How To Setup Gmail In External Mail Clients Properly

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 1, 2008
Updated • Mar 25, 2014
Email, Gmail, Thunderbird

Everton from Connected Internet send me an initiation to a new Google Apps account for our news site Windows 7 News. It basically has been created so that I can access mails send to the website.

It was not a huge problem to set it up and I was able to access the account online. What I really wanted though was to set it up in my mail client Thunderbird as well so that I can use my favorite desktop client instead as I prefer to use it over webmail clients.

I had some troubles in the past setting up POP3 and SMTP access for Gmail and a quick check on the Internet revealed that many users had similar difficulties. It actually took me 20 minutes to setup the new account in the email client Thunderbird correctly so that it would receive and send emails using Gmail's server.

While the following guide will visualize the settings in Thunderbird it can easily be adopted for other mail clients. The important parts are the server settings and not the menus.

Set up Pop3 and IMAP access on Gmail

POP3 access has to be enabled in the Gmail interface before anyone can even think of adding a Gmail account to a software email client. This is done by logging into the web interface of Gmail and clicking on the options icon and there on the Settings link in the upper right corner next to the email address.

A menu with multiple tabs will open. Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Checking the Enable POP for all mail (even mail that's already been downloaded) entry and clicking on Save Settings will enable POP3 access for the Gmail account. If you do not make that change, you cannot retrieve mails using Pop3 and the third-party email client.

If you prefer to use IMAP, enable this instead. The core difference between the two protocols is that IMAP supports two-way communication, so that every activity you do in the mail client or on the Gmail website is reflected in other clients as well.

Setting up the mail client

Everything is set on Gmail, now it is time to setup the email client. Google provides a guide on its Help website that helps you set up IMAP or POP access. You can access it here.

Here are the general parameters:

Incoming server:
Port: 995
User name: full email address
Secure Connection: SSL

Outgoing server:
Port: 587
Secure Connection: TLS
User name: full email address

The main culprit are the port numbers and the secure connection settings. If you have any questions or difficulties setting this up let us know. It would also be nice to hear if other email clients use different names for the settings.

Update: Please note that some mail clients have improved how Gmail is added to the client. Instead of having to set ports and security features, you simply need to add the Gmail address and password to do so.

This may however not be the case for all mail clients, which is why the information above are still useful to some users.


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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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