Setting up and Using Email on Android
Last Updated: April 26, 2013
One of the most common uses of Android tablets and phones is for sending and receiving email.
To send and receive email you will need an Email client App.
Most Android tablets and phones come with an Email App already installed.
Very often this is the Gmail App, but it could also be the old stock Email App.
Note: Google stopped pre-installing the old stock email app when they introduced Lollipop (android 5.0) and started to encourage a move to the Gmail App.
You can use either App to send and receive email on most email providers.
Setting Up Email Accounts on Android
For completeness we will look at setting up email accounts using both the old stock Email App and the newer Gmail App.
To setup an email account you will need to get some setup details from your Email Provider.
Typical details that are needed for the setup are:
We will setup the standard Email App to access an email account using IMAP4.
The video below covers the setup the email accounts on the Android stock email App:
Setting Up The Gmail App To Access a Gmail Mailbox
The Gmail App is a specialized email App from Google, but it can also be used to access email from any POP3 or IMAP4 mailbox, and not just Gmail accounts.
Setting it up to access a Gmail Mailbox is very easy as most of the settings, like email server addresses, are preset in the App and so you don’t need to provide them.
The video below shows ho it is done.
Using Other Email Apps for Android
Google, Yahoo and Hotmail/outlook.com provide specialized Email Apps to access their email services.
If you are a Yahoo mail user then I would recommend downloading and using the Yahoo mail App, and if you use Outlook.com/Hotmail then download and install the outlook App for Android.
Using Email Widgets
If you want to see your email direct on your home screen without having to open the App then you can add a widget to one of your home screens.
Widgets are available for the Gmail App, standard email app, outlook and the Yahoo mail Apps.
This video shows how to do it.
Note: You can also add a lock screen widget so that you can see your email even if the screen is locked.
Basic Email Security
The problem with mobile devices is that they can easily get lost.
Your email probably contains sensitive information, and access to your email account by a third party could expose you to severe problems.
For example if I had access to your Gmail mailbox I could request a password reset on the account.
For this reason I don’t like receiving sensitive email on mobile devices with auto login.
If you do use an Email App then make sure you use screen lock, and if you do lose your device change your email passwords as quickly as possible.
Using Multiple Email Apps on Android
You can use Multiple email clients/Apps to access email from multiple providers.
[outline style=”yellow”]This is a common technique for keeping work and personal email separate.[/outline]
You could for example to access your Personal Yahoo Mail email and the Gmail App to access your work email.
Accessing Multiple Email Accounts
Most email Apps can be configured to access email from multiple email accounts.
In the screenshot below you can see the standard email App configured with two email accounts..
You can view the inboxes for each account separately or together (combined view).
Deleting an Email Account from Android
If you no longer need to access an email account you can delete it from your phone/tablet..
Open your email App and click the settings icon.
Select the email account you want to delete from the list.
The settings from this account are shown. Scroll to the bottom and click remove account.
Common Email Questions
Q- Should I use a POP3 or IMAP email account?-
A- Using IMAP is the preferred option because it doesn’t download email from your email server. This means that the email can be accessed by multiple email clients/apps.
Q- My Email has Been Deleted?–
A- If you access a mailbox using the POP3 protocol, and then try access it using a desktop client or webmail you might find that the email in your Android inbox doesn’t appear in the inbox of the desktop email client etc.
This is because when you accessed the mailbox with the android client it downloaded the email to the android tablet/phone, and then deleted it from the inbox on the mail server. There is a configuration option that prevents this.
Q- I don’t see all of the email messages in my inbox. What’s wrong?
A- Some Apps only display the last 20 or so messages by default. You need to change the App settings.
Q-Where are my Emails Stored?
A- If you are using Android with an IMAP4 account then they will be stored on the email server.
Your tablet/phone may also have a local copy depending on your settings.
If you use Android with a POP3 account then the email will be stored on your tablet/phone.
Email Apps from Outlook.com,Yahoo and Google store email on the Internet and not on your phone/tablet
Q- Can I access my Email When Offline?
A- No not usually. You will have access to some emails that have been cached.( temporarily stored locally)
Q- Can I Create Emails when Offline?
A- Yes you can but they will not be sent until you connect to the Internet.
Q- Can I use Multiple Email Apps?
A-Yes you can install and use as many Email Apps as you want. Using multiple Email Apps is a common method used to separate work email from personal email.
Q- If I delete an Email Account on My Tablet/phone What happens to the Email?
A- Nothing- the account is still active on the email provider and you can connect to it using another device.
Q-If I use my Android tablet to send email where is the sent email stored?
A- It is normally stored in the sent items folder on the email server.
Q- Can I Access my email from my desktop using my browser as well as from my tablet?
A- Yes you can provided the account is setup correctly. See this article for more details.
Related Articles and Resources:
- Managing Contacts on Android
- Useful Apps for Your Android Tablet
- Android Location Reporting and Tracking
- Using The Gmail App with Gmail
- Techrepublic article on Gmail and old stock email client