How to Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail

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You can set up OS X Mail to access Gmail—including all labels (as folders).

All of Both Worlds

If you use Gmail, you know how elegant it is—almost as elegant as your Apple's OS X Mail. How about combining the two?

Of course, you can have, for example, both the accessibility of Gmail and the speed of OS X Mail; both the photo slide-shows of OS X Mail and the search of Gmail; both the calendar integration of Gmail and the filters of OS X Mail.

Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail

To set up a Gmail account in OS X Mail with seamless access to labels (as OS X Mail folders):

  1. Select Mail | Add Account… from the menu in OS X Mail.
  2. Make sure Google is selected under Choose a Mail account provider….
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Type your Gmail email address over Enter your email.
  5. Click NEXT.
  6. Now enter your Gmail password over Password.
  7. Click NEXT.
  8. With Gmail 2-step authentication enabled:
    1. Enter the code received by SMS or generated in an authentication app over Enter the 6 digit code.
    2. Click NEXT.
  9. Make sure Mail is checked under Select the apps to use with this account:.
  10. Optionally:
    1. Check Contacts to make your Gmail address book available in Contacts.
    2. Check Calendar to add your Google Calendar calendars to Calendar.
    3. Check Messages to add Google Talk as an account available in Messages.
    4. Check Notes to set up a special label in Gmail to hold and synchronize Notes notes.
  1. Click Done.

Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail 7 Using IMAP

To set up a Gmail account in OS X Mail using IMAP—which provides seamless access to labels:

  1. Make sure IMAP access is enabled in Gmail.
  2. Select Mail | Preferences… from the menu in OS X Mail.
  3. Go to the Accounts tab.
  4. Click + (plus sign) under the accounts list.
  1. Make sure Google is selected under Choose a mail account to add….
  2. Click Continue.
  3. Type your full name under Name:.
  4. Enter your Gmail address under Email Address:.
  5. Now enter your Gmail password under Password:.
  6. Click Set Up.
  7. Make sure Mail is checked under Select the apps to use with "[Gmail email address]".
  8. Optionally:
    • Check Contacts to make your Gmail address book available in Contacts.
    • Check Calendar to add your Google Calendar calendars to Calendar.
    • Check Messages to add Google Talk as an account available in Messages.
    • Check Notes to set up a special label in Gmail to hold and synchronize Notes notes.
  9. Click Done.
  10. Close the Accounts preferences window.

You can star and label messages using IMAP Gmail in OS X Mail, of course.

Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail Using POP

To set up OS X Mail so it merely downloads new messages arriving at your Gmail address to your inbox:

  1. Make sure POP access is turned on for the Gmail account you want to set up in OS X Mail.
  2. Select Mail | Add Account… from the menu in OS X Mail.
  3. Make sure Other Mail Account… is selected under Choose a Mail account provider….
  4. Click Continue.
  1. Type your name under Name:.
  2. Enter your Gmail address under Email Address:.
  3. Type a purposely wrong password under Password:.
  4. Click Sign in.
  5. Make sure POP is selected under Account Type:.
  6. Enter "pop.gmail.com" under Incoming Mail Server:.
  7. Now enter your correct Gmail password under Password:.
  8. Click Sign in again.

Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail 7 Using POP

  1. Make sure POP access is enabled for the Gmail account.
  2. Select Mail | Preferences… from the menu in OS X Mail.
  3. Go to the Accounts tab.
  4. Click the plus sign beneath the accounts list.
  5. Make sure Add Other Mail Account… is selected under Choose a mail account to add….
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Type your name under Full Name:.
  8. Enter your Gmail address under Email Address:.
  9. Hold down the Alt key.
  10. Click Next.
    • The Create button turns into the Next button when Alt is pressed.
  11. Make sure POP is selected under Account Type:.
  12. Enter "pop.gmail.com" under Mail Server:.
  13. Type your full Gmail email address under User Name:.
  14. Now enter your Gmail password in the Password: field if it has not yet been entered for you.
  15. Click Next.
  16. Enter "smtp.gmail.com" under SMTP Server:.
  17. Type your full Gmail address again under User Name:.
  18. Enter your Gmail password under Password:.
  19. Now click Create.
  20. Close the Accounts preferences window.

Accessing a Gmail Account in Earlier Versions of Mac OS X Mail

You can also set up Gmail in Mac OS X Mail 3-5—as an IMAP or a POP account.

(Updated November 2013)

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