Access Gmail using IMAP from your iPhone 5

Follow these simple steps to setup Gmail to use IMAP on your iPhone.

Google anticipated the growth of mobile devices and PCs, and it added IMAP to Gmail a few years ago. In fact, IMAP support is what pushed me to move my personal and professional email addresses to Gmail and Google Apps.

Here's a refresher about how to setup Gmail using IMAP on an iPhone 5.

Setup IMAP in your Gmail account

Before you get started, you need to make sure that you have IMAP enabled in your Gmail account.

To setup IMAP in your Gmail account:

  1. Login to your Gmail account from your PC
  2. Click Settings to open the Settings page (Figure A)
  3. Figure A

    Gmail Settings page.
  4. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP to open the Forwarding and POP/IMAP page (Figure B)
  5. Figure B

    Forwarding and POP/IMAP page in Gmail.
  6. Select Enable IMAP in the IMAP Access section (the IMAP is enabled status will appear in green)

Setup Gmail on your iPhone

To setup Gmail on your iPhone:

  1. From the iPhone home screen, tap Settings (Figure C)
  2. Figure C

    iPhone Settings screen.
  3. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars... (Figure D):
  4. Figure D

    Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen.
  5. Tap Add Account... (Figure E)
  6. Figure E

    Add Account screen.
  7. Tap Gmail (Figure F)
  8. Figure F

    Gmail setup screen.
  9. Enter your name in the Name field
  10. Type your full Gmail address in the Address field
  11. Enter your Gmail password under Password
  12. Type Gmail in the description field (I always advise people to type in something more descriptive for the email address if you plan to access more than one Gmail address from your iPhone)
  13. Tap Next
  14. Verify Mail is set to On
  15. Set Calendars and Notes to on if you want to sync them via IMAP along with your email
  16. Tap Next

The joy of IMAP, Gmail, and the iPhone

IMAP is a must-have in today's multi-device mobile world, and Gmail's IMAP setting is easy to setup and maintain. IMAP is how I stay on top of email across my iOS, Android, Macs, and PCs.

Do you have other iPhone tips and tricks that you'd like to share with your TechRepublic peers? Share your knowledge and expertise in the discussion thread below.


Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

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