How To Setup Windows Live Mail To Access Gmail Using IMAP


Although most people access Gmail using a web browser ( Webmail ) Gmail also  allows access using the  POP3 and IMAP4 protocols.

This is useful as it allows you to access your Gmail email using standard desktop email clients like Windows Live Mail and also email Apps on smartphones and tablets

In this tutorial we will look at setting up Windows Live Mail to access Gmail using  IMAP4 as it is the preferred access protocol.

Setting Up Gmail

Gmail is normally accessed using a browser i.e. a web based client.

This type of access uses secure http as standard.-https

[outline style=”yellow”]Google doesn’t allow access to Gmail mailboxes by traditional IMAP and POP clients by default, but it does let you configure access.[/outline]

To do that you need to login to your Gmail account using your web browser and go to Settings, 


Click on the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab


In the IMAP access section click on the enable IMAP radio button.

At one time this was enough, but Google have tightened security, and will block access to  less secure clients,, and it  considers Windows Live Mail to be a less secure client.

To enable access go to account settings.


Go to Sign in Security section and click the arrow.


Scroll down to the bottom to the Less Secure App box and turn on access.


You should get an email from Google informing you that access to less secure apps has been enabled.


Setting Up Windows live Mail

Now the Google account is set up you can now setup an account in Windows live mail.

Setting Up The WLM Account

1. Select the Accounts tab and click  Email


A new account screen Opens.

Fill out your account details and check the manually configure server settings.


Another  screen appears that requires the Gmail server names and ports.

The screen shot below shows the  Gmail server settings ,they are also available here,


Note: The server settings are applicable to Windows Live Mail and other POP/IMAP clients.

Enter the server details.You need to pay attention to your server security settings,Ports and SMTP authentication.


Click next when finished and you should get a setup complete box.

Windows live mail should then start to synchronise with the Gmail and download email messages according to the synchronisation policy.

The default synchronisation policy appears to synchronise all messages.


If you are connecting to a mailbox that has lots of messages then it will take a long time to synchronise.

You can change the synchronisation settings on a per folder basis by right clicking the folder and selecting Synchronisation Settings and changing it to new messages only.


Here is a video that takes you through the process described above.

Common Questions and Answers

Q- I’ve sent an email from WLM will I see that sent email if I logon to my Gmail account?

A- Yes you will.

Q- If I delete email from my inbox on WLM is can I stil access it by logging on to my Gmail account using a web Browser.

A- No you can’t. The inbox on your WLM client is synchronised with the inbox on your Gmail account. So when you delete it from WLM it is also deleted from the Gmail inbox and vice-versa.

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