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I use Apple mail on both iMac and Macbook with all my other mail accounts, I use POP and put a thirty day deletion on the mail account. This means as long as I log in once a month on both machines and download my mail the accounts are in sync.

However this just doesn't work with Google mail, it neither deletes the mail from the server and it only downloads once onto the first mac to log into mail.

My question is this how do I set up gmail to allow both machines to see the mail and ideally leave the mail on the server (don't mind if I only keep 30 days or so)? So do I need to use IMAP for this?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

IMAP will be the way to go for this. Since changes made to the e-mail are reflected only on the server, this guarantees each client will see the mailbox exactly the same way. Trust me, get away from POP as soon as possible. The Server-Client Relationship in IMAP, instead of the pull and disconnect in POP, is a much superior system for most users.

With Gmail, I know there are various settings that change what Gmail does when mail is accessed from a client:

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Here is a good breakdown on the advantages over POP that IMAP brings to the table:

You may want to check that in your Gmail settings online, but I fully recommend you move to IMAP since you are using more than one client. It is just a better system, and cleaner too.

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I think you're probably right, I shall give IMAP a go when I get a chance - will report back. – alimack Feb 18 '10 at 15:04
It seems to work very well and is in fact easier to set up than POP mail. Thanks. – alimack Feb 19 '10 at 20:02

Simply go to and read your email there. It's as simple as that. No IMAP or POP settings required.

Keep it simple...

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I've got 4 different mail accounts - having them all in one place is a definite advantage. – alimack Feb 18 '10 at 15:04
@alimack, I also have several accounts and manage all using a single Gmail account. Works like a charm! – Erick Sasse Feb 18 '10 at 15:56
+1. I also use Apple's Mail but mostly for backup and saving battery eventually. Gmail can handle all your other POP accounts much better. Make your backups, keep them running in parallel and give it a try - use the gmail interface first and daily. – cregox Feb 18 '10 at 16:01
My wife won't use the gmail interface - she finds the webmail clunky. So it won't suit for all cases. I like to have the e-mail downloaded, as it's useful to access my amil via Apple Mail. However I will try the gmail for work, where I have internet access but don't want to download an e-mail client. – alimack Feb 19 '10 at 20:02

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