Configuring Google Apps Mail for an Existing POP Email Account

If you’ve had your email address for a long time, and you’ve been using the same email program for just as long, then there’s a good possibility it was configured in your client (e.g., Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc) as a POP account. If you want to continue using your email client as you have been, without the hassle of trying to reconfigure your account for IMAP, then GMail offers an easy solution for this. Follow the steps below to configure GMail for use with a POP email client.

IMAP is the modern protocol for email, as it allows for a consistent experience across all your devices. With IMAP, all of the mail is left on the server and all email activity remains consistent on all devices. In the case of POP email, mail is downloaded from the server to the email client, which can provide a less consistent experience.

How to Enable Your New Google Apps Email to Work with Your Old POP Email Account

1. Log in to your Google Apps GMail account.
2. Click on the gear icon and select “Settings” from the drop-down.

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3. Once in “Settings”, click on the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab.
4. By default, POP is disabled. Click on the radio button to enable it, then save changes.

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If you want, you can also customize how GMail treats email once it’s been accessed via your POP account. In this case, I’m selecting the option that will mark email as “Read” once it’s been viewed via the POP account.

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If you plan to use your Google Apps email account on other devices as IMAP, then you will want to enable IMAP as well.

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And that’s it. If you’re the type of user that prefers to use an email client that you’re familiar with, as opposed to the GMail interface, then a few quick settings changes and you’re in business.

It is possible to convert a POP email to IMAP, but it may not be an ideal option if you’re looking for quick and easy. Converting a POP account to IMAP requires that you recreate the email as an IMAP account, import all content from the POP account into the new IMAP account, then delete the old POP email or take it offline. If this process doesn’t frighten you, then it’s actually a great way of doing things, but if you want to go the more hassle-free route, then follow the screenshot guide above.

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