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Read Gmail messages on other email clients using POP

You can open your messages from Gmail in other mail clients that support POP, like Microsoft Outlook.

Step 1: Make sure POP is the best way to read your emails

IMAP and POP are both ways to read your Gmail messages in other email clients.

IMAP can be used across multiple devices. Emails are synced in real time.

POP can only be used for a single computer. Emails aren't synced in real time. Instead, they're downloaded and you decide how often you want to download new emails.

Step 2: Set up POP

First, set up POP in Gmail

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. In the top right, click Settings Settings.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  5. In the "POP Download" section, select Enable POP for all mail or Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

Next, make changes on your email client

Go to your client, like Microsoft Outlook, and check these settings.

Incoming Mail (POP) Server

pop.gmail.com

Requires SSL: Yes

Port: 995

Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server

smtp.gmail.com

Requires SSL: Yes

Requires TLS: Yes (if available)

Requires Authentication: Yes

Port for SSL: 465

Port for TLS/STARTTLS: 587

If you use Gmail with your work or school account, enter mail.domain.com, then select Port 110.

Server timeouts Greater than 1 minute (5 is recommended)
Full Name or Display Name Your name
Account Name, User Name, or Email address Your email address
Password Your Gmail password

Troubleshoot problems

I can't sign in to my email client

If you can't sign in to your email client, you might see one of these errors:

  • "Username and password not accepted"
  • "Invalid credentials"
  • You're asked to enter your username and password over and over

Step 1: Check your password

If you have these problems or can’t sign in, first check to make sure you’re using the right password.

Step 2: Try these troubleshooting steps

  • Update your email client to the latest version.
  • Use an App password: If you use 2-Step Verification, try signing in with an App password.
  • Allow less secure apps: If you don't use 2-Step Verification, you might need to allow less secure apps to access your account.
  • If the tips above didn't help, visit https://www.google.com/accounts/DisplayUnlockCaptcha and follow the steps on the page. If you use Gmail through your work, school, or other organization, visit https://www.google.com/a/yourdomain.com/UnlockCaptcha In the web address, replace yourdomain.com with your domain name.
I want to download emails on multiple email clients

It's easiest to use Gmail on multiple email clients using IMAP. If you need to use POP instead of IMAP, set up "Recent mode." Recent mode shows your last 30 days of emails from Gmail.

Step 1: Turn on Recent mode

  1. In your email client's POP settings page, find the "Email address" or "User name" field.
  2. Add recent: in front of your email address. For example, recent:example@gmail.com.

Step 2: Change your POP settings 

Change your POP settings so that your emails are left on the server.

  • Outlook: On the "Advanced" tab, click Leave a copy of messages on the server.

  • Apple Mail: On the "Advanced" tab, uncheck the box next to "Remove copy from server after retrieving a message."
  • Thunderbird: On the "Server Settings" tab, check the box next to "Leave messages on server."
"Account exceeded POP command or bandwidth limits" error

If you see the "Account exceeded POP command or bandwidth limits error," it's usually because your POP clients have been accessing your Gmail account too frequently.

To fix this, change your client's settings so it won't check for new messages too frequently.

I can't send emails

If emails you sent in your mail client are stuck in your outbox, try these fixes:

  • If you're sending email through Apple Mail and you currently have 'smtp.gmail.com:username@gmail.com' in the 'Outgoing Mail Server:' field of your settings, try changing the field to 'smtp.gmail.com' instead.
  • Make sure your SMTP settings don't have recent: on your email address.
My automatic replies aren't working

If you create automatic responses on your mail client, like an out of the office response, it might cause issues, including:

  • If you're using your mail client on a computer and the computer goes offline, your automatic response won't be sent.
  • When you receive emails that are sent to you indirectly, like through a mailing list, the automatic response might show your email address when it replies to the sender.

To avoid these problems, try using Gmail’s out of office or vacation reply instead of the one in your mail client.

My emails are deleted from Gmail

If the emails you read in your other email client are getting deleted from Gmail, check your POP settings.

  1. Visit the Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings page.
  2. In the "POP Download" section, make sure "archive Gmail's copy" or "Delete Gmail's copy" aren't selected.
  3. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.
Emails aren't downloading correctly

After you set up POP in your Gmail settings, your emails become available in batches. It might take a while to see all your emails.

Note: Gmail downloads a copy of every email you send or receive, except for emails in Chats, Spam, and Trash. To avoid duplicates, Gmail doesn't download emails sent within your mail client, but you can still see them if you log in to Gmail.

If you continue to have problems downloading emails, try using recent mode:

  1. In your email client's POP settings page, find the "Email address" or "User name" field.
  2. Add recent: in front of your email address. For example, recent:example@gmail.com.

If that doesn't fix the problem, try deleting your Gmail address from your email client, then re-adding it.

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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