How to enable Gmail over IMAP in your email program

  1. Use your favorite email client to access Gmail
  2. What is IMAP for Gmail?
  3. How to Activate IMAP in Gmail
  4. Set up Gmail with IMAP
  5. Set up Gmail manually with IMAP
  6. IMAP server (receive mail)
  7. SMTP server (sending mail)
  8. Find a problem
  9. Insecure Email Clients and Gmail

Use your favorite email client to access Gmail

By setting up a Gmail account with IMAP, you can access your email from various email applications, such as those on your iOS device, Android device, or PC. You are no longer tied to your web browser to access your email, but you can now quickly switch email programs to choose the apps that best suit your workflow and style.

What is IMAP for Gmail?

IMAP is an Internet protocol that allows email clients to communicate with your email service such as Gmail. IMAP is a replacement for the old POP3 e-mail protocol and offers many benefits, including the ability to synchronize the status of e-mail messages, access to multiple mailboxes on the same server, and the ability to search content on the server side.

How to Activate IMAP in Gmail

To access your Gmail account in your IMAP-enabled email program or mobile device, you must first enable IMAP in Gmail. Here’s how:

  1. Open Gmail in a browser window. Select Settings (gear icon) at the top right of the email interface.

  2. Choose an option Settings in the drop-down menu.

  3. Select tab Forwarding and POP/IMAP .

  4. In chapter IMAP Access make sure the option is selected To turn on IMAP . If not, select it.

  5. Leave all other settings as default and select Save Changes at the bottom of the screen.

Set up Gmail with IMAP

Now you can set up a new IMAP account in any email client. If your email client is listed below, click it to see how to quickly set up Gmail on your device. Otherwise, follow the general instructions for manually setting up Gmail with IMAP.

  • iOS email

  • macOS Mail

  • Mozilla Thunderbird

  • Outlook email

  • Yahoo Post

  • Pegasus Mail

Set up Gmail manually with IMAP

If your e-mail program is not listed above, start by opening the application of your choice. Go to the screen where you add additional accounts. If your app gives you the option to select Gmail, follow the automatic setup process.

Search Google for your email client name and phrase Gmail IMAP for instructions on proper installation. Example: Mozilla Thunderbird Gmail IMAP

Otherwise, if your email client does not display Gmail as the default option, you may be prompted to enter the server information manually. For Gmail, this information looks like this:

IMAP server (receive mail)

  • IMAP Server :
  • Port : 993
  • Ask SSL . Yes
  • user name : your Gmail email address
  • password . Your Gmail Email Password

SMTP server (sending mail)

  • SMTP server :
  • Port : 465
  • Require SSL/STARTTLS . Yes
  • Require SMTP Authentication . Yes
  • user name : your Gmail email address
  • password . Your Gmail Email Password

If you use Google’s two-factor authentication, you must generate an app password for all IMAP password fields.

If your email program doesn’t support IMAP, or if you’d rather just download new messages to your computer, Gmail also provides POP access for email clients.

Find a problem

If you’re having trouble setting up Gmail with your email client, consider the following potential issues that could hinder your success:

  • The username/password is sealed.

  • Server information is sealed.

  • Your Google account has two-factor authentication enabled and you need to generate an app-specific password.

  • IMAP is not enabled in Gmail settings.

  • Your email client is not secure and does not support the latest Google security standards.

Insecure Email Clients and Gmail

By default, Gmail requires all email clients that connect to its servers to meet certain security standards. If your email client is outdated, Gmail may not allow it to connect without first changing your account settings.

If you use a corporate Gmail account, you cannot change security settings. For more information, please contact your network administrator or IT department.

It is highly recommended that you switch to a secure email client instead of allowing unsecured clients to connect. However, you can grant access to less secure apps with information from Google.

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