Set up Gmail POP account in Apple Mail

By default, Apple will setup your Gmail account as IMAP when you enter your Gmail address and password. However, if you prefer Gmail as POP, you have to manually setup the account. If you already have the account started as IMAP you must delete this account and create a new account as POP. You cannot change the settings on an IMAP account and make it POP.

Set Gmail as POP in your browser settings. Log in to Gmail account. Under the gear, select Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Select Enable POP. If you do not want your All Mail folder to download, select the second option “Enable POP for mail that arrices from now on”


These directions are for Mavericks Mail. 

Select Add Other Mail Account… not Google.




Enter your Email address and password > Create


  • It will default to IMAP. Select POP
  • Change to
  • Enter full email address. Password should automatically be entered.


Use SSL Port 993 : Authentication > Password


Set outgoing server (SMTP) Enter full email address and password. Create


Enter Port 465, check SSL, Authentication > Password

Verify Settings:

Incoming:  Verify your results in the main account window for outgoing settings. If you make any changes in this window under any of the tabs, you need to click out of the window and select SAVE before the changes are saved.


Outgoing:  Outgoing Mail Server SMTP:  select Edit SMTP Server list… SMTP settings..

Select account in the list. (It’s not uncommon to find extra SMTP servers listed. When you remove account, Mail does not delete the smtp info. You might need to do some clean up in the list to remove any extras.)


  • Enter name for account Gmail POP under Account information.
  • Click on Advanced tab. Verify your settings.

Use Connection Doctor to test connection

Under Windows in the Menu bar select Connection doctor.


You will see green to indicate a connection and red to show there is a problem. You can click on Show Detail button, but with multiple accounts this is often hard for some users to read results. Except for iCloud account you’ll see two entries for each account 1) receiving and 2) SMTP for sending.

If SMTP is red, recheck password was saved in the Edit SMTP settings under the advanced tab.

As you can see the fake POP Gmail I setup with is not connecting, but my Gmail IMAP is connected.



30 thoughts on “Set up Gmail POP account in Apple Mail

  1. Hi, thanks for this post.

    Just wondering if you have any ideas on how to persuade an existing Apple Mail POP account (Gmail) to once again begin downloading new mail? Connection Doctor reports no problems, I can send mail fine, and so far as I can see the account settings for POP are all correct (they haven’t been changed). The Activity window reports that Mail is fetching new mail but none arrives. I have a backlog now of about a weeks incoming mail that I can’t access except via Gmail’s web interface. I’ve repaired permissions etc. many times, taken accounts offline and back online but nothing so far works. In several decades of using Macs I’ve only very rarely had to call on help from others – this is one of those times …

    Thanks in advance, Mick

    • In your browser, log into your Gmail account. Under Settings > Forwarding and Pop & IMAP, make sure it’s still set as POP. Note: Your best option would be to use Gmail as IMAP.

      Testing in a new User will quickly tell you if the problem is system wide or if it’s your User’s folder that contains the problem.

      Any POP mail you download into the Identity in the test User will not be available unless you set to “leave on server”  in Account > Advanced settings/Server.


      Go to System Preferences –> Create a New User in Accounts. Switch to the New User by logging out/in or use Fast User Switching.

      Open Mail. Add your Gmail account and see if it downloads.

      I’m assuming you are not running OS X 10.10.3 beta build.

      • Diane, I running os x 10.10 .3, update for mistake.. POP from GMAIL does not work anymore.. ! just work one more time with the second update of 10.10.3 after system preferences /accounts / Gmail / New login appears.. did u know the reason for this bug?

  2. The POP settings in Gmail look to be ok. I briefly thought I’d found the problem when I noticed that both POP and IMAP were enabled in the Gmail settings. I’ve now disabled IMAP but it made no difference to my ability to downbload recent mail by POP.

    I set up a new account on my MBP and configured Mail to download Gmail by POP. It started doing this but I aborted the process. There are many thousands of email on the server and the critical test is to see whether the most recent email (the ones I can’t currently download) would download. I suspect they would but didn’t want to wait the many hours involved in getting to them (the oldest email are downloaded first to Mail).

    I’m thinking I should switch to IMAP for Gmail as you suggest but want to retain access to the mail (accessed via POP) already sorted into custom folders in Mail and am not sure how to achieve this. Do you have a post on transitioning from POP to IMAP?

    [MBP running 10.10.2]

    Thanks again for your help.

  3. If you switch to IMAP you first need to archive the Inbox messages for your Gmail account. When you delete the POP account to create a new IMAP account for Gmail, Mail deletes all the Inbox messages. Your Sent and custom folders will not be touched.

    After transitionng to IMAP you can select to create custom folders (Gmail calls them Labels) and move all the local “On My Mac” messages back to the server or select to continue using the current folders. However when you move from IMAP to the local folders you will be moving them off the server.

