How to read Gmail mail

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After reading my guide on how to create an email account on Gmail, you proceeded to create an email account through the well-known Google home service. You find it very comfortable and, for the moment, you have not encountered any kind of problem. However, you would like to be able to manage your correspondence also from “traditional” clients and apps and you don’t know how to do it.

No problem, you can do it in a very simple way. As? Well, take a few minutes of free time to read this tutorial on how to read Gmail mail and you’ll find out right away. All you have to do is activate the use of the IMAP protocol in your Gmail account and configure your email client using the dedicated procedure.

I know, said this it seems like a difficult thing, but I assure you that it really is child’s play: in most cases the account configuration takes place completely automatically but, if you encounter problems, I will also provide you with the exact “coordinates” to be entered manually. Happy reading and have fun!

Preliminary operations

Preliminary operations

Contrary to what happened in the past, today e-mail is almost always managed by several different devices: computers, smartphones, tablets and, in some cases, even wearable devices and other categories of electronic devices. For this reason, before going further, my advice is to check that the IMAP protocol for Gmail is active and, if not, to do it.

The reason is immediately explained: unlike the now “old” POP3 protocol , which deletes messages from the server when they were downloaded from a device (making them accessible only from the device itself), the IMAP protocol leaves them archived even after of downloading them, so that the emails can also be viewed by other devices (which, in turn, download a copy from the server).

To check if IMAP is enabled or not, proceed as follows: to start, open the Gmail website from any computer browser and, when prompted, enter your Google account details in the appropriate fields, in order to complete the access to your mailbox.

If, on the other hand, you use your smartphone or tablet, after logging into your email account from the Gmail website and tap on the Use the Web version item , located at the bottom left; then log in to the email using your credentials, tap the ☰ button located at the top left and touch the word Desktop , located at the bottom of the page that appears later. To view the desktop web version of Gmail, tap the I want to use HTML Gmail button .

Once you have completed accessing your email, press the gear symbol or the Settings item visible at the top right, then the All settings button (if necessary) and go to the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab , located in the next panel . At this point, locate the IMAP access section and put a check mark next to the words Enable IMAP , Enable auto-delete , and Do not limit the number of messages in IMAP folders . Finally, press the Save changes button located at the bottom and that’s it.

Once IMAP access is activated, you can check your e-mail from any program, application or website you prefer; in some cases, however, you may be asked to manually enter the server parameters in a dedicated form, during the configuration of the program or app. For convenience, below I list the “coordinates” to be inserted in each item (the name of each option may vary slightly, depending on the software you are using).

  • Incoming mail server (IMAP) :imap.gmail.com
  • IMAP protocol :SSL
  • IMAP port :
  • Outgoing mail server (SMTP): smtp.gmail.com requires authentication
  • SMTP protocol : SSLorTLS/STARTTLS
  • Porta SMTP465 (per SSL) oppure 587 (per TLS/STARTTLS)
  • Account Name, Username , or Email Address : Your full Gmail address
  • Password : Your Gmail password
  • Full Name or Display Name : Your first name

How to read gmail mail on pc

Having clarified the POP / IMAP question, the time has come to explain how to read Gmail mail on a PC using some commonly used programs.

Email client

Email client

If you prefer to read your email using a computer program, first make sure you have IMAP enabled on your Gmail account; later, open the options menu on the program you have chosen to use, start the phase of configuring a new account and, when prompted, enter the Gmail address associated with your account and the mailbox password .

In most cases, account setup should be done automatically; alternatively, you will be asked to proceed with the manual configuration of the server parameters : if this should happen, fill in the form that is proposed to you, inserting the “coordinates” that I indicated in the initial chapter of this tutorial.

Of course, the exact procedure to follow varies according to the program you are using; as an example, however, let me explain how to read Gmail mail in Outlook for Windows and macOS, in Windows Mail and in Apple Mail.

Please also note that if you have two-factor authentication enabled on your account and you use an application that does not support verification code login, you will need to generate an application- specific password from this page and you will need to use that instead of the classic password of your Google account.

Microsoft Outlook

How to read Gmail mail

To set up Gmail on Microsoft Outlook for Windows and macOS, first start the email program and, if this is your first time using the program, click on the Start , Start using Outlook and Add account buttons .

If, on the other hand, you had already configured the e-mail program for use with another e-mail address, follow the procedure best suited to the operating system you are using: on Windows , click on the File tab and then on the Add account button , type the Gmail e-mail address in the appropriate field and press the Connect/Continue button .

Subsequently, click on the Connect and Next buttons , type the email password in the appropriate field, press the Login button and, if requested, complete the two-factor authentication , following the instructions that are given to you. provided. Then put the check mark next to the option Don’t ask again on this device , press the button relating to the successful delivery of the code or notification (if required) and finally click the Allow button to connect Outlook to the mailbox choice.

