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Your Google Apps Administrator must have POP/IMAP access enabled in order to use this feature.
If you prefer, you can access your school Apps mail account using email software such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail for OS X, Mozilla Thunderbird, and other email programs. You can access your mail using either the POP or IMAP protocols. If you're trying to decide between using POP and using IMAP with your Apps mail account, we recommend IMAP. Either way, there is no cost for setting up and using POP or IMAP with your Apps mail account.
POP, or Post Office Protocol, lets you download messages from Google Apps mail servers onto your computer so you can access your mail with a program like Microsoft Outlook Express or Netscape Mail, even when you aren't connected to the Internet.
POP access is free for all Apps mail users, and we have no plans to charge for it in the future. If you're thinking about using POP, however, we encourage you to consider IMAP, which offers all the benefits listed above plus two-way communication between your web Gmail and your email client.
IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol, lets you download messages from Gmail's servers onto your computer so you can access your mail with a program like Microsoft Outlook Express or Apple Mail, even when you aren't connected to the Internet.
IMAP creates a constant connection between mail clients (desktop and/or mobile) and Gmail.
What's the difference between IMAP and POP?
Unlike POP, IMAP offers two-way communication between your web Gmail and your email client(s). This means when you log in to Gmail using a web browser, actions you perform on email clients and mobile devices (ex: putting mail in a 'students folder) will instantly and automatically appear in Gmail (ex: it will already have a 'work' label on that email the next time you sign in).
IMAP also provides a better method to access your mail from multiple devices. If you check your email at work, on your mobile phone, and again at home, IMAP ensures that new mail is accessible from any device at any given time.
Finally, IMAP offers a more stable experience overall. Whereas POP is prone to losing messages or downloading the same messages multiple times, IMAP avoids this through two-way syncing capabilities between your mail clients and your web Gmail.
You can ask your IT Administrator what is the preferred protocol for your school.
We strongly encourage you to use IMAP with your email software like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail to access your school Apps mail account.
To enable IMAP in Gmail, follow these steps:
Note: At this time, it's not possible to enable IMAP while using the basic HTML interface. Please use the standard view to see this option.
When you've enabled IMAP and set up your client, sign in to your Apps mail account through the email software and watch your messages arrive. You'll notice that all of your custom Apps mail labels will appear in your client as folders, with your labeled messages inside. While we'd like to make your IMAP experience match the Gmail web interface as much as possible, some Gmail-specific features and terms, such as conversation threading and stars, won't appear in your client.
Don't worry; you can still perform all the usual Gmail functions, just in a slightly different way. The IMAP behavior chart shows you how to perform common functions on your IMAP client.
Please note that every client handles IMAP in a slightly different way. If you're curious about the specific use of your client, contact the client's support team.
If your email software does not accept IMAP or you would like to use POP, you can still retrieve your school Apps mail messages.
To enable POP in Gmail, follow these steps:
You can set up the following mail clients or mobile devices to sync with your Apps mail account. To learn how, click the name of your mail client or mobile device below.
If your client or device isn't listed here, we're not yet able to provide assistance with its configuration, but we suggest trying out the instructions for other mail clients.
* While configuration instructions are available, we're currently unable to provide support for these clients.
Once you've enabled POP in Gmail, you can configure your mail client or wireless device to download Apps mail messages. To see our recommended settings or troubleshoot POP issues, click the name of your mail client or wireless device below.
If your mail client isn't listed here, we're unfortunately not yet able to provide assistance with its configuration.
Please explore the following topics for more information about troubleshooting IMAP email delivery for Apps mail:
Switch from Microsoft Outlook
If you are switching to Apps mail from Microsoft Outlook, review Chapter 1 for identifying the key differences between Outlook and Apps mail.
Import old email
With a Google Apps mail account, you have a few options to keep or migrate your old email to your new Apps mail account.
Please note: The following migration tools are available to domain administrators to do for accounts for the school Apps domain. An individual user will not be able to use these tools.
Individual users/Client side:
Any Google Apps user can use the following tools to import/view old email with a new Apps account.