Get Your Gmail in All Email Clients With Gmail Recent Mode

Make sure your Gmail messages make it to every email client you use

A hand holding envelopes sticks out from inside a mailbox

 Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images

Connecting your Gmail account to multiple email clients via a POP or IMAP server can cause conflicts that result in missing messages. Enabling Gmail recent mode ensures that all of your Gmail messages make it to all of your preferred email clients.

Instructions in this article apply broadly to all email clients capable of connecting to Gmail.

What Is Gmail Recent Mode?

Microsoft Outlook and iPhone Mail download messages from your Gmail account every 15 minutes. Unfortunately, if you have both programs connected to Gmail, the two will compete for new mail. Whichever checks first after a new email has arrived fetches it and hides it from all programs and devices that check the same Gmail account later.

Recent mode offers a solution to this inconvenience. With recent mode enabled in your email program or mobile device, Gmail will send it the last 30 days' mail, even if it has already been downloaded elsewhere.

Get All Your Gmail in All Programs and Devices

To use Gmail's recent mode to fetch all mail even if you have already downloaded it elsewhere:

The screenshot below are of Microsoft Outlook for Office 365, but the steps apply to all email programs capable of connecting to Gmail via POP or IMAP.

  1. Launch your preferred email program or mobile application and open the account settings.

    Launch your preferred email program or mobile application and open the account settings.
  2. Select your Gmail account.

    Select your Gmail account.
  3. Precede your email address with recent: in the Account name field. For example, if your username was example.email@gmail.com, make it recent:example.email@gmail.com.

    Precede your email address with recent: in the Account name field.
  4. Select Done.

    Select Done.
  5. Repeat these steps for all of your email programs on all of your devices to make sure you get all of your Gmail messages.

Gmail Recent Mode Limitations

Recent mode works with Gmail accounts that have had messages downloaded (and thus, removed from the Google servers) through POP; however, the IMAP protocol keeps the messages on the server. If you use several devices, you may find it better to use IMAP instead of POP to avoid the problem of messages routing to different devices.