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How to Access Gmail with Windows Mail

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The browser interface to your Gmail account is nice, neat, clean, fast, flexible, fabulous and fine. No doubts.

But then Windows Mail is all of these things and the place where all your other mail arrives. Wouldn't it be nice if you could receive messages from your Gmail account in your Windows Mail Inbox?

Well, see for yourself. Setting up a Gmail account in Windows Mail is easy. You can choose between IMAP, which makes all your online mail available in folders, and POP, which downloads only new messages and keeps them at your computer.

Access Gmail with Windows Mail Using IMAP

To add a Gmail account to your Windows Mail using IMAP:

  • Make sure IMAP access is enabled in Gmail.
  • Select Tools | Accounts... from the menu in Windows Mail.
  • Click Add....
  • Make sure E-mail Account is highlighted.
  • Click Next.
  • Enter your name under Display Name:.
  • Click Next.
  • Type your Gmail address under E-mail address:.
  • Click Next.
  • Make sure IMAP is selected under Incoming e-mail server type:.
  • Type "imap.gmail.com" under Incoming mail (POP3 or IMAP) server:.
  • Enter "smtp.gmail.com" under Outgoing e-mail server (SMTP) name:.
  • Make sure Outgoing server requires authentication is checked.
  • Click Next.
  • Make sure Windows Mail has properly entered your Gmail account name under E-mail username:.
  • Enter your Gmail password under Password:.
  • Click Next.
  • Make sure Do not download my e-mail and folders at this time is checked.
  • Click Finish.
  • Highlight imap.gmail.com in the Internet Accounts window.
  • Click Properties.
  • Go to the Advanced tab.
  • Make sure This server requires a secure connection (SSL) is checked under both Outgoing mail (SMTP): and Incoming mail (IMAP):.
  • Type "465" under Outgoing server (SMTP):.
    • If the number under Incoming server (IMAP): has not been changed to "993" automatically, enter "993" there.
  • Go to the IMAP tab.
    • See below — under "Access Gmail with Windows Mail Using IMAP in a Simpler Fashion" — for an alternative to the cumbersome process that follows.
  • Enter "[Gmail]#Sent Mail" (not including the quotation marks) under Sent Items path:.
  • Type "[Gmail]#Drafts" under Drafts path:.
  • Type "[Gmail]#Trash" under Deleted Items path:.
  • Enter "[Gmail]#Spam" under Junk path:.
  • Click OK.
  • Click Close.
  • Click Yes to download a list of Gmail folders.
  • Click OK.
  • Shut down Windows Mail.
  • Open Gmail in your browser.
  • Select Settings in the top right navigation bar.
  • Go to Labels.
  • Click Remove followed by OK for the "[Gmail]#Sent Items", "[Gmail]#Drafts", "[Gmail]#Trash" and "[Gmail]#Spam" labels.
  • Open your Windows Mail folder in Windows.
  • Go to the imap.gmail.com sub-folder.
  • Open Notepad.
  • Drag and drop the account{***}.oeaccount (where "***" represents a long random string) file from the imap.gmail.com onto Notepad to open it.
  • Look for the '#' in "[Gmail]#Sent Items", "[Gmail]#Drafts", "[Gmail]#Trash" and "[Gmail]#Spam" and replace it with '/' (always excluding the quotation marks).
    • After editing, "[Gmail]#Sent Items" should read "[Gmail]/Sent Items", for example.
  • Close Notepad saving the file.
  • Start Windows Mail.
  • Select Tools | IMAP Folders... from the menu.
  • Choose the imap.gmail.com account under Account(s):.
  • Click Reset List.
  • Now click OK.
  • Click the imap.gmail.com account's root in the folder list.
  • Choose the desired synchronization settings for your folders.
    • Do not enable synchronization for [Gmail]/All Mail unless you want Windows Mail to download all messages in your Gmail account.
    • You can safely turn off synchronization for the Spam and Trash folders.
  • Select Tools | Options... from the menu.
  • Go to the Advanced tab.
  • Make sure Use the 'Deleted Items' folder with IMAP accounts is checked under IMAP.
  • Click OK.

By moving messages, you can apply Gmail labels or mark them as spam effortlessly.

Access Gmail with Windows Mail Using IMAP in a Simpler Fashion

Note that you lose access to normal Gmail labels if you set up Gmail in Windows Mail using the following method.

You can create folders in Windows Mail, though, which will appear as labels in Gmail. Labels with "[Gmail]/" as a prefix will appear in Windows Mail, too.

To make a "to-do" label visible in Windows Mail, for example, rename it to "[Gmail]/to-do" in Gmail.

  • Follow the steps above until you are on the IMAP tab.
  • Enter "[Gmail]" under Root folder path:.
  • Make sure Store special folders on IMAP server is checked.
  • Type "Sent Mail" under Sent Items path:.
  • Make sure "Drafts" is entered under Drafts path:.
  • Enter "Trash" under Deleted Items path:.
  • Input "Spam" under Junk path:.
  • Click OK.
  • Click Close.
  • Close Windows Mail.
  • Continue above, when starting Windows Mail again after Notepad editing.

Access Gmail with Windows Mail Using POP

To set up your Gmail account in Windows Mail:

  • Make sure POP access is turned on for your Gmail account.
  • Select Tools | Accounts... from the menu in Windows Mail.
  • Click Add....
  • Make sure E-mail Account is highlighted.
  • Click Next.
  • Enter your name under Display Name:.
  • Click Next.
  • Type your Gmail address under E-mail address:.
  • Click Next.
  • Make sure POP3 is selected under Incoming e-mail server type:.
  • Type "pop.gmail.com" under Incoming mail (POP3 or IMAP) server:.
  • Enter "smtp.gmail.com" under Outgoing e-mail server (SMTP) name:.
  • Make sure Outgoing server requires authentication is checked.
  • Click Next.
  • Type your full Gmail address under E-mail username:.
  • Enter your Gmail password under Password:.
  • Click Next.
  • Make sure Do not download my e-mail at this time is checked.
  • Click Finish.
  • Highlight the pop.gmail.com account.
  • Click Properties.
  • Go to the Advanced tab.
  • Make sure This server requires a secure connection (SSL) is checked under both Outgoing mail (SMTP): and Incoming mail (POP3):.
  • Type "465" under Outgoing server (SMTP):.
    • If the number under Incoming server (POP3): has not been changed to "995" automatically, enter "995" there.
  • Click OK.
  • Click Close.
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