Gmail Gets Free IMAP Access

While Google’s PageRank team have been busy penalizing the big players with a penalty sweep, GMail team has been busy adding IMAP support to GMail.

I have tried using POP3 with Thunderbird but I missed the features available with IMAP. One of the main IMAP feature is that it syncs both ways. So, if you delete or mark a message read in your email client such as Thunderbird, it automatically reflects in your web account as well.

IMAP makes accessing your email from multiple devices such as your browser, email client, mobile phone or Nintendo Wii a snap. Google has made this excellent feature available for free and they are rolling it out to all the accounts as I write this.

In fact, my account already has it and I am having fun with it.

Here are a few quick steps to set it up in Thunderbird: Gmail IMAP

  • Go to Settings in your GMail account
  • Click on Forwarding & POP/IMAP
  • Enable IMAP & Save Settings
  • Follow the configuration instructions
  • Remember to enable SSL & set port to 993 in IMAP – Server Settings
  • Remember to choose TLS & set port to 587 in SMTP settings

With that you should be able to enjoy the power of Thunderbird at home/work while you have the great web interface anytime you need it.

For the USB drive addicts and for the lucky winner abut to win the 1GB USB flash drive, there is a portable version of Mozilla Thunderbird (6.7MB) available at

If you are looking to find out how to use it with your iPhone, here is a YouTube video.

What do you think about this new feature?

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10 Responses to “Gmail Gets Free IMAP Access”

  1. Brown Baron October 25, 2007 at 8:27 am #

    Google seems to be really busy these days. They still haven’t added folders to Gmail though :mrgreen: Thanks for the link buddy!

  2. Forest Parks October 26, 2007 at 1:18 am #

    awwwwwww very interesting.

    I may actually start using Thunderbird now!!

  3. K October 26, 2007 at 2:31 am #

    @Brown.. yes they are! If you are looking for folders you might have to wait a very long time.. buddy! 😉 You are welcome by the way!

    @Forest Parks.. I see you use Mac OS X. What do you think about the Leopard release? Are you going to upgrade as soon as it is out? 😀

  4. Forest Parks October 26, 2007 at 2:54 am #

    I’m not sure yet. It’s $95 of cash that I could put towards a nice shiny Ipod Nano instead!!

  5. Roxi October 26, 2007 at 9:10 am #

    It seems that I should move on to Thunderbird now.

  6. Kyle Eslick October 26, 2007 at 1:57 pm #

    Brown Baron – You can get the Greasemonkey Script Folders4GMail (I think its called). It works great and won’t be able to tell it is a script.

  7. K-IntheHouse October 26, 2007 at 7:12 pm #

    @Forest Parks.. if you save some more maybe you could get an IPod Touch instead! Unless you already have an iPhone though.. 😮

    @Roxi.. I can see it as useful but I have to figure out the nuances in using Thunderbird & how Gmail works.

    @Kyle.. I love that GM script. It makes categorizing labels so easy and a god send for converting Yahoo lovers. 😉

  8. Shankar Ganesh October 27, 2007 at 12:49 pm #

    I just configured Gmail IMAP on ThunderBird and it’s just great. I’ve even got my labels now on Thunderbird 😯 . Much better than POP. 🙂

  9. K October 30, 2007 at 4:37 am #

    Shankar.. it is so much greater than POP3! Kyle mentioned this great Lifehacker article on how to setup Gmail IMAP with Thunderbird. Even if you have already set it up, it’s worth a read as it has many other tips as well. 🙂

  10. Mike Brown April 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

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