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Read Gmail messages on other email clients using IMAP

You can read your messages from Gmail in other mail clients, like Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail, using IMAP. When you use IMAP, you can read your Gmail messages on multiple devices, and messages are synced in real time.

Set up IMAP

Step 1: Check that IMAP is turned on

  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 "IMAP Access" section, select Enable IMAP.
  6. Click Save Changes.

Step 2: Change your IMAP settings in your email client

Use the table below to update your client with the correct information. For help updating your settings, search your email client's Help Center for instructions on setting up IMAP.

Incoming Mail (IMAP) Server

imap.gmail.com

Requires SSL: Yes

Port: 993

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

Full Name or Display Name Your name
Account Name, User name, or Email address Your full 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 and replace yourdomain.com with your domain name.
"Too many simultaneous connections" error

You can only use 15 IMAP connections per account. If you have many email clients getting messages from Gmail at the same time, you may see the "Too many simultaneous connections" error.

If you use multiple email clients or devices for the same Gmail account, try closing or signing out of some.

Security certificate CN error

Try the options below if you see this error: "The server you are connected to is using a security certificate that could not be verified. The certificate's CN name does not match the passed value."

  • Make sure you've set up your mail client for IMAP and not POP.
  • Check your Incoming Server setting to make sure it says imap.gmail.com and not pop.gmail.com.
My email client is crashing, or emails are taking too long to download

You might be downloading too many emails at one time.

To fix this:

  • Update your IMAP settings so you don't sync certain folders.
  • Remove your Gmail account from your email client, then try adding it again.
  • In your Gmail IMAP settings, set IMAP to only sync folders with 10,000 emails or fewer.

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

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