Configure a Gmail Account for Mac and iOS

You may have noticed that we’ve been on a guide-creation-spree with Google Calendar, Google Contacts and Google Email (Gmail). We’ve already created the complete guide to Google Calendar Sync and a follow-up for Google Contact Sync… now we’re going to talk about Gmail. This is, by far, the easiest setup of the three. If you handle contacts and calendars, then you should be able to breeze through this. By the way, thanks for all of the interest in our guides so far. We’ll be putting out a couple follow-up guides for issues that you’ve run into that aren’t covered in our original guides: resetting Sync Services and resetting the Address Book.

This guide covers a Gmail account configuration in Apple Mail and iOS. If you’re following this guide with a regular “@gmail.com” email address, then insert “gmail” in the “domain” section of the corresponding pictures. If you’re using a Google Apps account, insert your Google Apps domain instead of “domain.com.” If you’re looking for configuration settings for other devices, click the mail envelope icon to the right and let us know. Click the “Continue Reading” link to get started.

Configuring Gmail for Apple Mail

If you’ve never used Apple Mail before, no big deal… just open it and it will take you directly to the account configuration. If you’ve setup other accounts, you’ll need to manually navigate to the account configuration window.

  • Open Apple Mail
  • Click on the word “Mail” in the menu bar at the top left portion of your screen
  • Click “Preferences”
  • Click to the “Accounts” tab
  • Click the “+” plus button in the bottom left corner of that window

In the account configuration window, enter the information for your Google account. Again, Google Apps users will use their company emails. Regular gmail users will use the “@gmail.com” address.

  • Enter your name into the “Full Name” field
  • Enter your gmail address into the “Email Address” field
  • Enter your password (the one you use to sign in to the Google website)
  • Click “Continue”

That brings up this next window where we set up the incoming mail settings. We need this information so the mail account knows where to download the new messages. Since we’re using Google, we just set it up with the Google servers… this applies to Google Apps users and regular Gmail users.

  • Click the “Account Type” drop down menu and choose “IMAP”
  • Type “Gmail” into the description field
  • In the “Incoming Mail Server” field, type “imap.gmail.com”
  • In the “Username” field, type in your whole email address — include “@domain.com”
  • Enter your password (the same one as before)
  • Click “Continue”
  • If it fails or shows an error, verify that the email address and password are correct

Now we have to configure the outgoing server settings so Apple Mail knows where to send the outgoing messages. If this isn’t done properly, sent messages would get stuck in the Outbox.

  • Type “Gmail” into the description field
  • In the “Outgoing Mail Server” field, type “smtp.gmail.com”
  • Make sure the “Use only this server” checkbox is checked
  • Also make sure the “Use Authentication” checkbox is checked
  • In the “Username” field, type in your whole email address — include “@domain.com”
  • Enter your password (again, the same one as before)
  • Click “Continue”
  • If it fails or shows an error, verify that the email address and password are correct

You should now see the Account Summary window. Make sure that your account summary looks like the one in the picture above. Verify the incoming and outgoing servers and make sure they both say “SSL: on” underneath.

That’s it for the Apple Mail configuration. It should be talking to Google and downloading any messages that existed on the server to your Inbox or IMAP folders. We’ll explain advanced IMAP folders and message filing another day, in another guide. Let’s move on to the iOS configuration.

Configuring Gmail for iOS

This part of the guide applies to all iOS devices: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad. Before attempting any of these steps, please make sure that your iOS device is running the latest version of the iOS software so you can ensure maximum compatibility. You can follow these same steps with a Google Apps account or a regular gmail account.

  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap “Mail, Contacts and Calendars”
  • Tap “Add Account” and choose “Gmail”
  • Enter your Name
  • Enter your email address into the “Address” field
  • Enter your password (yes, the same as before)
  • Enter a description: Gmail
  • Tap “Next”

It should take a few seconds (or minutes depending on your connection) to verify the account. Once everything goes through, it will show you Mail, Calendars and Notes like the picture to the right. It isn’t a good idea to let this configure your calendars. If you want to know why, read our Google Calendars guide. Leave Mail on but turn Calendars off. I also don’t recommend trying to do anything with the Note syncing through this either. If you’re looking for a great way to sync notes, check out Evernote. Tap “Save” and you’re done.

We hope that you’ve learned a great deal from our Google Sync series. Please make sure you visit the Google Contacts and Google Calendar posts below. If you’re in the Rocky Mountain area, stop in and say, “Hello!” Otherwise, keep us in mind for your next troubleshooting session or repair. We work locally, nationally and internationally!

Google Calendar Sync for Mac and iOS

Google Contacts Sync for Mac and iOS

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