How to configure your Gmail (or Google Apps) account in Apple Mail

1. Configure your Gmail (or Google Apps) account

These steps will guide you to enable IMAP access in your Gmail account (required to use Apple Mail) and install a special "lab" feature to avoid downloading duplicate messages.

  1. Login to Gmail.
  2. Go to Settings, Forwarding and POP / IMAP.
  3. Enable IMAP access by clicking on the Enable IMAP radio button and click on Save changes.
  4. Go to Settings, Labs.
  5. Look for the Advanced IMAP controls feature and enable it. Don't forget to Save changes.
  6. Go to Settings, Labels.
  7. Look for the All mail label, and click on it's Show in IMAP checkbox to disable it.
  8. Do the same for the Starred label.

2. Configure Apple Mail

These steps describe how to add your email account to Apple Mail.

  1. Open Mail.
  2. Go to Mail, Preferences, and choose the Accounts tab.
  3. Click the + button to create a new account.
  4. Fill in your name, full email address ( and Gmail password.
  5. Mail will try to autodiscover your settings, but won't be able to do it, so it will ask for your email account configuration in the Incoming Mail Server dialog:
    • In Account type choose IMAP.
    • In Description write a name for your email account. This can be your email address.
    • In Incoming mail server type
    • In Username type again your full email address (
    • Type your Gmail Password.
  6. Click Continue.
  7. Provide the following in the Outgoing mail server dialog:
    • In Description write a name for the outgoing server. It can be only "Gmail".
    • In Outgoing mail server type
    • Check the Use only this server and Use authentication options, so they be enabled.
    • Type again your full email address in Username, and your Gmail password in Password.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. Review your Account summary, make sure the Take account online checkbox is enabled and click Create.
  10. You can close now the Preferences dialog.

Set special purpose folders

At this point you can start using your email account in Apple Mail, but it is recommended to follow next steps to fine tune some Mail behaviors related to special folders to store sent items, drafts, spam and deleted items (trash.)

  1. Find your email account folders in the Mail folder hierarchy, and expand the [Gmail] folder.
  2. Click on the Drafts folder to select it.
  3. Go to Mailbox, Use this mailbox for, Drafts.
  4. Click on the Sent Mail folder to select it.
  5. Go to Mailbox, Use this mailbox for, Sent.
  6. Click on the Spam folder to select it.
  7. Go to Mailbox, Use this mailbox for, Junk.
  8. Click on the Trash folder to select it.
  9. Go to Mailbox, Use this mailbox for, Trash.