How to Use Gmail on a Mac

It's easy to configure the Mail app to access Gmail

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The Mail app in macOS is like most other email clients, letting you add email accounts from your favorite email provider so that you can send and receive email with ease. Of course, this means you can access your Gmail account through Mail, too.

When you use Gmail on your Mac, you can configure whether you access your online account through IMAP or POP.

Instructions in this article apply to Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or later.

How to Use Gmail on a Mac

You can access Gmail on a Mac by adding your account

  1. Go to the Mail menu and choose Add Account... from the options.

    Add Account option under the Mail menu
  2. Select Google in the Choose a Mail account provider... screen.

    Google option in Add Account for Mail
  3. Click Continue.

  4. Select Open Safari in the window that appears.

    Open Safari
  5. Type your Gmail email address and click Next.

    Logging in to Gmail
  6. Type the password to your Gmail account in the space provided, and then click Next.

  7. If you have two-step authentication enabled, enter the code received by SMS or generated in an authentication app, and then click Next.

  8. Google will list the permissions you will grant macOS. Review them, and then click Allow at the bottom of the screen.

    Click the i icon next to each item for more information.

    macOS permissions in Gmail
  9. A list of apps will appear. Along with your mail, you can also sync your contacts, calendars, and notes from Gmail. Click the checkboxes next to each one you want to sync and click Done.

    Options to sync with macOS in Gmail
  10. The address you added will appear in your Mailboxes section in the sidebar.

If Gmail doesn't work on your Mac after trying to set up the account, and you've already enabled IMAP access, you might need to modify the email server settings in Mail. Using IMAP with Gmail requires IMAP server settings. To use Gmail via POP requires that you enable POP through your Gmail account. If you do that, you might also need to enter the Gmail POP server settings in Mail.

Other Ways to Access Gmail

Mail isn't the only program that can access Gmail on a Mac. In fact, you can use free email clients for Mac to download and send email through your Gmail account. However, the setup instructions for those email clients are not the same as the steps above. They are, however, very similar and require the same IMAP and POP server information linked above.

Another way to get to Gmail on your Mac is to access Gmail.com. When you send and receive Gmail messages through a browser via that URL, you don't need to worry about email server settings or downloading anything. It works in Safari and other web browsers you might use.