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October 23, 2007

Gmail Supports IMAP

One of the most requested Gmail features was the addition of IMAP support. POP is nice, but IMAP is a much better option. Among the advantages, you're always connected to the server, more clients can connect to the same account, you can obtain the text from a message without the attachments and the state information is synchronized (you can add labels from the client, read or delete a message and Gmail will synchronize).

Gmail added IMAP support, but you'll have to enable it by going to Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Because the new feature is slowly rolled-out, you may not see it, but rest assured it will be available in the next days. Gmail's help provides more information about configuring your client, whether it's Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird, Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Mobile or Symbian device. You should also make sure you use these recommended settings.

"As some of you know, IMAP is the best way to access your email from multiple devices (e.g. phone or desktop). It keeps the same information synced across all devices so that whatever you do in one place shows up everywhere else you might access your email," explains the Gmail blog. That means you can read a message by using Microsoft Outlook and it will appear as read if you go to Gmail's web interface. Gmail's labels become IMAP folders, but if you try to add subfolders in your mail client, they'll become labels that look like this: Folder/Subfolder.

IMAP means you can experience most Gmail features using your favorite mail client. I said "most" because you'll still miss Gmail's conversations, the integration with Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Maps or the chat feature.

Gmail becomes the most important webmail service that offers free IMAP, joining AOL Mail. The new feature, which should be added to Google Apps accounts in the near future, will make Gmail a better option for businesses.



{ via Download Squad }

63 comments:

  1. Not entirely sure how Google are rolling it out, but interestingly I switched from English(UK) to English(US) this morning and that enabled the IMAP option on my gmail account :-)

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  2. Any idea what the mapping will be between deleting a message in an IMAP client and archive/delete in Gmail?

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  3. Here's the mapping between the actions from the IMAP client and Gmail (from this help page):

    * Open a message = Mark a message as read

    * Flag a message = Apply a star to the message

    * Move a message to a folder = Apply a label to the message

    * Move a message to a folder within a folder = Apply a label showing folder hierarchy ('MainFolder/SubFolder')

    * Create a folder = Create a label

    * Move a message to [Gmail]/Spam = Report a message as spam

    * Move a message to [Gmail]/Trash = Move a message to Trash

    * Send a message = Store message in Sent Mail

    * Delete a message = Remove label from the message, or delete the message permanently if the message is already in the Spam or Trash label

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  4. А в моем русском аккаунте пока нет такой возможности. Переключение интерфейсов на English(US)(UK) ничего не жает :(

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  5. FINALLY ! Thank Ionut ! I've been waiting for this for quite sometime now inorder to use PHP's IMAP functions with it.

    Another reason why gmail'll be much ahead of Y! and Live.

    Btw, is this enabled on Google Apps too ?

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  6. aol mail is imap too... and it's free too... i like gmail, but they waited very long to enable imap...

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  7. Finally....!! IMAP is here..I like AOL mail because they had IMAP support and that too for a long long time. But Gmail with IMAP is great too...
    Where is Yahoo in this whole picture (talking about competition). They still have that age old paid service to have POP.

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  8. now Gmail is simply the best Email service ever.. ! ;)

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  9. I may be in the minority here, but I'd really like to use Gmail's web interface as my primary email client and be able to access other non-Gmail IMAP accounts within Gmail.

    Anyone else interested in this type of setup?

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  10. WANT.

    C'mon google, roll it out to my account.

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  11. That's it. To me, the holy grail of Gmail features. I wondered if they were holding off IMAP to do some Google Gears-driven client setup. That would have been OK too, but being able to use OS X Mail for Gmail really brings it all together for me.

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  12. IMap with Gmail doesnt blend. I prefer Web GMail.

    Folders in Mail client like Thunderbird and Tags/Labels in GMail doesnt blend. I hate to access gmail's mails from thunnderbird.

    I will keep my account on webmail.. I am not going to use it

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  13. I'm with russ. Let me access my other IMAP email accounts with the gmail interface.

    But this is still a great move by Google.

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  14. I do no have imap in my gmail settings, it still says Forwarding and POP with no imap option, anyone having the same issue?

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  15. I had IMAP this morning but now it is gone? any ideas? I mean gone as in its not listed in the gmail settings anymore.

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  16. I second russ and exapted. I want to be able to access external IMAP accounts. And using external accounts' SMTP servers would be nice, too...

