Google drops support for old browsers

Plans to support modern browsers

On June 01, 2011, the official Gmail Blog and the Google Docs Blogs featured a post by Google’s VP of Engineering. A copy of the post is available at Our plans to support modern browsers across Google Apps.

Google wants to take advantage of features available in modern browsers. These features include desktop notifications and “drag-and-drop file upload”. Google has set a date for when support for older browsers will end.

On August 01, 2011, Google plans to support only the second-oldest version of major browsers. Features may not work properly in older browsers and eventually not work at all. Google is recommending users to update their browsers as soon as possible.

    Google applications affected:

  • Gmail.
  • Google Calendar.
  • Google Talk.
  • Google Docs.
  • Google Sites.

Determine if your browser will be supported

Google plans to immediately support the most recent browser and drop stop for the “third-oldest version”. Use the major browser guide to examine how you will be affected.

Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Microsoft Internet Explorer Apple Safari
11.0 4.0 9.0 5.0
Second Latest Version
10.0 3.6 8.0 4.0
Third Latest Version (support drop)
9.0 3.5 7.0 3.0

Please note that the guide only displays major browsers. Other browsers such as Opera and light-weight browsers should also be kept updated.


Concerns have been raised about mobile devices with embedded browsers that cannot be updated. Smart-phones have features that enable easy updating to different browsers. Another concern is that Google will implement this support drop across all their services.

Google has clearly stated which services are affected. For example, the Google Search is not affected. New browsers do not always work well on older computers and mobile devices. Modern browsers also run slower and feel bloated on older devices due to higher memory and resource requirements.

The affected Google services are be accessed without a browsers. Individual applications are an option for users who cannot update their device’s browser. For example, Google Gmail can be accessed with an external mail program.


Programmers and designers should applaud Google for taking the initiative for displacing obsolete browsers. Older browsers require special hacks and extra code in order to resemble or do things that are trivial in modern browsers. For example, all the browsers slated for discontinued support do not display SVG file natively, do not support HTML5 and CSS3.


Google is dropping support for older browsers for some Google services on August 01, 2011. One of the most used, Google Search is not affected. Google is recommending that all major browser users to update.

Google will support the latest and second-latest versions of each of the major browsers. If you use other browsers, you should check if you are using a recent version. This step by Google will enable web application developers to eliminate the need to add extra code to support obsolete browsers. Users with no option to upgrade browsers might have issues using affected Google services.


  1. If you use a major browser, you should upgrade.
  2. Other browsers such as Opera and light-weight browsers have upgrade options.
  3. Change browsers if your device allows or replace with individual applications.

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This entry was posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 4:14 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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