Accessing Gmail via IMAP With Apple Mail

Big Dan

EQ Forum Moderator
Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) users please see the second post in this thread.

Howdy Folks,

I'm going to walk you through access a Gmail account in Apple mail via IMAP. It's not as easy as adding Gmail via POP access but fairly straight forward nonetheless. For webmail access on a desktop client I strongly recommend IMAP for continuity purposes, so that you're only processing/moving your mail around once. If you move or delete a message in Apple mail it will be moved/deleted in the webmail interface too. For more on IMAP vs. POP please see this article:

First things first: Fire up Gmail in your browser and load it's settings page by clicking Settings in the top right hand corner and select the 'Forwarding/POP/IMAP' tab, tick the radio button to enable IMAP towards the bottom.
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Next open Apple Mail > From the Mail menu select Preferences > Once the preference dialog opens select accounts > and hit the plus sign to add an account. Type in your credientials.

Here is the important part for IMAP access: Untick 'automatically setup account' and press continue.
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Here's the options for the next screen as you need to enter them.
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Account Type: IMAP
Description: Your Gmail account name
Mail Server:
Username: <your gmail address>
Password: <your gmail password>

Now Press continue here you need to fill in your Outgoing mail server details the following is what you need to enter.
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Description: <your gmail address>
Mail Server:
User name: <your FULL gmail address>
Password: <your gmail password>

That's it you're done. You will now notice an extra set of folders in the folder tree. This is all your Gmail folders and labels, this is the default behavior of IMAP accounts each account has it's own set of mail boxes and folders.
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If you have any questions or need any help post back :)

Last edited:

Big Dan

EQ Forum Moderator
With Apple Mail 4.1 included in Snow Leopard, defaults to IMAP for Gmail access so most of this setup is no longer necessary. You just pop in your Gmail user name and password and it's automatically configured.