Before I begin to explain the simple process of setting up your Gmail’s IMAP settings, I want to clarify any confusion you may or may not have with IMAP in general.
Firstly, what does the title of this article mean? In simple terms, I will present the few steps necessary for you to access your G-mail account [inbox, sent, drafts..] in other mail applications/programs.
Why should you do this? Well.. have you ever seen the Mail application on your Macbook? I’ve used Mail since my freshman year of college. I used to be one of those Mac users who despised the Mail application because I never gave it a chance, and I thought it was lame and useless. At the end of my junior year, I was so surprised by the number of college students (and people in general) that continued to overlook mail clients like Mail and Outlook and the immense help it offers its users.
Please know that you are NOT alone! I know various people at colleges and universities across the nation. However, I have only met a handful of people that actually utilize the mail clients on their laptops. And even these few individuals did not know how to configure their G-mail settings or their school’s email account to work with such programs.
Think about what this process will do for you. You will not only have a well organized and personalized way to read your emails, but you will have all your feeds in one place. This means you don’t have to log into your school’s webpage then find the e-mail widget, or sign into G-mail again. By the end of this post, all you’ll need to do to access all your e-mails will be as simple as pressing one button on your desktop.
So first things first, you must have a G-mail address to configure its IMAP settings. If you do not have a G-mail address, that is very strange. I mean Yahoo over G-mail..? If you are trying to be different, you seem a bit ignorant instead. Go get a G-mail account!
Log into your G-mail e-mail account. You will see your inbox. Now, look to the top right of the page. See the settings widget? Click it.
Choose “Settings” and you will be directed to this page:
Click on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” option, see the red box above as reference.
Your screen should look like this:
Make sure that you click the “Enable IMAP” option in the “IMAP Access” section. See the red circle above as reference.
This is all you need to change on your G-mail account, so you can log out or minimize your browser for the time being.
Now, click the Mail application if you have a Macbook or the Outlook program if you are on a PC (I’m assuming you have already downloaded it, but if you use Thunderbird that is fine too).
Once opened, go to “File” on the top LHS of your screen and click it. You will see a list of options, choose “Preferences” (you will see the Preferences open up on your screen). Now, go to the “Accounts” option.
In “Accounts”, click the “+” button on the bottom LHS of the window. This will allow you to ADD an account to your mail program. If you want to add your Yahoo! account, you can do this by simply entering your account info and the program should auto-configure your settings for you. G-mail is not this easy.
You can write anything for the “Description” option. I put G-mail but it doesn’t matter.
Enter your G-mail e-mail address, then your full name.
You should now be at the “Incoming Mail Server” section. Type the following: “imap.gmail.com”
Pause. Incorrect username input is the most common mistake people make. Instead of writing what you believe to be your “username” (whatever that is), make sure to INPUT YOUR EMAIL address (refer to the image above).
After doing so, input your password for your G-mail account.
If there is an Advanced Settings option, click it. Make sure you choose “Yes” for SSL and input the port #: 993 in the IMAP advanced settings. In STMP settings, choose “Yes” for authentication and SSL. Input port #: 465, and that’s it!
Go back to your inbox and make sure you can now receive your G-mail inbox mail, and that you can send e-mails as well. If you can, nice job! I hope you enjoy your new e-mail experience.
If you were unable to properly configure your e-mail, and you can’t find the answer through Google’s help section then please comment below and I would be happy to help you out!
Oh, and if you were trying to configure your SCHOOL’S email address (so instead of configuring firstname.lastname@example.org, you tried user@your_domain.edu/com) you will experience errors. You need to change your GOOG passphrase (and this passphrase only) on your school’s user authentication page. If you can’t find this, try choosing the IT help option, they should give you a link to find something similar to this. Once there, you’ll be prompted to enter your Kerberos password and school username before you can change/create your GOOG passphrase. After you successfully change it, follow the same steps that I listed above (but instead of entering: email@example.com as your e-mail and username in account settings on your mail client, enter your school’s address for each instead).