  4. I would like to how to make a gmail email on a apple device because I’ve tried but it keeps saying invalid request so please I need some advise so would you help me out I’m desperate

    • I need more info before I can give details.
      What version OS X?
      Can you log into your Gmail account in your browser to verify your password is correct?
      Do you have other email accounts in Mail?

      If you need private help, let me know.

  5. Very clear and helpful.
    I have another question, in Apple Mail (Mavericks) how do I delete a gmail account that I have closed with google? I can choose not to enable the account, in Prefs>Accounts, but it still appears in the list.

  6. The emails are crawling into the POP I set up. There are about 15,000 emails I’m waiting for…do I have to sit here and keep clicking “get mail” or will it eventually download them all on its own? It’s been running for about a day and I still only have around 4,000 downloaded. About a year’s worth yet to come. Any way to expedite?

    • Eventually they will all be downloaded. One option would be to move messages to Gmails’s All Mail folder. POP accounts only download from the Inbox.

      • Do I have to sit here and click “get mail” forever? 🙂 When I don’t, things seem to come to a stand still…

        Thanks for your help!

        • Mail should download them without your assistance, however, your connection does sound extremely slow.

          One of the option in POP settings if you don’t need the older emails on your Mac, is to select “Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on.”

          Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP

  7. I’m running OSX 10.10.3 and I can’t get Mail to give me the option to select a POP account. I enter my login credentials and it immediately creates an IMAP mailbox. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?

      • Thanks for the reply, but I did that. No option for POP is available despite choosing “Add Other Mail Account…” the dialog in the fourth screenshot above does not show up for me. It goes straight to downloading new mail from there.

        • In order for that dialog to show up and force manual configuration, I had to disconnect my MacBook from the Internet (or disable Mail from accessing the Internet via a third-party program) during that initial setup in order for the manual configuration dialog to be shown. After that dialog shows up, reconnect to the Internet and continue from there.

  8. I kind of found a work around. Initially set it up using the normal steps, however enter the INCORRECT password. You’ll THEN get a prompt to have to manually configure. THAT is where you get the POP options. I FIRST went into my gmail account and changed the setting of POP to only do it from this date forward, and THEN set it up in MBP. It worked wonderfully. Just remember, POP means you’ll not have access to those emails downloaded into the MBP via your phone or any other device.

    I’ve been working on this for a while today until I finally got it to do what I wanted the way I wanted. 🙂

  9. HI,

    The update to 10.11 today broke my Gmail POP setup. I’ve tried creating a new account for it but it keeps giving me an error message saying “Unable to verify account name or password.” I then changed my password to a new one. All is fine on the Gmail website but I still can’t get Mail to do POP.

    Any suggestions? Many thanks.

    • It sounds like Apple has stopped support for POP. I’ll test and see if I can reproduce.

      Just tested and was unable to connect. I also tested in Outlook 2016 and was unable to setup as POP.

      Looks like you will need to revert to POP. Before removing your POP account, move all the messages in the Gmail Inbox to a folder under “On My Mac”. You can select to Archive using the Archive icon in the toolbar.

      [Added note] I just checked my Gmail Settings and you can select POP under Forwarding and POP/IMAP and save, but if you check again, the setting will not stick. Looks like Gmail has turned off POP access.

      • All is not lost. I also asked on the Apple message board and someone offered this advice, Change the setting on the Gmail site to allow for “less secure apps” (which is under the Connected Apps and Sites category which is under the Sign In and Security section.) Wait until they confirm that by an e-mail. If you try it too soon, it won’t work. That fixed it for me at least. Here’s the thread:

        For some reason Mail decided to download all of my sent mail from mid-2011 until yesterday in groups of 400 but I just deleted them and erased them from all accounts as well and all has been back to normal since.

        AppleCare only wanted to set me up with IMAP but Mail and Gmail still support POP so I’m sticking with that. (I now am keeping the inactive IMAP account just as I had with the POP account so it’s ready to go if needed.)

        Thanks for your help.



  10. Hmm. Connection Dr in Mail says it is an IMAP account and I am seeing Mail check on it’s own even though I have unchecked the “include when automatically checking for new messages.” It isn’t downloading on its own though.

    So, I’m still up in the air as to what’s going on. I am happy with how things are set up, doing manual checks but don’t really know if I am set up with POP or not. My Gmail settings seem to be correct for POP…

    • Mail says they are all POP so I’ll believe that. Connection Dr is testing all kinds of connections that I don’t have as accounts in mail including some SMTP accounts… All my other accounts are inactive according to Mail. (I’ll deal with the various Internet Accounts later.)

  11. Hi i was using gmail account in apple mail.(IMAP ).It kept sending my mails to trash and it deletes certain mails for two or three days.I have no command over my mailbox .Kindly help

    • POP accounts do not sync to the All Mail folder in Gmail. The All Mail folder has all your older emails. You would need to setup again as IMAP then you can copy the messages in All Mail (under Archive) to a folder under “On My Mac”. Remove IMAP and setup as POP.

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