Set up Claws Mail to work with Gmail

Jack Wallen
Aug 5, 2009
Updated • Feb 13, 2018
Gmail, Linux

"Once more unto the breach my dear friends, once more!" I've written about Claws Mail quite a bit (see “Claws Mail: The unsung powerhouse email client“, “Claws Mail must have plugins“, “Create Message Filters in Claws Mail“,  “Encrypting email in Claws Mail“, and "Make Claws Mail aware when you need top or bottom posting".) In the business world most people use Exchange. Unfortunately Claws Mail does not communicate with Exchange.

Fortunately there is an alternative that a lot of people use - Google Mail. And good news for Claws Mail users, it can communicate with Google Mail!

Of course it's not terribly cut and dry, how you set up Claws Mail to work with Google Mail, but it's not so difficult that a newbie can't configure it. So let's see just how this is done.

Setting up Google Mail

The first thing you have to do is set up Google Mail to allow IMAP connections. To do this go to your Google Mail account and click on the Settings link near the top. Once in the settings window click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. In this section you will want to check "Enable IMAP" in the IMAP section. Once you have done that click the Save Changes button and you're ready to move on over to Claws Mail for the real work.

Tag you're it!

Gmail does not handle mail with folders. Instead it uses tags. So in order to be able to use Gmail you have to have, at least, the bare minimum of tags created in order for your Gmail mail to have a place to live. In order to create tags you need to click on the Configuration menu and then click on the Tags entry to open up the Tags Window.

Figure 1
Figure 1

When the Tags Window opens (see Figure 1) you simply have to type the new tag in the text area and then click the Add button. The tags you need to add are the following:


You can add as many tags as you want depending upon how many folders you need (or have) on your Gmail account.

Configure your Gmail on Claws Mail

Now you need to go to the Configuration menu and select Create New Account. In this window you need to configure the following options.

Basic section

Personal information: Fill this out as you need it.

Server section

  • Server for receiving:
  • SMTP Server:
  • User ID: Your gmail address
  • Password: Your gmail password

Receive section

Authentication method: LOGIN

Send section

  • SMTP Authentication: Enable this
  • User ID: Your gmail address
  • Password: Your gmail password

SSL section

  • Use SSL for IMAP4 connection: Enable this
  • Don't use SSL (under SMTP section): Enable this

Advanced section

  • SMTP Port: 465
  • IMAP Port: 993

The final step

Go back to the main Claws Mail window. If you right click on the Gmail main folder you will see an entry for Subscriptions. Under that entry there are three sub entries. You want to click the Subscribe entry to subscribe to your Gmail mail. Once you have done that you can click Get Mail to download all of your Gmail mail. You are ready to go.

Final thoughts

Gmail is becoming a standard email service for many people, and with good reason. And now, if you use Gmail you can connect everyone's favorite Claws Mail client.

Set up Claws Mail to work with Gmail
Article Name
Set up Claws Mail to work with Gmail
Jack Wallen walks Linux users through the steps of setting up Google Mail (Gmail) in Claws Mail.
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  1. Simon Moon said on April 2, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    dude … man tar

    tar -xjvf PageStream5.XXX.tar.bz2

  2. Kristofer Bergstrom said on April 2, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    If it wasn’t clear from the registration requirement explained above, Pagestream is non-free (in both senses: software.

  3. Homer said on April 4, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Dude! /Page? Seriously? You’re not a windows user by any chance? Or maybe Ubuntu? :-/

    How about /usr/local/pagestream or /opt/pagestream?

    Linux users should preserve directory structures that exist for a reason. /Page is ridiculous.

    Thanks for the info on the availability of pagestream though. Loved the program on the Amiga, it got me through nearly all of my University projects at the time!

    1. Rick Stanley said on June 6, 2010 at 4:47 am

      Homer Dude:

      The author didn’t say /Page, he said ~/Page! In other words, /home/username/Page! I do agree that /usr/local/Page… or /opt/Page… would be a better location available to all users.

      In Linux, the tilde character can be used to refer to the logged in user’s home directory. Linux 101! ;^)

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