Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

How actions sync in IMAP

Your IMAP client will show all of your default Gmail views under a special [Gmail] folder hierarchy. Here's a guide to how other actions in your IMAP client will appear in the Gmail web interface.

Action on mobile device/client (e.g. iPhone/Outlook) Result in Gmail on the web
Flag a message Apply a star to the message
Move a message to a folder Apply a label to the message
Move a message to a folder within a folder* Apply a label showing folder hierarchy ('MainFolder/SubFolder')*
Copy a message to multiple folders Apply all corresponding labels to the message
Create a folder Create a label
Move a message to [Gmail]/Spam Report a message as spam
Move a message to [Gmail]/Trash Move a message to Trash
Send a message Store message in Sent Mail
Delete a message in inbox** Remove the message from inbox**
Delete a message from a folder** Remove that label from the message**
Delete a message from [Gmail]/Spam or [Gmail]/Trash Delete the message permanently

*IMAP translates labels with a forward slash (/) into a folder hierarchy like you see in your computer's file system. If you have a label such as 'Family/Friends,' you may want to reconsider your naming schemes because your IMAP client will display it as a folder named 'Family' with a subfolder named 'Friends.'

**When you delete messages in IMAP clients, it removes the message from your Gmail inbox but doesn't permanently delete the message. If you want to permanently delete the message, see Deleting IMAP messages.

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

Was this article helpful?
Watch video tutorials

To get the latest tips, tricks, and how-to's, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.