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How to Access a Gmail Account with any Email Client via POP

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Make sure either "Enable POP for all mail" or "Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on" is selected

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With the sheer size available in my Gmail account and the ubiquity, speed and efficiency of its web interface, I am inclined to move all my emails to Gmail.

But it is good to know that the mail transfer can happen in the other direction as well. If you want to consolidate all your email addresses at once place, you can have all messages arriving at Gmail be forwarded to another email address automatically. The more direct route is available, too.

How POP Access to Gmail Works

You can access your Gmail account directly via POP using any email client. Mail downloaded to your email client via POP can either be archived in Gmail, remain unread or be trashed. If you archive them, you can have both the editing power of your desktop email client and the archiving and search proficiency of Gmail's web interface, for example.

If you send a message through Gmail's SMTP server from the email program of your choice, a copy is automatically placed and archived in Gmail's (online) Sent Mail folder. You do not have to add yourself as a Bcc: recipient.

Consider Gmail IMAP Access

For even more comfort and seamless access not only to newly arriving messages but all archived mail as well as your Gmail labels, consider trying IMAP before you set up POP.

Access a Gmail Account with any Email Client via POP

To enable POP access to your Gmail account with any email client:

  • Click the Settings gear in Gmail.
  • Select Settings from the menu that shows.
  • Open the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
  • Make sure either Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded) or Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on is selected.
    • Choose Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded) if you want to download mail previously received at your Gmail account. Otherwise, select Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on.
  • Select the action you want applied to mail after you have downloaded it to your email client under When messages are accessed with POP.
  • Click Save Changes.
  • Make sure Access for less secure apps is enabled for your Gmail account.

Set Up Your Email Client for Gmail POP Access

Now set up a new account in your email client:

If your email program is not listed above, use these settings:

  • SMTP server: smtp.gmail.com.
  • Port: 465.
  • Require SSL/STARTTLS: Yes.
  • Require SMTP authentication: Yes.
  • User name: your Gmail email address.
  • Password: your Gmail password.
    • If 2-step authentication is enabled, use, again, the application-specific Gmail password.

(Updated July 2014)

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