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  17. Why service still not available?

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  18. Why don't I have IMAP in my account?

    We're working hard to roll out IMAP access to all our users, but it'll take about a week.

    To use IMAP, you must have your interface language set to 'English (US)'. You'll know that IMAP is available in your account when the Forwarding and POP tab in your settings becomes Forwarding and POP/IMAP.

    Until then, thanks for your patience!

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  19. Imap is working for Google Apps now too. Sweet.

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  20. And again, the UK will have to wait months for this update :(

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  21. i think that google is yet again not following the RFC, like they did with POP3.
    But none the less, I love it!

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  22. i have language set to english/us its always been set to english/us
    we ahve 3 accounts in our family. one for me one for my wife and a temp acount we created for our wedding 2 years aggo which we never use at all. only the temp account thats never used has imap. WHAT GIVES. how about giving acces to accounts that get used alot. ive read reviews on other sites of people experiencing the exact same thing. seems that only unused/rarely used accounts are getting the setting. how useless

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  23. Patrick dont worry, i have same problem and today it solved by google team! Just wait!

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  24. Here's another vote to have GMail be the interface pointing at MY IMAP Server. I would love that, and use it a bunch.

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  25. I blogged about the same thing at my blog, Geekie.org. It doesn't answer the questions that have been asked here, but it also critizes Microsoft for its failure to recognize the potential in off-line clients.

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  26. The only problem I found was not showing Korean correct for the received emails on Outlook 2003.

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  27. Its the 30th now and the account I use constantly is still not been upgraded with IMAP but three accounts I rarely use are AAHHH!!

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  28. switching to the us settings worked for me... hurrah!

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  29. I don't have Imap yet either. I think it might have something to do with all the labels and rules i ahve setup in my account to label certain emails and skip the inbox. My other gmail accounts i use for junk mail purposes are active but my main one is not.

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  30. I set up a Google corporate Apps domain thing.
    I created a bunch of users and found that one of them did not have the POP/IMAP setting. Read all the above and had her change her language from English (UK) to English (US).
    Sure enough changing the language to (US) gets the IMAP to work.

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  31. I can also confirm that while my Language is set to English (US) as appose to English (UK) IMAP is enabled.

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  32. Here's another vote for GMail as the IMAP client accessing my corporate mail server.

    thx

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  33. I have a an gmail account with swedish as language setting and no imap support. I switch to english (US) and Tadaaa! Imap support on my account.

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  34. IMAP is only active for English (US). the same for colored labels etc. Seems like all new features are only available for English (US).

    I got a new link to switch from old to new version in my google Apps when i switched the language.

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  35. My IMAP,too, disappeared today (12 Jan 08) after I have been using it for about two weeks. My usage is around 10 emails throughput a day.

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  36. I had Gmail's IMAP working great, but I think I've made a big
    mistake. Just now, I set up Gmail to fetch emails from my yahoo
    account via POP. I had assumed that Gmail would give me an option to
    limit the messages I wanted to fetch, by say, date, or most recent
    messages (I've seen that on other email systems). But Gmail didn't
    give me that option -- it just started pulling messages from yahoo.
    So the 2,000 messages in my yahoo inbox got pulled into Gmail.

    No big deal: I simply deleted them from my Gmail account. The problem
    though, is with my iPhone. I have my iPhone set to sync w/ Gmail via
    IMAP. Everything was working great before I sent those yahoo messages
    to Gmail. Now my iPhone is trying to fetch thousands of messages from
    Gmail (albeit 50 at a time). I can't figure out how to cancel the
    iPhone's Gmail IMAP fetch. I've even deleted the iPhone account that
    was accessing Gmail via IMAP, and then created a new account on my
    iPhone with the same Gmail IMAP settings. Same problem: the iPhone is
    still trying to download those thousands of messages.

    It looks like the yahoo messages are somehow "cached" in the Gmail
    IMAP system, and I can't clear clear the cache. Or something like
    that. Anyone have any ideas? Many thanks in advance.

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  37. Does anyone out there know if Gmail's capacity on the iPhone is 200 messages per FOLDER or just 200 messages on the entire account?

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  38. Another vote for Gmail access to uesr's own IMAP servers. I've submitted this request to Google a few times.

    If Gmail allows access to other IMAP servers, many webmail clients like Horde, Squirrelmail, Atmail, will lose a lot of business.

