GoogleMail supports IMAP

October 25th, 2007

Finally!!! GMail now supports IMAP, which ends the era of endless “forwarding chains” of connected GMail accounts. In the end I had 5 different accounts (each of which forwared a copy of the incoming mail to the next one), one for each computer/device I wanted to POP my mails onto. Fortunately, the people from GMail heard all the crying.

However, IMAP has not been enabled for all users yet, which is supposed to take another week or so. If you’re blessed already, you can logon to your GMail account and then go to “Settings->Forwarding and POP/IMAP” to enable IMAP….oh and as of yet you have to set the interface language of your GMail account to “English (US)” for the IMAP options to appear. If the tab still only shows “Forwarding and POP” you just have to wait a little bit longer or you didn’t change the i-face language correctly.

In your mail client, GMail’s labels are supported by folders (e.g. your label “old-mail” corresponds to a subfolder “old-mail” of your root-GMail-IMAP-folder). If you want to tag a mail with multiple lables in your client, simply copy the mail to all the corresponding (sub-)folders.

Deleting mails proved to be a little bit trickier than expected. If you want to delete a message for good, you will have to move the mail to the “Trash” folder. Deleting it the usual way (pressing the delete key or choosing “delete” from the right-click context menu) will only remove the mail’s labels and the mail itself will still be present in the “All Mail” folder (cf. here). In Outlook for example the mail will be crossed out as usual on deletion, but if you then try to purge all marked elements, nothing will happen.

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