How to Set Up Gmail Through Microsoft Outlook

By Steve Gregory

Use the Add Account feature in Outlook 2013 to add your POP or IMAP enabled Gmail account to the desktop email client.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • MS Outlook
  • Gmail e-mail address

Outlook 2013’s Add Account feature has the settings to add your Gmail account. Enable the Post Office Protocol or Internet Message Access Protocol in your Gmail account before attempting to set up the account in Outlook.

In addition, if you use Google’s Two-Step Verification feature, you also need to create an app password because Outlook doesn’t accept verification codes. If you don’t use Google’s Two-Step Verification, activate your Google account’s Less Secure Apps feature to allow Outlook to access your Gmail account.

Enable POP or IMAP

Step 1

Click the Settings icon after logging in to your Gmail account and then click Settings from the menu box to open the Settings page.

Step 2

Select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab to open the Forwarding and POP/IMAP section of the Settings page.

There are ten Settings tabs.

Step 3

Click the Enable IMAP radio button in the IMAP Access section. If you prefer to use the POP protocol, click the Enable POP For All Mail radio button or the Enable POP For All Mail That Arrives From Now On radio button in the POP Download section.


Although both protocols download your Gmail messages to Outlook for offline access, consider using IMAP instead of POP to access your Gmail account. This is because IMAP uses two-way communication to synchronize the information between Outlook and the Gmail server. Therefore, you can check your email from multiple sources -- such as mobile devices and other email clients -- and any changes you make in Outlook are reflected in your Gmail account and other email clients.

If you decide to use POP instead of IMAP, select the option to keep a copy of the original message in your inbox after it downloads to Outlook. Unlike POP, the IMAP protocol automatically leaves the original message in your account and only downloads a copy of a message to Outlook. Open your Gmail account’s Settings page, select Forwarding and POP/IMAP and then click the appropriate Enable POP radio button in the POP Download section. Click the When Messages Are Accessed With POP drop-down box, select Keep Gmail’s Copy In The Inbox and then click Save Changes.


The POP protocol only downloads email from your Gmail account because it uses one-way communication. Any actions or changes you make in Outlook -- such as sending a message -- is not uploaded back to your Gmail account or reflected in other email clients or devices.

The Email Forwarding settings are also located in this section of the Settings page.

Step 4

Click the Save Changes button to save the new protocol setting.

Gmail Account.

Generate An App Password

To create an app password that Microsoft Outlook can use to authenticate your Gmail account:

  1. Log in to your Google Account Settings page, select Two-Step Verification in the Signing In section and then select the App-Specific Passwords tab.
  2. Select the Manage Application-Specific Passwords button and then type your account password in the Password box to open the App Passwords page.
  3. Click the Select App drop-down box and choose Other (Custom Name).

  4. Type Outlook in the Generate field and then click Generate.

Your new app password appears in a highlighted yellow box on the Generated App Password page.

An app password is 16 characters long.

Activate Less Secure Apps Access

Google uses the latest security standards for account access, which are not supported by Microsoft Outlook 2013, as of publication. As a result, you need to activate your Google account's Less Secure Apps feature to allow Outlook to connect to your Gmail account.

To activate the feature, sign to your Google Account Settings page, select Access For Less Secure Apps in the Signing In section and then select the Turn On option.

The page confirms the change by displaying the word Updated.

Add Your Gmail Account

Step 1

Launch Outlook and then open the File menu.

Outlook 2013.

Step 2

Click the Add Account button under Account Information to open the Add Account window.

Click the Account Settings button to access your email account settings.

Step 3

Select the Email Account radio button and then enter your name, full Gmail address and password in the relevant fields. Click Next and wait for Outlook to automatically configure your Gmail account.


If you created an app password, enter it in both Password fields.

Outlook 2013.


To manually add the Gmail server settings, click the Manual Setup or Additional Server Types radio button and then click Next. Enter the IMAP or POP Gmail server settings in the relevant fields to add your Gmail account.

Step 4

Click the Finish button after Outlook completes your account configuration.

Click the Add Another Account button to add another email account.