I have enabled pop at gmail and successfully used it on other PCs.

On my mac (10.6.6) I go into Mail, I press the + to create a new account. There is no option to choose the Account Type anymore. Just the Name, email addr, and password. If I put in my gmail address, it just defaults to imap. I don't see a way to change it to pop anywhere.

I want to use pop as a way to backup my gmail to my mac.

How can I create a pop account for gmail?

4 Answers 4


Mail searches an online database to see how to connect to an account; it defaults to IMAP for GMail because that can work better than POP, but you can override it later. Tell Mail.app not to take the account on line immediately, then edit the account to switch it from IMAP to POP.

(Personally, I'd switch GMail to IMAP instead.)

  • I understand IMAP is better for actual email use. However, I am only using this for a simple backup of my gmail. I don't plan to use Mail.app for anything else. Pop seemed simpler for backup because I can more easily tell that the email is actually on my local machine. Maybe I'm missing something. Am I wrong about this?
    – ryanman
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 4:52
  • By default Mail will synchronize all messages locally; you can verify that in the account settings. My main worry is that POP3 likes to delete what it's downloaded, and if you don't let it do so then it has an annoying tendency to get confused and endlessly re-download messages it already has. (POP3's a rather unintelligent protocol, and Gmail's a rather noncompliant mail server.)
    – geekosaur
    Commented Mar 11, 2011 at 4:55

The only way I could convince Mail to show me the screen where I could change the account type was to put in a bogus non-gmail email address (literally the string bogus). This way, it can't automatically setup anything. Then, it will bring you to the screen to manually configure, where you can set the account type, configure the other gmail pop settings, and uncheck the "take account online" checkbox.

After it's created the account, edit the account settings and put in the real email address. Also, go in the advanced tab and uncheck "remove copy from server...".

  • Just remember to tell Gmail what to do in "When messages are accessed with POP" - e.g. choose "keep copy in the Inbox" Commented Apr 9, 2011 at 16:32

Hello you may want to try the following: When adding the NEW ACCOUNT add the: FULL NAME EMAIL ADRESS PASSWORD Before pressing the create button press the alt key, it will change the Create button to Continue and there you can set the account to POP or whatever setting you may want different from the default IMAP that Mail.app uses. Dont know why apple choose this hidden behavior to set mail settings, it took me some time to find it also. But at the end after all i went to an IMAP option since i need to sync across multiple devices .


Go to "Add other mail account" where you will be able to set up as POP

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