Outlook is a great program to manager calendars, RSS feeds, contacts, to-do lists, and email. There are two options for email, POP, or POP3, and IMAP. POP3 allows email to be downloaded to your local computer, and a copy left on the server, or deleted after downloading. Today we will setup IMAP in Outlook for use with Gmail. You could setup IMAP on one computer, and POP3 on another, while setting it to leave all messages on the server.
IMAP allows you to view your mail and mail folders on the remote Gmail from inside Outlook, and since you are only viewing the email it all remains on the Gmail servers for those times when you want to access your Gmail account from a different computer. There are a lot of Gmail features that are not available in Outlook, but the ones you really need are.
To setup IMAP in Outlook for use with Gmail you’ll need to first login to your Gmail account, and click Settings at the top right of the screen. Click the radio button next to Enable IMAP, and click Save. Now you’re ready to configure Outlook.
Open Outlook, click on Tools -> Account Settings.
Click New, and the Add New E-mail Account dialog window opens. Click Next.
Check the box next to Manually configure server settings or additional server types, and click Next.
Leave Internet E-mail selected, and click Next.
Fill out the form with the Incoming mail server set to imap.gmail.com, and Outgoing mail server (SMTP) to smtp.gmail.com, then click More Settings.
Under the General tab you get some nice Purge Options, so read it over to see if that will work for you. I don’t use that feature myself.
The Folders tab lets you choose to save sent mail in your Outlook Sent Items folder, or in Sent Mail Items folder on the Gmail server. You can even create a different folder on the Gmail server to store Sent messages from Outlook. It would be nice to have both local and server options at the same time.
On the Outgoing Server tab check the box next to My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication.
On the Advanced tab screenshot below you’ll see the standard settings that we need to change.
On the Advance tab we need to change the Incoming server (IMAP) port to 993, and the Use the following type of encrypted connection to SSL.
Change the Outgoing server (SMTP) port to 587, and Use the following type of encrypted connection to TLS.
Outlook will create a .pst file on your local hard drive to store the email even though the email is also stored on the Gmail servers, but it will only be accessible if your account is setup as IMAP. The .pst file for this account should be backed up along with the other .pst files for Outlook.
Using IMAP in Outlook
When you start Outlook you’ll see a folder named as your Gmail address. I changed the name of my folder to Gmail by right clicking and choosing properties. Click the plus button to expand the list of folders. You’ll notice a subset of folders labeled Gmail.
In your Gmail account Labels are the same as Folders. The list of System labels, or folders, that cannot be changed are Inbox, Starred, Sent Mail, Drafts, Spam, and Trash. All the other labels, or folders, can be deleted, and new labels can be created.
To label a Gmail message as Spam in Outlook drag and drop it into the Spam folder, and Gmail will automatically delete it after 30 days. Don’t drag junk mail into your Outlook junk mail folder, drag it into the Gmail Junk E-mail folder, or label, or better yet if it’s really Spam junk mail then drag the message into the Spam folder or label.
You can copy messages from the Gmail folders, or labels, into Outlook folders on your local hard drive by dragging while holding down your right mouse button, and after releasing choose copy.
To Star a message simply drag it into the Starred label, or folder, or click flag on the message while viewing it in the list of messages in Outlook.
After flagging the message in Outlook you’ll see it Starred in your Gmail account when you login.
To send a new message from your Gmail account simply choose it from the drop down list of Accounts when your create new message.