Getting started with IMAP for Gmail:
What is IMAP?
IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol,
lets you download messages from Gmail's servers onto your computer so
you can access your mail with a program like Microsoft Outlook Express
or Apple Mail, even when you aren't connected to the Internet.
IMAP creates a constant connection between mail clients (desktop and/or mobile) and Gmail.
What's the difference between IMAP and POP?
POP, IMAP offers two-way communication between your web Gmail and your
email client(s). This means when you log in to Gmail using a web
browser, actions you perform on email clients and mobile devices (ex:
putting mail in a 'work' folder) will instantly and automatically appear
in Gmail (ex: it will already have a 'work' label on that email the
next time you sign in).
IMAP also provides a better method to
access your mail from multiple devices. If you check your email at work,
on your mobile phone, and again at home, IMAP ensures that new mail is
accessible from any device at any given time.
Finally, IMAP offers a more stable
experience overall. Whereas POP is prone to losing messages or
downloading the same messages multiple times, IMAP avoids this through
two-way syncing capabilities between your mail clients and your web
If you're trying to decide between using POP and using IMAP with Gmail, we recommend IMAP.
Enabling IMAPYou can retrieve your Gmail messages with a client or device that supports IMAP, like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail.
To enable IMAP in Gmail:
- Sign in to Gmail.
- Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
- Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
- Select Enable IMAP.
- Configure your IMAP client and click Save Changes.
Note: At this time, it's not possible to enable IMAP while using the basic HTML interface. Please use the standard view to see this option.
Supported IMAP client list
Once you've enabled IMAP in Gmail, just configure your mail client or
wireless device to download Gmail messages. To learn about configuration
settings, click the name of your mail client or mobile device below.
If your client or device isn't listed
here, we're not yet able to provide assistance with its configuration,
but we suggest trying out the instructions for other mail clients.
* While configuration instructions are available, we're currently unable to provide support for these clients