How to read Gmail mail

On Mac , the procedure to follow is slightly different: open the menu Tools> Account… of the program, click on the + button located at the bottom left and choose the item New account… from the menu that appears. Now, enter your Google email in the dedicated field and click on the Continue/Continue with Google buttons (twice in succession), to automatically open a browser window, through which you can authenticate yourself in Gmail .

After entering the access credentials to your account and completing (if necessary) the two-factor authentication, click on the Allow button that appears in the browser window, press the button to Open Microsoft Outlook from the browser and click on the button Done , to complete the profile configuration. If the browser does not ask you to reopen Outlook, manually call up the program window and click on the Continue and Done buttons . More info here.

Windows Mail

How to read Gmail mail

Even the configuration of Gmail in Windows Mail , in most cases, is completed completely automatically: therefore open the program using the appropriate icon on the application bar and/or in the Start menu , click on the symbol of the gear resident in the lower left corner of the program window and then on the wording Manage account , visible in the menu that appears on the side.

Subsequently, click on the Add Account item , then on the Google icon and, when prompted, type the Gmail email address in the appropriate field and click on the Next button . Now, repeat the same operation with the account password , click on the Next button and, after completing the two-factor authentication (if necessary), press the Allow and Done button , to complete the account configuration all within the program.

Apple Mail

How to read Gmail mail

If you use Apple’s Mail client , start the application, then open the homonymous menu (located at the top left) and select the Add account… item . Now, put the sign next to the Google item , click on the Continue button and complete the authentication procedure, entering your Gmail address data in the appropriate fields and then clicking on the Allow button .

Once logged in, you should automatically be taken back to the Mail window; from there, you can choose whether to sync email only, or whether to integrate other Gmail items into Apple’s Contacts , Calendars , and Notes applications; to conclude, press the Finish button and the game is done.



If you are not interested in using traditional email clients, you should know that Gmail offers a practical web application that can manage all aspects of your email inbox without installing any program, using any browser already available on your computer (even offline , if desired).

To use it, connected to this website, type the email address of your mailbox in the appropriate field and click on the Next button . Similarly, enter the password of your e-mail account, click on the Next button and, if necessary, complete the two-factor authentication, following the instructions you receive on the screen.

If everything went smoothly, you should now see your e-mail box: to switch from one folder to another ( Inbox , Starred , Delayed , Drafts and so on) use the sidebar you see on the left; additional folders (eg the deleted mail folder in the trash or see scheduled messages ) can be viewed by clicking on the More item .

To view the options available for various messages (delete, labels, reply, forward, and so on), right-click on their respective thumbnails; to start composing a new email, press the Write button , located at the top left.

Finally, I would like to point out that it is possible to customize the graphic aspect of the e-mail box and other additional settings, including any signatures and graphic themes, by clicking on the gear symbol located at the top right.

I would like to point out that in July 2022 Google launched a new Gmail user interface (which improves the user experience without distorting it), which can be activated by clicking on the gear icon ( top right), selecting the item View all settings and, then, selecting the Chat & Meet tab and selecting Google Chat from the Chat section . Subsequently, recall the settings by clicking on the gear icon , then selecting the item Try the new Gmail view and then on the Reload button .

To return to the previous interface, however, you need to click on the gear symbol (top right), then select the item Return to the original view of Gmail in the menu that opened and then on the Reload button . Keep in mind that, at the time of writing this guide, it is possible to go back to the previous Gmail UI, but this may not continue to be feasible in the future.

Once the new Gmail user interface is activated, you will have the possibility of having a panel available on the left with quick access to Meet (as well as the Chat and Spaces functions ) and, moreover, to carry out searches in your inbox that are the most accurate as possible, thanks to the updated algorithm.

As for offline access, you will find a special option (provided you use a compatible browser). More info here.

How to read Gmail mail from another computer

How to read Gmail mail from another computer

How do you say? Do you have an emergency to consult your e-mail box and are you forced to use a computer that does not belong to you? In this case, my advice is to access Gmail via the web, but using an incognito browser window : in doing so, once you have completed your work, all you have to do is close the browser program (or restart your computer, if you feel safer) to eliminate all traces of your access to Gmail and immediately end the active session.

Keep in mind that if you access from an IP address coming from a location that is not usual for you (e.g. if you are abroad) or from a device that Google is not able to associate with your user, you will be asked to confirm your identity via code delivered via SMS , Google Authenticator app or Android login notification .

