Knowledgebase: Accounts
What is the difference between the IMAP and POP?
Posted by Olivia Rust on 01 March 2018 18:06

You've probably heard about different mail protocols, specifically about IMAP and POP3, which are most commonly used. Many mail providers even provide server settings for both options, but what is the difference?

POP3 is more old-fashioned protocol. It will download only messages from your Inbox to your specific machine and once the emails are downloaded, the originals are deleted from the server. Generally, this means that if you're using POP3, the emails are tied to a specific computer and can't be viewed on other computers without forwarding them.

Though we do provide manual options to leave the original on the server (for few days or forever) this protocol is not recommended if you need to view your messages on more than one device, because even if the message stays, it will be marked as read and might not be downloaded on another device. However, this protocol can be useful if you want to download your messages locally and keep them but empty the space on your mail server.

IMAP is a modern protocol which keeps all data synchronized between the mail server and all devices. Changes from the last active IMAP device will be synchronized to all others. For example, if you read an email using your phone the same message will already be marked as read when you open your email client on your desktop. IMAP also synchronizes your sent messages and the full folder structure, etc.

 eM Client supports both IMAP and POP3 servers, so you can use whichever type you prefer.

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