Gmail IMAP Google has just started rolling out one of the most requested Gmail features: IMAP support! Much like POP3 access this will let you retrieve your email in third-party email clients such as Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook, but it has distinct advantages over POP3. We’ll get to those in a second, but first we want to tell you what to do if you don’t see the new IMAP option in your email account settings.

I didn’t see it in any of my Gmail accounts either after I read about this over at Download Squad. I decided to try and “refresh” my account by logging out and then logging back in. Wowsers! It worked. As you can see in the screenshot above I had the new IMAP settings located right underneath the POP configuration section. So if you don’t see the settings try logging into Gmail again, and it might not hurt to try it in a different browser that has the cookies and cache cleared.

So why is IMAP better? As you can see in the screenshot above the IMAP section doesn’t ask you what to do when messages are accessed from your email client. That’s because IMAP, unlike POP3, supports two-way communication between the email client and Gmail. Here’s why that’s cool:

  • If you read/delete a message in, lets say Outlook, the same action will be taken on the message in your Gmail account.
  • If you put an email in a folder, for example “Personal”, in Outlook it will also be labeled as “Personal” on Gmail.

The Gmail support page has setup instructions for Outlook Express, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, Apple Mail, Windows Mail, Thunderbird 2.0, iPhone, and more. If you can’t tell I’m pretty excited about this!

There Are 19 Comments

  1. I hope the others start doing this to catch-up to Google. Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. Great stuff.

  2. This is great news! That also means a far easier way to import mail into Gmail.

  3. hey, i have it in my account :D

  4. I don’t have it in my account yet, hope it rolls out to me soon…this will be great!

  5. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!

  6. I was hoping that Gmail would support IMAP. Changing my account now. I just checked and mine does not have the option :( I tried logging out and back in also.

  7. Ryan, you just made my day man!!!

    :) 8) :) 8) :) 8) :) 8) :)

    The best just got better! Unreal!!!

    Thank you GMail!!!!!!!

    :D :D :D

  8. Another feature another 5 years in beta. :!:

  9. Michael Dobrofsky wrote:
    I hope the others start doing this to catch-up to Google. Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. Great stuff.

    I don’t think they will though because many others have these type of features in their paid plans. I think enough people pay the subscription fees that it wouldn’t be worth Yahoo or Hotmail offering them for free.

    irian wrote:
    This is great news! That also means a far easier way to import mail into Gmail.

    And a better way to “backup” your email! ;)

    CoryC wrote:
    Another feature another 5 years in beta. :!:

    :) I don’t think many people even care that it is in Beta anymore. Heck, most of my friends didn’t even realize that it was a Beta service.

  10. Sounds great! I’m sticking with POP3 though. That will keep me from accidentally deleting e-mail. :D

  11. Google continues to make paid services from other companies and give them away for free. Gotta love Google!

  12. You just wait until they rule the internet. :twisted:

  13. Ryan wrote:
    CoryC wrote:
    Another feature another 5 years in beta. :!:

    :) I don’t think many people even care that it is in Beta anymore. Heck, most of my friends didn’t even realize that it was a Beta service.

    I agree. It’s as reliable as any of the other non-beta email services.

  14. Pieter wrote:
    Sounds great! I’m sticking with POP3 though. That will keep me from accidentally deleting e-mail. :D

    I guess that’s one thing I never thought about. :roll:

    Pieter wrote:
    You just wait until they rule the internet. :twisted:

    They don’t already?

  15. CoryC wrote:
    Another feature another 5 years in beta. :!:

    I think you’re right! It’s amazing that they’re keeping Gmail in beta for so long… enough already!

  16. Still no IMAP for me..

  17. dtanderson wrote:
    Still no IMAP for me..

    That’s crazy. We’ve got it in all of our accounts already. ;)

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