How Do I Enable IMAP for Gmail On iPhone, iPad, & Computer? The Fix!

Gmail uses a standard technology called IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) to deliver mail to your iPhone, iPad, and computer. If it’s turned off, your email won’t show up on your devices. It can be tricky to turn on Gmail’s IMAP technology using your iPhone, but it can be done. In this article, I’ll show you how to enable IMAP for Gmail using your iPhone, iPad, or computer.

If Gmail won’t load on your iPhone at all, I recommend you read my article called Why Doesn’t Gmail Work On My iPhone? Here’s The Fix! for a complete walkthrough of how to fix that problem. “Make Sure IMAP Is Enabled” is step #4 of that article.

Gmail IMAP Access

Where We Need To Begin

IMAP needs to be enabled on the Gmail website. Log into with your email address and password, and then follow the instructions for your device. (It’s easier on a desktop.)

How To Enable Gmail IMAP Using Your iPhone

If you’re using an iPhone or iPad, you may see a popup that asks you to download an app. Don’t do it—tap the “Go to the mobile Gmail site” link at the bottom of the screen.

iPhone Click Mobile Gmail Site Link

After you email loads, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, look for the links next to “View Gmail in:”, and tap Desktop. Get ready for some small print and bear with me—we’re almost done. You can pinch to zoom if that helps.

Tap Desktop On iPhone Gmail

Tap Settings, then tap Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and make sure IMAP is enabled.

Enable IMAP Gmail iPhone

How To Enable Gmail IMAP With Your Computer

After you log in, tap the gears icon (above your email on the right-hand side) and choose Settings.

Click Gear Icon And Settings

Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab and make sure IMAP is enabled.

Gmail Settings Enable IMAP Desktop

Gmail IMAP: Enabled

If Gmail isn’t loading on your iPhone or iPad after you enable IMAP, check out my article called Why Doesn’t Gmail Work On My iPhone? Here’s The Fix! for a complete walkthrough of how to fix that problem. If you ran into any snags along the way, leave a comment below and I’ll be happy to lend a hand.

All the best, and remember to Payette Forward,
David P.


About Author

I'm a former Apple employee and the founder of Payette Forward, and I'm here to help you with your iPhone.