What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP4 mail?

Learn about the difference...

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These days, all major email clients (Microsoft Outlook etc) allow mailboxes to be accessed via either POP3 or IMAP4. POP3 and IMAP4 are what we call "email protocols".

On your desktop client, POP3 is downloaded directly from the mail server onto your computer, your computer will store a "local copy" of the email and usually delete it from the server. You can create local folders on your computer to organise the mail, but you won't see these or your mail if you logged in using webmail. Additionally, if you create folders to organise your mail in webmail, you won't be able to access these on your desktop client.

Mail will therefore only contribute towards the mailbox limits while it is left undownloaded in the inbox.

IMAP4, in contrast, is left on the server (where it will continue contributing towards your mailbox limit). If you create folders/organise your mail in your desktop client, you will see this update when you log in with the webmail client (and vice-versa). Similarily, when you mark a message as "read" in webmail, it will appear "read" in your desktop client.

If you're accessing your mail on several different computers, IMAP can therefore be useful.

What is the best protocol to use?
If you are an "on the move" kind of person who wants to access your email on a desktop computer as well as a smartphone then your best option is to use IMAP4.

Useful Resources:

Setting up an email account - iPhone
Contact Us

What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP4 mail?

Posted in Knowledge Base by on 19 January 2015

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What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP4 mail? What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP4 mail? Learn about the difference...

These days, all major email clients (Microsoft Outlook etc) allow mailboxes to be accessed via either POP3 or IMAP4. POP3 and IMAP4 are what we call "email protocols".

On your desktop client, POP3 is downloaded directly from the mail server onto your computer, your computer will store a "local copy" of the email and usually delete it from the server. You can create local folders on your computer to organise the mail, but you won't see these or your mail if you logged in using webmail. Additionally, if you create folders to organise your mail in webmail, you won't be able to access these on your desktop client.

Mail will therefore only contribute towards the mailbox limits while it is left undownloaded in the inbox.

IMAP4, in contrast, is left on the server (where it will continue contributing towards your mailbox limit). If you create folders/organise your mail in your desktop client, you will see this update when you log in with the webmail client (and vice-versa). Similarily, when you mark a message as "read" in webmail, it will appear "read" in your desktop client.

If you're accessing your mail on several different computers, IMAP can therefore be useful.

What is the best protocol to use?
If you are an "on the move" kind of person who wants to access your email on a desktop computer as well as a smartphone then your best option is to use IMAP4.

Useful Resources:

Setting up an email account - iPhone
Contact Us

Contact Pebble

  • Pebble Ltd (Peterborough)
    26 Tesla Court
    Innovation Way
    Peterborough
    PE2 6FL
    Tel: 01733 902070
  • Pebble Ltd (Kings Langley)
    The Old Chapel
    69 Primrose Hill
    Kings Langley
    WD4 8HX
    Tel: 01442 505878