Is it possible to read an IMAP email address via my Gmail account?

According to the docs I have found they only seem to support reading of POP3, but I find that a bit weird?

  • 3
    You're not the only one who wants that. Way back when Google launched IMAP to access Gmail people have been clamoring to have Gmail as an IMAP client. Like this one: googlesystem.blogspot.com/2007/10/…
    – ale
    Commented Aug 27, 2010 at 15:03
  • 2
    Is this for a one-time import, or for continuous sync? Commented Aug 27, 2010 at 17:19
  • @grm: if the school's mail only supports pop, why do you need IMAP support?
    – Senseful
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 20:49
  • 1
    @Senseful sorry, type. Only supports IMAP it should have been.
    – grm
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 21:10
  • @grm: I updated the question to hopefully make it clearer. From what I understand, this is about reading an IMAP email address via Gmail's interface, and not importing (which usually means a one-time thing).
    – Senseful
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 21:37

4 Answers 4


You're going to have to work around this a little bit yourself. What you will need is a daemon or frequently run job that fires off something like fetchmail which is configured to login to your imap account, suck off your mail and either forward it to your gmail address or manually deliver it into another imap account (again, your gmail box).

This will need to run from somewhere consistently in order for you to have your mail up to date, but it doesn't have to be the box you check your mail from. You will be able to use your gmail from anywhere as usual as long as that fetchmail or similar is running somewhere acting as that little tunnel porting mail from one place to the other.

  • 22
    as of 2015, the feature is still not in gmail Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 9:43
  • 14
    As of 2017, the feature is still not in Gmail. (But it's there in the Gmail Android app :/)
    – John Red
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 13:20
  • 13
    2018, June, the feature is still not there in Gmail. Come on, folks at Google, we need this! :/
    – John Red
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 8:47
  • 10
    As of October 2019, and my institution is going to kill off POP3 protocol, leaving IMAP the only protocol to access email, Gmail still only allows POP...
    – Jim Raynor
    Commented Oct 28, 2019 at 22:25
  • 9
    As 2020, still not in Gmail, meanwhile we almost perfected the driverless cars and very close to curing cancer. Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 23:05

You can use a browser plugin (with GreaseMonley) to fetch pop3 email every 8 minutes.

See http://www.danielslaughter.com/projects/gmail-pop3-checker-for-greasemonkey/#install

  • 4
    He looks for a solution that addresses IMAP not POP3.
    – orschiro
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 13:48

If you just want to dump a lot of mail into gmail initially, there are a lot of tools out there to help with that.

One approach:

  1. open up an email client like Thunderbird
  2. add both gmail and your other account as IMAP accounts
  3. drag and drop all the mail from your other account into gmail

Of course if you really want this to happen continuously, pop3 is your only option right now. Many imap providers also support pop3, though, so you could consider that.

  • Thanks Michael, but this doesn't solve my problem.
    – grm
    Commented Oct 4, 2010 at 19:49

this site has an imapcopy tool that you'd have to setup to run on your own server somewhere. Otherwise all you can do is go to Suggest a Feature and go down to "I have another idea" to submit a request.

  • 2
    As of 2013, this highly desirable feature is still not available in GMail. :( I know that is not the answer you wanted to hear. ): @Brad_Mace, oddly, when I go to Google's Feature Suggestion page via your link, there is no "I have another idea" link. Hmm. As if they are tired of hearing about potential improvements. Commented Aug 4, 2013 at 19:44
  • 1
    As of sept 2016, still here... I doubt it will be ever implemented, it would have been already done..
    – Antonello
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 11:34

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