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  39. Not sure if it's related, but I haven't been able to access my Gmail iGoogle gadget since the switch to IMAP.

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  40. Eh, here's another vote for Gmail to add IMAP support for external accounts. Atmail is good but no comparison with Gmail. Come on Google, doooooit :)

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  41. Isn't IMAP the same mail protocal that 20 yrs ago everyone ran away from because POP was so much better??? Im just pointing that out while people go "Oh wow Imap is so cool cause its new....." Yeah not really. Pretty much the same as it was many years ago.

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  42. Yet another vote for using GMail as an IMAP client to access my work email. That would rock. Any idea what the chances of it happening are?

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  43. One more vote for the IMAP client thing. I have multiple accounts, most of which are gmail and I would like to have one master gmail account controlling all the accounts. I don't what to forward my email and then have to log into the other account to delete and organize them.

    1 vote for having gmail be an IMAP client
    1 vote for having one gmail account fully control another gmail account.

    How about having searching labels in one account. For instance if I have account A with label Y and account B with message X. It would be really nice to be able to label account B message X in my label Y in account A.

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  44. For what it's worth, add another vote for using GMail as an IMAP client.

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  45. it sure google support IMAP.i think google support this imap when it work very well now.....................

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  46. another vote for using GMail as an IMAP client.

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  47. Support of external imap support please... thanks!! My employer is moving to Outlook for email client... I would much rather use gmail as my client.

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  48. One more vote to make Gmail an IMAP Client...I really want it

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  49. Like Russ

    I would like the ability for Gmail to retrieve mail stored on a IMAP server.
    My work email only allows me to use IMAP, now Im forwarding the mail to my google apps account, but it alters the headers and puts in the VS: and the sender is my work email account. It is annoying.

    It seems like more and more mail suppliers prefer IMAP, so it would be great is Gmail could retrieve mail from IMAP servers.

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  50. Yet another vote for the ability to access IMAP servers with my gmail. I used to be able to access work email because they supported POP as well as IMAP. POP has now been taken away and I can't use gmail anymore to organize and schedule my work.

    Gmail organizes my mail the way I think. I have tried to use categories and flags etc in mail clients to mimic it, but everyday I am frustrated by the absence of some capability that is simply basic in gmail.

    It's on Google's head if my inability to organize my work leads to my dismissal and subsequent dwelling in a cardboard box under the nearest viaduct.

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  51. And yet another vote for using Gmail as an IMAP client. We have the absolute worse e-mail systems at work, and if I could access them through Gmail, live would be so much better.

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  52. Just a note for people using Outlook with Exchange who would like to use gmail to handle their email. I have set up "Redirection" in Tools=>Rules and Alerts ... I redirect all email to my gmail. This works better than forwarding everything because it retains the From and Cc as well as original formatting and doesn't add "Fwd" to the subject.

    Of course the pig ignorant Systems department will not open Authenticated SMTP so that I can send email actually from my exchange server. I am forced to use the gmail From aliasing ability, but Exchange flags it as being from an source other than the domain ID'd in the "From:".

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  53. I'm sick of getting spam through my exchange account, spam that any kindergarden junk mail filter ought to ban forever. Seriously the subject says Viagra, how hard is that to filter? So add me to the chorus of users who would want to use Gmail as an Imap client. Actually, if I could then turn around and read the email back in Outlook through Imap, I would have a nice cloud based spam filter, and a searchable, web accessible archive to boot.

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  54. yet another vote for using Gmail to access other IMAP accounts - could do with this!

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  55. Count me in on the request for Gmail access to other IMAP accounts. Some many other email clients can, when will gmail be able to?!

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  56. Pleeeeaase, let us use gmail as an IMAP client! Until then I will have to remember to check other miscellaneous, annoying webmail accounts.

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  57. Another vote for gmail as an IMAP client. Sad, but otherwise I will have to switch (or keep Outlook running).

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  58. I'd like to use gmail as an IMAP client too.
    It would be nice for example to sync an IMAP mail with a google account. Then using multiple sign-in...

    I don't think it is difficult to implement

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  59. I too, would love to be able to add an IMAP account to GMail. I use GMail for pretty much everything except my work e-mail, I would LOVE to have Gmail.com my only "mail client".

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  60. is this thread fizzling out?
    any eta on gmail access of external IMAP account?

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