A useful feature of Google Gmail is the ability to access other mailboxes.
This means that you can:
- Use Gmail to access a mailbox that doesn’t support webmail access. Useful if you require remote access (e.g. when on holiday).
- Import email from another email account into Gmail.
- Use Gmail to access multiple accounts and consolidate them into a single mailbox.
To illustrate imagine you have your standard email mailbox with a Gmail address of firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can logon to this account and under the settings section you can configure it to check other email mailboxes.
Let’s assume you have an account email@example.com which you can access using either POP3 or Imap4, but not using Webmail (i.e. a browser).
You can configure your Google Gmail account to access this mailbox and place the email into your Gmail mailbox.
Not only that, but Gmail shows the email is from a different account by assigning it a label using the email address.
Here is a screen shot of my gmail account set up to retrieve email from the account firstname.lastname@example.org (note email address not shown in full due to spam)
Here is how it is setup under accounts and Import. Notice that it tells you the last time the mailbox was checked.
To configure the address for the POP3 server/username/password as well as other settings click the edit info button in the “check mail using POP3” box.
You can see what options are available in the screen shot below
Note: You should always leave a copy of the message on the server!
Other Setup Notes:
It is not possible to configure how often Gmail will check the mailbox, but it is possible to manually check the mail using the check now button.
You need to configure the sending SMTP server to use when you reply to a message sent to that mailbox.
TIp! -Use the Gmail SMTP server as it is easy to setup.
You can access this setting using the edit info button in the right hand side of the “send mail as” box.
How Does it Work?
Periodically the Gmail server will connect to the mailbox of your account and download the emails.
These emails are placed in your designated folder.
Depending on how you configured the access (leave email on server) the email in the original mailbox will be deleted or left there.
When you send an email the email will be placed in the sent folder of the account you use for sending.
If this is the Gmail account then they appear in the sent items folder just like email that you send from the Gmail account.
Common Questions and Answers
Q- I’ve configured Gmail to read emails from my other account but i find that there is a noticeable delay when I send an email to the account and that email appearing in the Gmail folder. Why?
A- This is because Gmail checks for email on a periodic basis, and you have to wait for it to check before it receives the email.
Q- I appear to be missing emails from my other account?
A- This is probably because you are accessing the account using another POP3 client and that client is deleting the email from the account.
Q- I normally access my other email account using IMAP will this still work as Gmail is using POP3.
A- Yes most email providers allow you to access a mailbox using several protocols.
Related articles and resources:
- Google Gmail Overview
- Access Gmail using POP3/IMAP client
- Gmail-Manage and Organise Your Email
- Read Reply and Forward email using Gmail
- Send email using Gmail