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How to Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail

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All of Both Worlds

If you use Gmail, you know how elegant it is—almost as elegant as your Mac's OS X Mail. How about combining the two?

Of course, you can have, for example, both the accessibility of Gmail and the speed of OS X Mail; both the photo slide-shows of OS X Mail and the search of Gmail; both the calendar integration of Gmail and the filters of OS X Mail.

Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail Using IMAP

To set up a Gmail account in OS X Mail using IMAP—which provides seamless access to labels:

  • Make sure IMAP access is enabled in Gmail.
  • Select Mail | Preferences… from the menu in OS X Mail.
  • Go to the Accounts tab.
  • Click + (plus sign) under the accounts list.
  • Make sure Google is selected under Choose a mail account to add….
  • Click Continue.
  • Type your full name under Name:.
  • Enter your Gmail address under Email Address:.
  • Now enter your Gmail password under Password:.
  • Click Set Up.
  • Make sure Mail is checked under Select the apps to use with "[Gmail email address]".
  • Optionally:
    • Check Contacts to make your Gmail address book available in Contacts.
    • Check Calendar to add your Google Calendar calendars to Calendar.
    • Check Messages to add Google Talk as an account available in Messages.
    • Check Notes to set up a special label in Gmail to hold and synchronize Notes notes.
  • Click Done.
  • Close the Accounts preferences window.

You can star and label messages using IMAP Gmail in OS X Mail, of course.

Access a Gmail Account in OS X Mail Using POP

  • Make sure POP access is turned on for the Gmail account you want to set up in OS X Mail.
  • Select Mail | Preferences… from the menu in OS X Mail.
  • Go to the Accounts tab.
  • Click the plus sign beneath the accounts list.
  • Make sure Add Other Mail Account… is selected under Choose a mail account to add….
  • Click Continue.
  • Type your name under Full Name:.
  • Enter your Gmail address under Email Address:.
  • Hold down the Alt key.
  • Click Next.
    • The Create button turns into the Next button when Alt is pressed.
  • Make sure POP is selected under Account Type:.
  • Enter "pop.gmail.com" under Mail Server:.
  • Type your full Gmail email address under User Name:.
  • Now enter your Gmail password in the Password: field if it has not yet been entered for you.
  • Click Next.
  • Enter "smtp.gmail.com" under SMTP Server:.
  • Type your full Gmail address again under User Name:.
  • Enter your Gmail password under Password:.
  • Now click Create.
  • Close the Accounts preferences window.

Accessing a Gmail Account in Earlier Versions of Mac OS X Mail

You can also set up Gmail in Mac OS X Mail 3-5—as an IMAP or a POP account.

(Updated November 2013)

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