How to Sync Mail Accounts

By Steve Gregory

In order to sync your e-mail accounts, you must configure the settings on your e-mail client and the mail server. The accounts must be configured as Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) accounts. This type of e-mail account saves all of your e-mail on the mail server until you decide to delete it. The IMAP enabled e-mail clients sync with the server so that that your read and unread e-mails are always up to date on all computers. Therefore, your IMAP e-mail inbox from your work computer, home computer and even mobile device are the same.

Things You'll Need

  • E-mail client software

Configure Your E-mail Server

Step 1

Log in to your e-mail server. Many Internet Service Providers as well as Yahoo, Google and Microsoft all have free e-mail services that offer IMAP configuration. They all generally have the same method to enable IMAP in their service. Type in your user name and password in the login window to enter your account.

Step 2

Click the “Settings” tab at the top of the Web page.

Step 3

Select the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab and check the “Enable IMAP” button. Click "Save Changes."

Configure Your E-mail Client

Step 1

Launch your e-mail client. There are several e-mail clients available (see Resources) and in general follow the same protocol to enable IMAP on their e-mail accounts. Click “Tools” from the menu bar followed by “Accounts.” The Accounts screen will be displayed.

Step 2

Click the “Add” or “New Account” button to create a new account. The new e-mail wizard will begin. Follow the prompts to complete the process. Check the “IMAP” button under the “Type of E-mail Account” and click “Next.”

Step 3

Type your display name and e-mail address in the appropriate fields and click “Next.” In the “Incoming Mail Server” or “Manually Configure Server Settings” window, select “IMAP” from the list. Type in your incoming and outgoing server information and click “Next.” Type the user name and password for your account and select any security settings if applicable. Click the “Next” button followed by “Finish” to complete configuring your account.

Step 4

Click “Get New Mail,” “Fetch New Mail” or the specific command your client uses to retrieve new e-mail. Your e-mail inbox will be synced. Repeat the steps for each computer or device to sync e-mail between all of your clients.