How to Set up Push Gmail in iPhone Mail

Have your Gmail messages sent to your iPhone automatically

The Mail app on your iPhone or other iOS devices can be set up to receive pushed Gmail automatically. The messages sent to your Gmail address appear on your iPhone in the Mail app wherever you are. When you open the Mail program, all your Gmail messages are already there in a separate Inbox. There's no need to wait for downloads to finish.

Information in this article applies to iOS 13 through iOS 11, except as indicated.

How you set up the Mail app to receive and manage Gmail differs slightly depending on the type of Gmail account you have — free Gmail or paid Exchange account.

Person setting up push for Gmail on iPhone
Lifewire / Ran Zheng

How to Set up Push Gmail Exchange Account in iPhone Mail

Paid Exchange accounts are primarily business accounts. To add Gmail as a push Exchange account to iPhone Mail:

  1. Tap Settings on your iPhone Home screen.

  2. Select Passwords & Accounts.

  3. Tap Add Account on the Accounts & Passwords screen.

  4. Select Exchange from the options presented to you.

    Passwords & Accounts, Add Account, Exchange buttons in iOS Settings
  5. Enter your Gmail address in the Email field. Optionally, add a description in the field provided. Tap Next.

  6. In the next window, select either Sign In or Configure Manually. If you select Sign In, your email address is used to supply your Exchange account information. If you select Configure Manually, you are prompted to enter your password and other information manually. Tap Next.

  7. Enter the information requested on the screen to set up your Exchange account. Tap Next.

    Next, Sign In, Next buttons in iOS Exchange settings
  8. Indicate which Exchange folders you want to have pushed to iPhone Mail and how many previous days' messages you want to sync.

  9. Return to the Accounts & Passwords screen and tap Push next to Fetch New Data.

  10. Confirm that the Exchange account says Push or Fetch next to it.

  11. At the bottom of the same screen, click Automatically in the Fetch section to receive the email sent to your Exchange account as quickly as possible. If you prefer to receive emails at a longer time interval, you can instead select Every 15 Minutes, Every 30 Minutes, or one of the other options.

Set up Free Gmail Push in iPhone Mail App

You can also add a free Gmail account to iPhone Mail where it is assigned its own Inbox:

  1. Tap Settings on your iPhone Home screen.

  2. Select Passwords & Accounts.

  3. Tap Add Account on the Passwords & Accounts screen.

  4. Select Google from the options presented to you.

    Screenshots of an iPhone showing how to add a Google account
  5. Enter your Gmail address (or phone number) in the field provided. Tap Next.

  6. Enter your Gmail password in the field provided. Tap Next.

  7. Indicate which Gmail folders you want to have pushed to iPhone Mail.

  8. Return to the Accounts & Passwords screen and tap Push next to Fetch New Data.

    Next, Next, and Push buttons in iOS settings
  9. Confirm that the Gmail account says Push or Fetch next to it.

  10. At the bottom of the same screen, click Automatically in the Fetch section to receive the email sent to your email account as quickly as possible.

iOS versions earlier than iOS 11 did not have the Automatically option. You had to select from the other options, the shortest of which was Every 15 Minutes.

Gmail Alternatives

Anyone who runs iOS 8.0 or later on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch can choose to use the free Gmail app instead of configuring the Mail app. The app is easy to set up and offers a wide range of features that aren't available in the Mail app. The official Gmail app supplies real-time notifications and offers multiple account support. The features include:

  • Undo Send capability
  • Ability to switch between multiple accounts
  • Swift notification of new email by notification or badge 
  • Response capability to Google Calendar invitations from the app
  • Fast email search with predictions as you type and spelling suggestions