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What is Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)?

by Iwan Price-Evans on Web technology • June 16, 2022

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. It allows users to access their email accounts using different devices. This includes smartphones, tablets, computers, and even smart watches. This means that people can check their email on any device at any time.

IMAP is an email protocol used by most webmail services including Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc.

Why Should You Care About IMAP?

If you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail, or another webmail service with IMAP support, you should care about IMAP because it will help you save time accessing your email on multiple devices and moving messages between folders.

How Does IMAP Work?

IMAP works by allowing users to download emails into folders on their computer or other device. These folders can then be accessed through other devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers.

The Pros & Cons Of Using IMAP

There are pros and cons to using IMAP. On one hand, it allows users to access their mail from multiple devices at once. However, it also means that users must manually move messages between different folders. This can become tedious when there are hundreds of messages in each folder.

Alternatives To IMAP

There are other ways to move emails between folders besides using IMAP. You can also use POP3 (or MBOX) to download your mail into a folder on your computer. This method works well when you need to access your mail offline, such as when you’re traveling. However, POP3 downloads only one copy of each message at a time, so you won’t be able to see new messages while downloading older ones.