About IMAP and POP clients

In addition to accessing Google Workspace mail from the Gmail web interface, users can send and receive mail from their favorite desktop client. Depending on the client, they can use either the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) or Post Office Protocol (POP).

What's the difference between IMAP and POP?

  • IMAP–Stores mail on the client server, allowing you to access email from any device, such as phone, laptop, and tablet. Emails aren't downloaded until you click on a message, and attachments aren't automatically downloaded, which lets you check messages quickly from any device. If you access email from different devices and want email and attachments stored on the client server, use IMAP.
  • POP–Contacts the client server and downloads all of your new messages to a single device, and then deletes the mail from the server. If you read email on a single device and want email deleted from the server after downloading it to your device, use POP. 

Sync your account using IMAP or POP

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

Clients you can use with Google Workspace

Gmail supports modern IMAP clients that implement the IMAP4rev1 protocol. A few examples of these clients are listed below. (You may also be able to use clients that aren't listed here.)

Windows and Mac mail clients

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Windows Mail
  • Apple Mail
  • Mozilla Thunderbird

Note: Some IMAP clients might implement the IMAP4rev1 protocol only partially or incorrectly, and therefore some features might not work as expected. Third-party IMAP clients are not supported by Google. Problems with a third-party IMAP client must be handled by the third-party vendor.

Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GWSMO)

Microsoft Outlook users can synchronize their mail, contacts, and calendars with Google Workspace using Google Workspace Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GWSMO). For details, see Synchronize Google Workspace with Outlook.

Related topics



Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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