How to Enable and Use IMAP for Gmail?

It’s not a secret that you can work with your Gmail emails using a third-party app instead of the web interface. The most popular email clients are Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, The Bat!, Thunderbird, and Mailspring.

The emails will remain on the Gmail server. It allows you to open them on your phone, tablet, as well as on desktop PC or laptop.

Why Use IMAP in Gmail Instead of POP?

If you are familiar with the differences between IMAP and POP email protocols, you probably already know your answer. For the rest, here’s a quick overview of the two protocols.

IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) works with email directly on the server that hosts it. In the case of Gmail IMAP settings, these are Google’s Gmail servers. POP (Post Office Protocol) downloads email to your device and allows you to work with it locally. When the email is on your device, it is no longer on the server.

If you have multiple devices to access your emails, such as an iPhone or Android, you don’t want all your email to be on one device. You want to take it with you wherever you go. This is why IMAP is used more than POP. That is why we are going to show you how to configure Gmail IMAP settings in Outlook and not to worry about POP settings.

The main advantage of IMAP over POP3 is the ability to save the original email messages hosted on the mail server and connect to the same account from multiple locations.

In the case of POP3, if mail is downloaded to a computer or other device and deleted from the mail server, the IMAP downloads a copy of the email. This is much more beneficial because the email account is configured for multiple computers and devices using IMAP, and the original email messages remain on the mail server.

In case your mobile phone or personal computer (the main tool for checking mail and mail client malfunctions) is lost, stolen, or ceased to function, then emails won’t disappear anywhere.

Enable IMAP on Gmail

To enable IMAP in your Gmail account settings follow these steps:

  1. Open a web browser on your PC. Sign in to your Gmail account and click the Settings icon in the upper right corner. This icon reminds a gear.
    enable imap gmail
  2. The quick settings panel will open. Click See all settings.
    turn on imap gmail
  3. On the settings screen, click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  4. Scroll down to the IMAP Access: section and select Enable IMAP.
  5. Scroll down and click the Save Changes button.
    gmail imap enable

Google IMAP and SMTP Settings

Now you can set a needed email client to get access to your Gmail account:

Incoming Mail (IMAP) Server:

Requires SSL (encryption method): Yes

Port: 993

Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server:

Requires SSL (encryption method): Yes

Requires TLS (encryption method): Yes (if available)

Requires Authentication: Yes

Port for SSL (encryption method): 465

Port for TLS/STARTTLS (encryption method): 587

Name: Your Name

User name or email address: Your full Gmail address

Password: Your Gmail password

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