How to Enable or Disable IMAP in Gmail

Quick and easy-to-follow guide for Gmail users

What is IMAP

  • You can access your email wherever you are, from any device with IMAP.
  • When you read an email message using IMAP, you don’t download or store it on your device – you just read it from the email service.
  • IMAP only downloads a message when you click on it – except for attachments, which don’t get downloaded automatically.
  • This way, you can check your messages faster than with POP, and you can do it on any device.

When to enable or disable IMAP

  • Enable it when you want to add your Gmail account to other services, such as Outlook.
  • Disable it to prevent third-party applications from using IMAP to access your account.

IMAP settings you can manage

When it comes to IMAP settings, you can:

  • Enable or disable IMAP access to your Gmail account
  • Set up folder size limits for IMAP clients
  • Choose what happens to emails deleted via IMAP

How to manage your IMAP settings in Gmail step-by-step with images

Step 1

How To Enable Or Disable IMAP In Gmail - Step 1

Open Gmail and click the Settings gear icon in the top right.

Step 2

How To Enable Or Disable IMAP In Gmail - Step 2

Select See all settings.

Step 3

How To Enable Or Disable IMAP In Gmail - Step 3

Select Forwarding and POP/IMAP.

Step 4

How To Enable Or Disable IMAP In Gmail - Step 4
  • Status: lets you enable or disable IMAP.

  • When I mark a message in IMAP as deleted:

    • Immediately update the server (recommended)
    • Wait for the client to update the server (may cause delays and differences between the original mailbox and the IMAP client)
  • When a message is marked as deleted and expunged from the last visible IMAP folder: lets you choose what happens to emails you delete from all visible IMAP folders in the IMAP client – you can:

    • Archive emails
    • Move emails to Trash
    • Delete emails permanently
  • Folder size limits lets you limit the number of emails that you can sync to a single folder in IMAP.

    Syncing too many folders in IMAP can cause slowness in Gmail and cause you to hit the bandwidth limits. If you notice this happening, you should set a limit – otherwise, keep the default setting.

Next to IMAP access, there are four settings. Make sure to click the Save Changes button at the bottom after any updates.

That's all! You reached the end of the article. Continue to:

If you find this useful, share and help others!

Email Marketing Tools
Better Gmail and email marketing
If you work with Gmail or do email marketing, you will appreciate what these services can do for you.

Submit Feedback

Think we could do something better or just want to tell us how happy you are with the site? We would love to hear from you – your feedback is more valuable than you can imagine.

Fill out this form, and we will get back to you.

Report An Issue With Workspace123

Are you running into an issue with the site? Maybe you found a broken link, or something else is wrong?

Fill out this form to let us know, and we will address it as soon as possible.

Please make sure to be very specific and add as many details as possible.

Missing Content

Our goal is to run the number one site in the world for you to get help with and learn how to use Google Workspace. This can’t be so if there is any missing information.

If you believe we need to add something, fill out this form, and we will do our best to add any missing content as soon as possible.

This site uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Click here to see our Cookies Policy.

Be the first to know

You can stay on top of news and updates in Google Workspace and Workspace123 and get special offers by subscribing to our newsletter.

Subscribe by email for news and updates