Generally, it is possible to open an anonymous browser session by opening the latter program and pressing the key combination on the keyboard Ctrl+Shift+N , on Windows, or cmd+shift+n , on Mac; if you have problems, take a look at my guide on how to activate private browsing.

How to read Gmail mail on smartphones and tablets

Are you interested in reading Gmail mail via your smartphone or tablet? In this case, you can use the special Web service made available by Google (which works in an almost identical way to what has already been seen for the computer, except for the arrangement of menus and buttons), or configure the e-mail address within of one of the many email apps available. Find it all explained below.

How to read Gmail mail on Android

How to read Gmail mail on Android

If you use Android , you can quickly access your Google e-mail using the Gmail application , pre-installed on the vast majority of devices equipped with the “green robot”; if you don’t have it, you can download it for free from the Play Store by connecting to the dedicated section of the Google market and tapping the Install button , corresponding to the name of the app.

Generally, on first launch, the Gmail app immediately displays the email box relating to the Google account associated with the smartphone or tablet; to manage a different email address, tap on the profile picture located at the top right (inside the search bar, to be clear), select the item Add another account from the menu that appears and then tap on the Google option .

Now, verify your identity using facial recognition , fingerprint or the configured alternative unlocking system (track, code or password), type the Gmail address to be associated with the app in the dedicated field, tap the Next button and , likewise, also enter the email password . Finally, tap the Accept button and, if you don’t want the rest of the account elements (apps and other social elements) to be associated with Android, tap the Ignore item and that’s it. To switch between accounts, tap your profile picturelocated at the top right and select the name of the mailbox from the menu that appears later.

If, instead of Gmail, you prefer to use another email client for Android, all you have to do is access the section dedicated to adding a new account (usually found in the app’s main menu) and, after indicating your intention to set up a Google account , proceed to log in by following the instructions that appear on the screen. The manual entry of the IMAP parameters, in this situation, is almost always superfluous.

How to read Gmail mail on iPhone

How to read Gmail mail on iPhone

Do you own an iPhone (and iPad )? No problem: the official Gmail application is also available on the App Store, it’s free (you can get it by tapping on the link I gave you just now, pressing the Install/Obtain button and logging in via Face ID, Touch ID or dell password ‘configured Apple account) and works almost identically to what we saw for Android.

If you don’t feel like installing third-party clients and prefer to configure Gmail in the Apple Mail app, proceed as follows: open the iPhone Settings , tapping on the gear symbol residing on the Home screen or in the App Library, select the Mail> Account> Add account items from the subsequent menus, tap the Google item and, when prompted, enter your account credentials in the appropriate fields.

Once logged in, touch the Allow button to allow Mail to access your e-mail, choose whether to synchronize other Google Gmail elements (calendars, reminders, etc.) and, finally, touch the Save item and you’re done Done. Once the account configuration is complete, to choose the default one with which to send new messages, go to the iOS Settings> Mail menu and tap on the Default account item . For more information, take a look at my guide on how to set up mail on iPhone.

How to read Certified Mail in Gmail

How to read Certified Mail in Gmail

How do you say? Would you like to manage your PEC mailbox via Gmail? Despite what you might believe, this is absolutely possible: at the time of writing, in fact, it is possible to access one’s Certified Electronic Mail address both via the Gmail web application and via the app of the same name for smartphones and tablets.

Before proceeding, however, I must make some clarifications on the subject: first of all, to proceed with the configuration, you must obtain the parameters relating to the configuration of the server for incoming mail (POP/IMAP) and for outgoing mail (SMTP); this information is usually provided directly by the provider following activation of the mailbox, is available from the “Support” section of the provider’s website or, again, can be identified by searching Google for phrases such as POP IMAP parameters [PEC provider name ] . More info here.

Secondly, know that some PEC mailboxes do not allow the use of IMAP with Gmail: for this reason, the management of incoming mail could be necessarily delegated to the POP3 protocol . This means that, unless a specific function is enabled in the PEC service used, importing messages into Gmail will result in their deletion from the original server (and, consequently, the impossibility of accessing them from the native webmail or from other mail programs and apps, unless they have already been downloaded previously).

However, I would like to underline that, in some cases (such as for the Aruba PEC, for example), it is possible to use the IMAP parameters of the Certified Mail provider during the configuration phase: if the latter is successful, it is possible to access the mailbox PEC also via Gmail without deleting the original messages from the server .

Having clarified this, to add a PEC box to Gmail Web, you need to click on the gear symbol residing on the Web app screen, select the item View all settings and, after clicking on the Account and import tab , press the item Add another email address ; on Gmail for smartphones and tablets, on the other hand, you need to touch your resident profile image at the top right and select the item Add another account from the panel that appears later. For all the details on the complete procedure, consult my tutorial on how to send a PEC with Gmail.