Email, Messaging, & Video Calls Email How to Enable Gmail via IMAP in Your Email Program Use your favorite email client to access Gmail by Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated on July 03, 2020 Email Gmail Yahoo! Mail Tweet Share Email Set up your Gmail account with IMAP to access your email from a variety of email applications, such as those used on iOS devices, Android devices, and personal computers. You don't have to use a web browser for email access. You can change email programs on the fly and select applications that best fit your workflow and style. What Is IMAP for Gmail? IMAP is an internet protocol that allows email clients to communicate with an email service, such as Gmail. IMAP is a replacement for the older POP3 email protocol. It offers many advantages, including the ability to keep the status of emails in sync, access multiple mailboxes on a single server, and allow for server-side searching of content. Activate IMAP in Gmail To access a Gmail account in your email program or mobile device using the IMAP protocol, activate IMAP in Gmail. Open Gmail in a web browser. Select the gear icon in the upper-right corner. Select Settings. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. In the IMAP access section, select Enable IMAP. Leave the other settings on the default selections. Select Save Changes. How to Set up Gmail With IMAP After IMAP is enabled in Gmail, set up a new IMAP account in your email client of choice. If the email client is listed below, click the link to learn how to set up Gmail on your device. Otherwise, follow the generic instructions for setting up Gmail with IMAP manually. iOS MailmacOS MailMozilla ThunderbirdOutlook MailYahoo MailPegasus Mail Manually Set up Gmail With IMAP If your email program is not listed above, open your application of choice and go to the screen where additional accounts are added. If the application gives you the option to select Gmail, follow the automatic setup process. To find instructions on how to set up an email client correctly, perform a Google search with the name of the email client plus the phrase Gmail IMAP. For example, search for Mozilla Thunderbird Gmail IMAP if you use the Thunderbird email client. If the email client does not present Gmail as a default option, you may be prompted to enter the server information. For Gmail, enter the following information: IMAP Server (Receiving Mail) IMAP Server: imap.gmail.comPort: 993Require SSL: YesUsername: Your Gmail email addressPassword: Your Gmail email password SMTP Server (Sending Mail) SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.comPort: 465Require SSL/STARTTLS: YesRequire SMTP authentication: YesUsername: Your Gmail email addressPassword: Your Gmail email password If you use Google two-factor authentication, generate an app-specific password for any IMAP password fields. If the email program does not support IMAP or if you prefer only to download newly arriving messages to your computer, Gmail offers POP access for email clients. Troubleshooting If you encounter problems when setting up Gmail with a mail client, consider these possible issues: The username or password is mistyped.The server information is mistyped.Two-factor authentification is enabled on your Google account that requires you to generate an app-specific password.IMAP is not enabled in the Gmail settings.The email client is not secure and doesn't support Google's latest security standards. Unsecure Email Clients and Gmail Gmail, by default, requires email clients that connect to its servers to meet specific security standards. If an email client is outdated, Gmail may not allow it to connect without first altering your account settings. If you use a Gmail business account, you cannot alter the security settings. Contact your network administrator or IT department for more information. It is highly recommended that you upgrade to a secure email client rather than allow unsecured clients to connect. However, you can enable access from less secure applications with information from Google.