How to Access Gmail in Outlook 2013 Using IMAP

The IMAP email protocol makes adding Gmail to Outlook simple

Low Angle View Of Cables Hanging In Room
Peter Schaefer / EyeEm/Getty Images 

The most flexible and powerful way to access Gmail in Outlook is also the easiest to set up.

As an IMAP account, Gmail does much more than offer newly added emails for download. You also gain access to old messages and all your Gmail labels, which appear—and can be used—as folders in Outlook. Actions such as archiving or deleting messages and starting a new draft are automatically synchronized with Gmail on the web and reflected in other email programs, say on a phone that also accesses Gmail using IMAP, for example.

Since Outlook is familiar with Gmail and its IMAP settings, you have little more to do than enter your login details and make sure IMAP is turned on in Gmail.

Access Gmail in Outlook Using IMAP

To add Gmail as an IMAP account to Outlook, while automatically synchronizing online labels as folders:

  1. Make sure IMAP access is enabled for the Gmail account you want to set up in Outlook.

  2. Click File in Outlook.

  3. Go to the Info category.

  4. Click Add Account under Account Information.

  5. Enter your full name under Your Name, as you want it to appear in the From line of emails you send from the Gmail account in Outlook.

  6. Type your Gmail email address under E-mail Address.

  7. Type the Gmail account's password under Password.

  8. Enter the Gmail password again under Retype Password. If you have two-factor authentication enabled for the Gmail account, create a new application password and use that under Password and Retype Password.

  9. Click Next.

  10. The default setting is to have access to the past three months of mail. If you want all your messages available in Outlook, make sure Change account settings is checked and click Next. Select All under Mail to keep offline.

  11. Click Finish.

  12. Once Outlook has finished sending a test message, click Close in the Test Account Settings window.

You can also set up Gmail as an IMAP account in Outlook 2002 and Outlook 2003 as well as in Outlook 2007.

POP access to Gmail in Outlook is also available and a solid alternative if you want to deal with or back up mail on your computer without worrying about labels and synchronization.