How to Sync Outlook to Gmail

by Jeff Grundy

Millions of people around the world use Google Gmail as their primary email provider. Gmail's easy-to-use Web interface and large storage capacity make it an attractive option for users who want to access their email from anywhere with an Internet connection. Nevertheless, Gmail is a free service, and as such provides no guarantee that messages will always be available or not become lost due to equipment failures or connection outages. If you have Microsoft Outlook installed on your computer, you can use the application to synchronize email on the Gmail site and keep copies of the messages on your local hard drive. Additionally, configuring Outlook with Gmail allows you to send email messages from your desktop application without first logging on to the webmail site.

Configure IMAP Settings in Gmail

Open your preferred Web browser and then navigate to the website. Log in to Gmail with your email account username and password.

Click the “gear” icon beneath your Gmail account name and select “Settings” on the drop-down list. After the Settings page appears, click the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab.

Locate the “Enable IMAP” option in the IMAP Access section and select it. Click “Save Changes” and log out of your Gmail account.

Add Gmail Account in Microsoft Outlook

Open Microsoft Outlook on your PC, then click the “File” tab on the ribbon bar. Click the "Add Account" button in the Account Information section.

Type your full name and Gmail email account address in the corresponding fields of the Add New Account window. Type the password for your Gmail account in the “Password” field and enter it in the “Retype Password” field.

Check the option labeled “Manually configure server settings or additional server types” in the Add New Account window and click “Next.”

Choose the “Internet E-mail” option and click “Next.” After the Internet E-mail Settings window opens, your name and email address already appear in the appropriate fields. Click the "Account Type" drop-down list and then choose the “IMAP” option.

Type “” in the “Incoming mail server” field and “” in the “Outgoing mail server (SMTP)” field.

Enter your Gmail email address again as the “User Name” value. Type your Gmail password once again in the “Password” field.

Click “More Settings” in the Internet E-mail Settings window and then the “Advanced” tab. Type “993” in the “Incoming server (IMAP)” field and enter “587” in the “Outgoing server (SMTP)” field.

Click the “Outgoing Server” tab and enable the options labeled “My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication" and “Use the same settings as my incoming mail server.” Click the “OK” button.

Click the “Test Account Settings” button and wait for Outlook to send a test email message to your Gmail account. Wait a few seconds, then open your Gmail account and verify that you received the test email message from the Outlook client.

Return to Outlook after you verify you received the test email message. Click the “Send/Receive” tab, then “Send/Receive All Folders.” Wait a few seconds for Outlook to log in to your Gmail account and download all of the messages in your Inbox, Sent Mail, Drafts, Spam and any other custom folders you created in Gmail.


  • If you write email messages in Outlook and then send them through your Gmail account, the Gmail Web client saves a copy of them in your “Sent Mail” folder. Similarly, if you compose a new message in Gmail, Outlook will download a copy and save it in the “Sent Mail” folder of your Outlook profile the next time you click “Send/Receive All Folders.” This also applies to messages you delete. If you delete an email in Outlook, Gmail moves the webmail copy to the “Trash” folder when you click the “Send/Receive All Folders” button in Outlook.

About the Author

Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Photo Credits

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