows how they're generated.

Best regards,

Rodrigo Garcia
Replied on Jul 15, 2014 - 21:41 UTC

Hey guys I am also having this issue and its making Todoist harder to use than gmail tasks which worked perfectly. Sometimes the task opens quickly as it should in the same gmail tab but sometimes when I click the task it relaunches gmail which is very annoying or worse it open the task in a separate gmail tab. I thought this was related to me having different gmail accounts open at once but not sure this is the case. Hope you can fix this issue otherwise its going to be impossible to make todoist work in the long term since I am already losing a lot of time. Sometimes to fix the issue I recreate the task. this does not always work and sometimes I have to relaunch the gmail tab before I can recreate the task. hope you can help here

Noelle Gonzalez  premium
Replied on Oct 31, 2014 - 19:05 UTC

Similar issue here. Every task that I make from a Gmail email launches a new tab when I click to open the email. It adds several extra steps. Would be great if the already open gmail tab refreshed.