Gmail Offline mode failed me for the second time today as I was testing it. For some reason, it keeps thinking that I’m not online when I am. So I disabled it, but made the mistake of keeping all the offline files associated with it, thinking that I might turn it back on again later. I saved the settings and reloaded Gmail. It still didn’t think I was connected and thought that Google Offline was still enabled. So I emptied my cache and restarted Safari.
When I tried to launch Gmail again, I received a “BAD REQUEST ERROR 400” message in large bold letters. When I loaded Gmail in Firefox it worked fine. So I emptied my cache and deleted my cookies and restarted Safari. Same error. Then I went to Safari—>Google Gears Settings… and removed all the Google Gears information related with my Gmail account. I then flushed the cache and restarted Safari again. Same error. I then tried resetting Safari. Same error.
If you encounter this error, here’s how to fix it:
Step 1: Locate the Google Gears database and permissions files on your computer. I found them via the information provided in this very helpful blog post that talks about how Google Offline isn’t really a secure option. If you are using Safari on OS X, the files are located in this folder:
~/Library/Application Support/Google/Google Gears for Safari
Step 2: Grab localserver.db and permissions.db inside this folder. Move them to the Trash.
Step 3: Restart Safari (or whatever browser in which you were having this problem). When you try to login again it should work fine.
So, evidently, the Google Gears Settings… function doesn’t really work at all for truly removing corrupt Google Gears databases. Fun! And none of Google’s help documents explain any of this. Huzzah!
Hope this helps!
UPDATE: Alternate solution / version of the problem. So in addition to the above problem, this also appears to happen from time to time simply because of the cookies associated with Gmail and it is a known issue that Google is currently ignoring, from the sounds of this:
Error 400 Bad Request on Safari
Users with Mac OSX 10.5.6 may see this error when accessing Gmail on Safari. Please reset Safari or use a different browser to access Gmail while the problem continues.
Google advises resetting Safari, which is overkill. To fix it, simply open up your Preferences: Safari—>Preferences… and then select Security and then choose Show Cookies. Select all the cookies beginning with mail.google.com (SHIFT+CLICK to select multiple) and then choose Remove. Reloading Gmail should work now, however, it’s not a permanent fix, so get used to repeating these steps several times a week until Google fixes this problem.
Another Update: If you want to fully uninstall Google Gears from Safari, simply navigate to your Applications folder, then your Utilities folder and launch the Terminal application. At the command line type in:
Hit return and you will be prompted for your password. Enter your password and it will be removed. Restart Safari and you’re good to go.
Full Google Gears uninstallation instructions for Windows, OS X, Linux, and even Windows Mobile can be found here.