Mar 01


Despite their differences, Apple and Google do work well together when it comes to email.  Gmail is free and it has great spam protection. But the Gmail web interface is a bit clunky. Apple mail is very nice to use and you can set it to use a Gmail account. Here’s how to use Gmail from Apple’s mail app and also how to set up Gmail on your iPhone or iPad.

1. Sign up for Gmail.

(If you already have a Google Gmail account you can skip this step – but you will need to know your and it’s password)

– Go to and click on “Sign Up”

– Fill in the details – you’ll need to pick a gmail email address ( and a password. (Write them down!)

– When you have finished you should get a verification page that says this at the bottom:

Gmail signup complete

Now it’s time to set up the Apple mail application on your computer.


2. Enter your Gmail details into Apple mail on your iMac, Mac Mini or Macbook.


– Open Apple mail, and go to the “Mail’ menubar at the top of the screen and  then select  ‘Preferences’  from the menu.

Select preferences from the mail menu




– Select the ‘Accounts’ tab. From here  you can manage your mail accounts.

Accounts tab



– Press the ‘+’ button – this means add a new account.

Add a new account


–  You will be prompted for some details:

Enter your Gmail settings into Apple  mail

  • Where it says ‘full name’  enter your name,  this is not important but it will appear in the ‘ from’  field and can be anything.
  • Where it says ’email address’   put in your Gmail email address from step 1 above including the at the end.
  • Where it says ‘password’ enter your Gmail password from step 1 above.


It will then verify that the email address and password are correct and then display a confirmation screen. It should say that the Account type is “Gmail IMAP” as follows:

Gmail confirmation screen

– Press ‘Create’

– You will be taken back to the Apple Mail preferences screen. There are some settings you should change here.

1. Click on the mailbox behaviours tab

Mailbox behaviours tab


You pretty much need to set them to the opposite of the Apple default. Tick the ‘Junk’ and un-tick everything else like this:

Mailbox behaviour settings



You don’t want to tick “Drafts.”  Every few minutes Apple mail makes a backup copy of your email as you are typing it. If  you select this option all these draft emails get stored in your gmail Drafts folder and you end up with lots of clutter!

You don’t want to tick “Sent”  because Gmail automatically keeps a copy of your sent messages and puts them in its ‘send mail folder’ so Apple mail does not need to.  You only need this option checked if your email provider doesn’t keep a copy of your sent emails automatically.

The “Trash” option is  for email providers who don’t keep a copy of all your deleted emails. If checked it will save all your deleted items to a trash folder incase you want to undo the delete. Gmail automatically keeps a copy of every email that you delete so you don’t need to do this.

You  want the “junk”  option ticked  because Gmail automatically takes care of junk mail –  you don’t want the Apple mail program deleting it.


– That’s it.

– You can close the preferences window. (Click save if it prompts you to save the new settings).

– There should be some welcome messages from Gmail waiting for you in your Apple mail.



On the left-hand side of your mail app there should be a little folder called [Gmail]  that looks like this:

Gmail folders


The All Mail  folder contains every mail you have sent or received and even the emails you have deleted.  This is where you go if you want to find an old email that you have deleted.

The drafts folder will be empty all the time because you are not storing your draft emails on the gmail server.

Sent mail will contain all the emails you have sent.

Trash will be empty. All your deleted emails are kept in the All Mail folder –  you don’t need another copy in the trash.


– You can repeat all these instructions  to add more accounts to your Apple mail.

– If you want to set up your Gmail account on an iPhone or iPad read on.


3. Enter your Gmail details into your iPhone or iPad.


– Go to Settings, then “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”

– Select the ‘Add Account’ option.




– Select ‘Gmail’



– Enter your Gmail settings from Step 1 above. The ‘description’ can be any description to help you remember what the account is,  eg ‘My personal gmail account’



That’s it!

You can now access and edit your emails from your Computer and your iOS device.






138 Responses to “How to set up Apple mail to work with a Gmail account.”

  1. Cathie says:

    I have a new MAC computer and I’m trying to get my gmail account to run through mac Mail so I can receive my g -mail. I have run through the steps provided on the website and I’m unsuccessful.

  2. chris says:

    I’m so sick of this problem every time I restart my mac, same thing. It says I must re-input my password for my gmail, then eternal SPOD (not the colored wheel, however, more like flashing spokes). So I delete the account and restart. Upon pressing the + button to add a new email account, it gives you the option of selecting a google, or other, pre-select types. If you select google you get eternal SPOD. Select ‘other’ and you can do it. But I’m sick of having to over and over again and no answers anywhere.

  3. Rae says:

    It keeps coming up unable to verify account or password
    or the proxy settings are insecure!!I have tried so many times and so many ways that it becomes very frustrating!!! Can ANYONE Help me PLEASE???????

    • sue says:

      Hi Rae, I was dealing with the same issue for the last two days! (unable to verify account or password) but finally got my gmail back on my desk top. Sign in to your Google
      Account, if that works you know your account is still there
      and your password is good. Go to ‘sign in and security’,
      click on ‘connected apps and sites’, find ‘allow less secure
      apps’ and make sure this is ON! I was messing with my google account and had turned this off and my gmail
      went offline? For two days I kept deleting the gmail account
      in preferences and then trying to add it back again and got
      the same message every time. So.. I deleted gmail from
      preferences on desktop and devices, went into google account and turned ON ‘allow less secure apps’, went
      back to preferences, added gmail and it came right back!
      I hope this works for you.

      • Rae says:

        Thanks so much for the advice Sue but I finally went into the Keychain access typed in Gmail and everything I needed came up I just deleted all that was in Red and hey presto I was able to put my 3 Gmail accounts back into my mail.
        It’s great to get feed back form any of you out there and I will be posting a question shortly as I need help with another issue I have.
        Best wishes to you all

  4. joe says:

    I have been trying all day to set up a google email account to go with my web site name hosted at Weebly .com And have been totally discouraged by the process. Willing to pay for it too, but have no luck getting it to work.

    You could notify me of follow up comments.. but guess what.. my email does not work.. as a result of this mess..

  5. Iban says:

    I have it all set up right now. Only problem is, on my iphone when I want to sent an email I’m able to choose from either my apple mail or my gmail account.
    On my macbook this option is not given, and I can only sent mails via my Apple mail.
    How can I solve this?

  6. Rowland says:

    I had previously setup my Gmail account so that when I send email from Gmail, it uses That is the address I want all email recipients to see.

    I then read this article and adjusted my settings in Apple Mail accordingly so that it could use Gmail. (I did not create my Gmail account from scratch, as you suggested, however. I just made a couple tweaks.)

    Incoming mail to and now appear in both Gmail and in Apple Mail Inboxes. Perfect!

    Now when I send email from Apple Mail, it lists my address as And the outgoing email appears in both Gmail and Apple Mail outboxes. HOWEVER, I want the outgoing emai addressl (from Apple Mail) to be not I also want that email to appear in the Gmail outgoing box. Is that possible?

  7. Ted says:

    For me the instructions were a little old but followed the context and it worked fine.
    I am a new Apple Mac user and it is a big learning curve coming from a PC and Android.

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