Skip navigation

How to force a Mail account to use IMAP instead of POP?

10239 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2013 11:10 PM by Jed Pekoy RSS
michaelab Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 7, 2011 2:25 AM
I'm trying to setup a new mail account on my wife's iPhone 3G (4.2.1) and after putting in the in initial info (name, e-mail address, password), Mail picks up the POP server information (which is valid), but I don't want to use POP, I want to use IMAP. I know that the account supports IMAP as it's configured and working in Outlook. Changing the incoming server from to (which I know is the correct server) does nothing, it still functions as a POP server.

I know that in some cases a big IMAP/POP selection button appears at the top of the mail configuration screen but in this case it doesn't. There appears to be no way to force iPhone Mail to use IMAP.

The only way I know to get around this, which is a pain in the ***, is to configure the account as IMAP in OS X Mail and then sync the account to the iPhone, but I don't want to go there if I don't have to.
2006 Intel iMac 20", Mac OS X (10.6.6), iPhone 4 16Gb.
  • goetzilla Calculating status...

    I had the same problem when setting up my wife's MacBook Air. The simple solution was to enter a invalid email address. This keeps the Mail app from configuring the mail account automatically and you are able to select IMAP from the following screen. After that you can change the email adress to the valid one.
  • Matthew Smith Level 5 Level 5 (6,780 points)
    I thought I read somewhere that if you put in an incorrect password when setting it up you will get to change all the details after an error pops up. I have not tried this myself.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPod nano 6G, iPhone 4, Apple TV
  • MadDogMikeATL Calculating status...

    goetzilla wrote:


    The simple solution was to enter a invalid email address. This keeps the Mail app from configuring the mail account automatically and you are able to select IMAP from the following screen.


    What following screen? I don't get any "following screen". Using this method I do get an error message, but all it says is that the password was rejected, and asks me to re-enter it. At no point does it give me the opportunity to select IMAP.

  • cjcarton Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Brilliant suggestion, totally correct. Many thanks.

  • jmacfed Calculating status...

    The other thing you can do is,


    If your mail server (such as gmail) can be configured to both imap and pop, then you can go into the settings of that email account and disable POP settings. That way when Mac Mail searches for configuration, it will automatically configure IMAP and you won't have to do it manually... Cheers,

  • sloth8 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Superb solution.


    My provider went to a gmail type setup a couple of years ago. It wants everyone to use webmail, which doesn't suit me.


    I've put up with POP access until I found this thread; now all is sorted: Thank you.


    The "following screen" is what pops up when you click "Continue" again (even with no password: it shows the IMAP option).


    If you did use a false e-mail, correct all of them in the next screens and create the account.


    You may find the erroneous e-mail account still showing if you edit that account's settings - correct it there, and it should burst into life.

  • Jed Pekoy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    If your having problems getting your Apple Mail or Mac Mail to sync across your devices, I thought this might be helpful.  It could be because you have your email accounts set up with POP rather than IMAP configuration.  Try this solution.


    I had set up my gmail account a long time ago (5 years) before I know the differnce between POP and IMAP.  IMAP allows you to sync across devices... POP is OLD SCHOOL technology of the 90's.  Now that I know better, and have more than one device I want to sync, so I want to change the settings in mac mail to convert the gmail emails from a POP account type to an IMAP accont type, but I cannot afford to loose all of my previous emails that I'd saved (100's of them), which is what will happend if you delete this account to start anew. 

    Odly, even after I set up the email as IMAP in gmail, it still did not update the account type in Apple Mail.  Apparently this has to be done from scratch.




    What worked for me was actually rather simple, but to be safe BACK UP.

    Note:  It did dissassociate all of my "Signatures" but did not erase them from my email acconts (I have 14 email accounts with google apps).  Your exprience could be different, so please ba safe and back up.


    1) First I dissabled the existing email account in my Apple Mail program. 


    2) Then recreated the account from scratch as an IMAP.* 

    * Be sure to change the account to an IMAP in  gmail first (Click the Gear on the right > Settings > Forwarding & POP IMAP > Disable POP then Enable IMAP


    ***Deactivating took the account out of view (hidden) but retained all of the saved emails from the past.  At the same time it allowed me to recreate the account in Apple Mail from scratch and it auto pulled up the IMAP configuration, with the same gmail account I was using before set up as POP. ***


    Now I'm left with the best of both worlds and all syncs perfectly.

    Just don't forget and accidentally delete the inactive account, or you will lose ALL of the emails you saved during the time when the old POP email account was active.


    Good Luck!


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.