Thursday, July 20, 2017

3 Requirements to Configure Gmail in Outlook

Using a web browser to check email is easy and convenient because it does not require anything other than an Internet connection and credentials. Most webmail providers even offer to save credentials making the process even faster. However, there are benefits to using a local email application like Outlook including:
  • The ability to access items even when offline
    • This includes emails, sent items, calendar items, tasks etc.
  • Never losing an email due to an interrupted connection or web page glitch
  • The unlimited amount of storage for email archiving and tracking
Unfortunately, configuring Outlook for some email accounts is more difficult than others. For instance, connecting a Microsoft O365 or Comcast account is very simple. Gmail on the other hand requires modifying a few security settings before Outlook can properly authenticate with a Gmail account.

3 Requirements to Configure Gmail in Outlook

Configuring an email account within Outlook has become a fairly simple process. By entering the email address and credentials, Outlook can connect to the email account and automatically apply the correct settings in most cases. Gmail is one of the exceptions to this and the settings that need to be configured first are listed below. NOTE: It is best to configure these 3 settings before trying to configure Outlook for a Gmail address because if these settings are not correct the authentication will fail without giving a reason for the failure. 

Configure Gmail Account Settings
To change these settings, first log into the corresponding Gmail account.

1st Setting - Enable POP/IMAP
  • In the upper right corner, click on the cog and select "Settings" from the drop-down menu.

  • In the Settings menu, click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab.
    • Click the appropriate bubbles to enable POP and IMAP.

    • Click the "Save Changes" button at the bottom.
2nd Setting - Disable 2-step verification
  • Click on your logo in the upper right corner and click on "My Account".

  • From the My Account page, click on Sign-in & security on the top left.

  • On the Sign-in & security tab, scroll down to the Password & sign-in method and disable 2-step verification if it is enabled.

3rd Setting - Enable less secure apps
  • Still on the Sign-in and security tab, scroll to the very bottom and enable the setting next to "Allow less secure apps".

  • NOTE: While this setting implies email will be less secure, Outlook typically connects using SSL/TLS connections. This provides encrypted communication, therefore continuing to provide secure access to email.
Once these settings have been properly configured, Outlook can easily connect to the Gmail account. All settings should be negotiated and configured automatically by entering the correct email address and password.

Using webmail or local email applications is a preference, but when Outlook is preferred, the settings above are necessary to connect a Gmail account to Outlook. Google is a common email provider for many reasons including the fact that it is free and provides decent storage. Connecting a Gmail account to Outlook, a local email application, can be beneficial by providing additional features. These include providing access to existing emails, including sent items, when offline and protecting the integrity of in process emails until they are sent regardless of the status of the Internet. 

As always, there are many ways to accomplish the same things when it comes to tech but being able to utilize the features you desire is most important! 

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