Configure Gmail Accounts in Outlook

Last reviewed on December 5, 2013

Applies to: Microsoft Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 and older

The recommended method of using Gmail accounts in Outlook is to use IMAP. However, this only syncs email, not your Gmail calendar and contacts. If you don't have a Google apps account you'll need to use a utility to sync your Gmail calendar and contacts to Outlook. The Google Calendar Sync Utility utility will work with Outlook, however, it only syncs Calendars.

You need to configure the account settings online to allow IMAP (and/or POP3) at Gmail settings. This needs configured only the first time you use Gmail.

Configure the account

If you let Outlook configure your Gmail account, it will set it up as IMAP. If you don't want to use IMAP you'll need to configure the account manually.

More Settings, Advanced tab settings for GmailUse the following settings:
Incoming server name:
Outgoing server name (SMTP):

Use your full Gmail address, including or as the username.

In More Settings, Advanced tab, set the Incoming server to use port 993 and SSL encryption. The Outgoing server uses port 587 and TLS encryption.

On the Outgoing Server tab, select My outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication and Use the same settings as my incoming mail server.

Note: this screenshot is from Outlook 2013; options on the lower half of the dialog in other versions will vary.

Setting a Sent Items folder

Beginning with Outlook 2007, you can choose a Sent folder for your IMAP accounts. While there is no problem using a folder on the IMAP server with most IMAP accounts, you DO NOT want to save a copy of sent items in the Gmail folders. Saving a copy in the Gmail folders will result in two copies of Sent Messages. If you use Gmail's SMTP server, Gmail will put a sent copy in the [Gmail]/Sent Mail folder automatically.

Either configure Outlook to not save sent copies of the Gmail mail or Save it in your local sent folder. Saving a copy locally will result in two copies of the sent message (one local and one saved by gmail online), but this is necessary if you use BCC and later want to check who a message was sent to.

Outlook 2013

Outlook 2013 removes the ability to choose the Sent folder, instead, it asks the IMAP server which folder it should use. If the server supports XLIST or enhanced-list, or Outlook can match a folder on the server to it's folders by name, sent items will be stored in the Sent folder on the server, otherwise they will be in the local Sent Items folder.

GMail Sent Folder in Outlook 2013In Outlook 2013, Gmail uses the Sent folder on the server. This folder is automatically subscribed to your IMAP account; expand the [Gmail] folder to find the Sent folder.

Messages sent through the Gmail account will sync down to Outlook on the next sync, or when you open the Sent folder.

Setting a Deleted Items folder

Outlook 2010 introduced the ability to save Deleted items on the IMAP server. As with sent items, this works fine for most account types but has unintended consequences with Gmail accounts.

The problem is with how Gmail manages email, using Labels instead of folders. Labels are converted to folders for IMAP access. Deleting a message removes all labels from the message, leaving the message in the [Gmail]/All Mail folder, which shows all messages, whether or not they are labeled. To delete a message from all folders, you will need to move it to the [Gmail]/Trash folder.

Moving deleted messages to your [Gmail]/Trash folder will delete the message in all folders. Deleting a message from the Trash folder deletes it permanently.

If you use Shift+Delete to permanently delete messages, they will be deleted in Outlook and from the account online, bypassing the Deleted items folder. They cannot be recovered.

Do not configure Outlook to empty deleted items on exit. It can take "forever" for Outlook to close when used with IMAP accounts. Gmail will keep deleted items for 30 days before deleting them permanently.

Subscribe to folders

You can control what folders are visible in your IMAP clients by subscribing or unsubscribing from IMAP folders.

Right click on any folder in your IMAP account and choose IMAP folders... to open the IMAP folders dialog. Click on the Query button to list all folders or type a few letters in the Query field then click Query to display only folders containing those letters.

Folders displayed with a small envelope icon are subscribed, those without the envelope are visible only using your server's web access.

Select a folder and click the Subscribe or Unsubscribe button to change it.

I do not recommend subscribing to the [Gmail]/All Mail folder. This duplicates all messages in the other folders and will double the size of your data file.

Subscribe to imap folders

Note that the subscribed folder list is stored on the server and will apply to all devices you access using IMAP. You can't subscribe to all folders on your desktop computer and only the Inbox on your tablet or laptop.

Unsubscribe the All Mail folders

Junk Email

Do not enable Outlook's junk mail filter. Gmail's spam filters are generally better than Outlook's junk mail filter and using both can result in confusion.

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CompanionLink for Google

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Bynari Outlook WebDAV Collaborator

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EVO Collaborator for Outlook

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GooOut Multisynchronizer

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Outlook4Gmail is a free Outlook add-in providing easy contacts synchronization of your Outlook and Gmail accounts and address books.This add-in uses these Outlook and Gmail contact details: Name, Company, Phones, Emails, Addresses, Dates, Persons, Notes, etc. You define the direction of synchronization/update: you can sync or update either the Outlook or the Gmail address book (one-way synchronization) or choose to update both accounts simultaneously (two-way synchronization).

Sync2 for Outlook

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More Information

Recommended IMAP client settings (Gmail Help)
Deleting IMAP messages (Gmail Help)

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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