How to configure Gmail for POP3 and IMAP

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When you are using a FREE version of Gmail, you can still add it to an email program like MS Outlook 2003/2007/2010, Mozilla Thunderbird and other email clients and be able to send and receive emails from their using POP3, SMTP and IMAP. Unlike Yahoo Mail, only paid versions called Yahoo Mail Plus can be added to a POP email client.

Configuring Gmail for POP and IMAP clients

If you want to add your Gmail account to your email client, whether it is MS Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, Mozilla Thunderbird or others, you need to first configure your Gmail account to allow POP and IMAP access. By default, your Gmail account DOES NOT allow POP and IMAP access so this means that you cannot immediately add your Gmail account to your email software without doing the steps below:

Step 1: Using your web browser, go to and login to your Gmail account.

Step 2: When signed in, locate the small "gear" icon right below your avatar at the top right corner of the Gmail window. Click on that gear icon. In the drop-down menu that opens, click on Settings.

Gmail gear icon => Settings

Step 3: In the Settings screen, there are several tabs that store related settings for your Gmail account. Locate and click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab.

Gmail - Settings - Forwarding

Step 4: In the page that shows up, locate POP dowload and IMAP access setings. For POP download, you have two options when enabling it. You can download ALL emails including emails that arrived few years ago. Or you can download only emails that arrive after enabling POP. Click to select your option.

Step 5: For IMAP setting, simply click the option to enable IMAP. This allows your email program to access your Gmail account using IMAP. This means that all emails will be synced to your Gmail and email program. Once you delete an email in the email program like Outlook, it will also be deleted when you visit your Gmail in your web browser.

Enable POP and IMAP

Step 6: Scroll down and click on the Save Changes button.

Gmail Save Changes button

Step 7: Now, you can add your Gmail account to your email program available to you like MS Outlook or Thunderbird, a free email client from Mozilla.

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