I'm downloading my email to a private Gmail account, from another POP3 server (SmarterMail Server 4.3). In Gmail I'm getting the error:

Error: Too many messages to download.
Server returned error "There are too many messages on the other server. Please delete some mail from..."

So I can reduce the number of emails, but I don't know what maximum count I'm trying to hit.

Also using google on the error message only returns a few results from google sites, but non refer to an email count that would cause this error to start showing.

1 Answer 1


Ok I've now systematically reduced the email in the Inbox folder of this server using it's webmail interface.

The magic number I needed to hit was 100,000 emails. Having more than this amount of email on the server, caused the error in Gmail.

  • Do you know if it's possible for Gmail to only import new messages to avoid this error?
    – kiradotee
    Jan 30, 2023 at 21:34
  • 1
    I can confirm this 100,000 limit as of today (6-24-23) as I just helped someone with this exact issue at just over 100K on the old/host POP3 server. He had "leave messages on server" checked in Gmail's POP3 retrieval options, so many messages were likely already downloaded, but it appears the initial POP3 check/compare stages (STAT/LIST commands) are limited to 100K by Google as I know of no inherent limit built into POP3 itself. Put differently, the limit is hit due to the total mail on the POP3 server (100K max), NOT solely the number of unread/undownloaded messages.
    – Rook
    Jun 24, 2023 at 21:33

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