I've setup Gmail and Yahoo IMAP email accounts in Outlook 2010.

When I get a new email in one of these accounts, should it get pushed automatically to my Outlook client? It seems like I can only see new emails when I do a send/receive.

However on my mobile phone, these emails seem to get pushed to my phone.


Push is not available for IMAP based Outlook mail accounts. Push is mainly used with smartphones. Google (or any other service that wants to push stuff to your phone) lets the Push service on your phone know it wants to push something to your phone. This is not an out-of-the-box IMAP feature.

As far as I know Exchange supports push mail at the moment...

  • 1
    Simple enough answer, I guess my followup question would be why don't they implement push in imap for desktop clients if it obviously works in mobile clients? – muhan Feb 2 '12 at 7:51
  • What about IMAP Idle ? It is pushing emails to connected clients. – Laurent Mar 19 at 11:34

I've tested this and determined that Outlook 2010 does support IMAP Push notification. I've turned off my scheduled send/receive now, and when I send an e-mail to my gmail account from another machine or via another account on the web, I see the message in Outlook 2010 within seconds.

  • Can you give details on how you set this up and whether this configuration is also supported in Outlook 2013? – Ben McEvoy Oct 10 '13 at 5:20
  • Confirmed here too. In Outlook 2010, go to the Send/Receive tab, click Send/Receive Groups, Define Send/Receive Groups, and UNcheck 'Schedule automatic send/receive every x minutes' – Rabarberski Mar 24 '14 at 13:26

I think the feature you are talking about is called IMAP-IDLE and according to the wikipedia list, Outlook is capable of IMAP-IDLE. IMAP-IDLE notifies a connected mail client of new incoming mail. The Connected mail client can then retrieve/fetch the mail.

The main IMAP wikipedia article explains further the difference between IMAP-IDLE and IMAP-PUSH:

IMAP4 clients need to maintain a TCP/IP connection to the IMAP server in order to be notified of the arrival of new mail. Notification of mail arrival is done through in-band signaling, which contributes to the complexity of client-side IMAP protocol handling somewhat. A private proposal, push IMAP, would extend IMAP to implement push e-mail by sending the entire message instead of just a notification. However, push IMAP has not been generally accepted and current IETF work has addressed the problem in other ways (see the Lemonade Profile for more information).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.