Turn POP and IMAP on and off for users

If your G Suite users want to use desktop clients, such as Microsoft® Outlook®, Apple® Mail, Mozilla® Thunderbird®, or Outlook® Express®, to access their G Suite mail, you need to enable Post Office Protocol (POP) or Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) access in the Google Admin console. You can enable access for everyone in your organization or only for users in specific organizational units.

Before you begin

If you're a Gmail user looking for instructions about how to sync your account using IMAP or POP with a client, such as Outlook or Thunderbird, see POP or IMAP.

Set POP and IMAP options 

Turn POP and IMAP access on and off

Note: If you have Apple® iOS® device users in your organization and you turn IMAP off, let them know that they’re no longer syncing G Suite mail to the iOS Mail app. They might not get a notification on their device.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenGmailand thenEnd User Access.

    Tip: To see End User Access, scroll to the bottom of the Gmail page.

  3. In the Organizations section, select the organizational unit you want to configure settings for.
  4. Click POP and IMAP access.
  5. Check or uncheck the Disable POP and IMAP access for all users box.

If you check the box, POP and IMAP are fully disabled for all users in your organization.

  • Users can't access POP and IMAP settings in the Gmail interface.
  • Users can't access their mail via POP or IMAP even if they originally had it on.
  • Mobile device users must use the Gmail app to access their work or school email. If they try to sign in to an IMAP email client with their work or school account, the sign-in fails silently.

If you uncheck the box, POP and IMAP using modern security standards is enabled for your users, but IMAP for use with less secure apps remains disabled.

  • POP access is automatically turned on for your users.
  • To use IMAP with less secure apps, users need to enable IMAP in their Gmail settings under Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and then follow the instructions to Let less secure apps use your account.
  1. Click Save changes.

It can take up to one hour for IMAP and POP changes to take effect. As long as the box is unchecked, users can configure POP and IMAP access for a host of clients.

Username and password not working? 

Some apps require you to also turn on access for less secure apps before setting up POP/IMAP connections.

Remove folder size limits in Gmail for IMAP mail clients

To use an IMAP mail client, or to migrate messages with G Suite Migration for Microsoft® Exchange, remove any folder size limits and expose all folders in IMAP to ensure you obtain all messages.

Note: Before you start, make sure IMAP is enabled.

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. At the top right of the Gmail window, click Settings and thenSettings.
  3. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
  4. Under Folder size limits, check the Do not limit the number of messages in an IMAP folder (default) box.
  5. Click Save Changes.
Show folders in Gmail
  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. At the top right of the Gmail window, click Settings and thenSee all settings.
  3. Click Labels.
  4. Next to the label you want to include in an IMAP client or migrate, check the Show in IMAP box.
    If you don't see this option, you need to enable IMAP.
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