Google Adds IMAP Support To GMail

Google Adds IMAP Support To GMail

By Scott Gilbertson October 24, 2007

Eureka! GMail has gained IMAP support, one of the most requested features for Google's web-based e-mail service. More than storage space or other features, free web-based IMAP access pushes GMail over the top when compared to offerings from Yahoo, Microsoft and most other web-based e-mail services.

If you log into your GMail account and head to “settings,” the tab for “Forwarding and POP” should now read “Forwarding and POP/IMAP.” If it doesn’t, be patient, Google will be rolling out the new IMAP features across the service over the next few days.

If you’re not familiar with IMAP, it’s like POP access, but allows your changes to live on the server rather than just your e-mail client. For instance, if you move a message in Thunderbird via POP, the movement isn’t mirrored in GMail, but with IMAP it is.

With IMAP you can access your mail via your desktop client, read mail, make changes and have those changes mirrored by any other client accessing the account. If you access your mail from multiple machines, IMAP allows them all to stay in sync. If you don’t access your mail with a desktop client, then IMAP support won’t change the way you interact with GMail.

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