Recently I noticed that my Gmail Settings were no longer showing in Internet Explorer on a Windows XP laptop. I figured from the start that it was related to the way Internet Explorer handles CSS and sure enough that was the cause in some shape or form. Below are two images that show what my Gmail settings look like in Internet Explorer followed by what they should look like in every browser (in the correct example FireFox is used).
As you can see above in the Internet Explorer browser the settings options show up but no actual settings show up. I tracked the issue down to me enabling various Gmail Labs additions to Gmail. The two Gmail Labs products that caused the issue for me are “Right-Side Chat” and “Right-Side Labels”. It appears adding these to the right side of the browser window has allowed IE to blow out the CSS and thus not even display the settings. If you are required to use Internet Explorer to configure your Gmail Settings you could either temporarily turn off the two Google Labs settings or you could just use FireFox to configure Gmail when necessary. I personally choose to just use Firefox to configure Gmail settings anyway so I don’t have to constantly turn on and off Right-Side Labels which is really important to my configuration because I have so many different labels.
So this article is more of an informational howto and a work around versus a full resolution of how to fix the issue at hand. I am not sure Google will ever fix the problem since they don’t want IE to succeed. It should also be noted that I tried both Internet Explorer 7 and Internet Explorer 8.
Check out the book below to have a nice book as reference for various Google applications.