Published Tuesday 29th July 2014

How to use Gmail with POP3

Gmail is an awesome web based email application with a range of great features such as an excellent spam filter, plenty of storage and, of course, amazing search functionality. Did you know you can also use it instead of a desktop mail client with your own email address? You can set up up to 5 POP3 addresses. Here's how.

  • Sign up for Gmail, or sign in using an existing google account.
  • Click the cog on the top left, select settings, and navigate to the "Accounts and Import" tab.
  • Near the bottom of the page you'll find a link for "Add a POP3 mail account that you own". Click this.
  • In the pop up window that appears, type in the email address you'd like to use with Gmail and click "Next step".
  • Enter your email settings. If you don't know what these are, contact your email provider for help. When you're ready, click "Add Account".
  • Gmail will ask you if you would like to send email from this account. You probably want to select yes for this. If you don't want to be able to send, select no and you're done.
  • If you selected yes at the previous step, you'll be asked for your name. Enter this as you'd like email recipients to see it. Deselect "Treat as an alias" so Gmail treats your new email address as separate from your Gmail address.
  • Gmail will ask you if you'd rather send through Gmail or your own SMTP servers. It's preferable to use your own servers, so select this option. You'll be asked to fill in your email settings. Again, if you don't know what these are, contact your email provider for help.
  • When you click "Add Account", you should receive an email from Gmail to confirm the email address. As you've just set it up in Gmail, it should come into your gmail inbox. It may take a few minutes. When it arrives, click the confirmation link. You can now close the popup window. You're all done!

Now that you've set up your new email address, you'll receive all your email into your Gmail inbox, and you can send mail from either your gmail address or your new address. There are some other settings you may want to look at.

  • Click the cog and select settings.
  • Near the bottom of the page, you'll see the signature options. You can set a different signature for each of your email addresses using the drop down. Remember to click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.
  • Navigate to the "Accounts and Import" tab.
  • In the section titled "Send mail as" you'll see your Gmail address and any other addresses you've added. Select "make default" for the address you wish to send email from most often.
  • Just below this, you can chose whether to reply to emails using the same address to which the message was sent, or always use your default address. Select the option you prefer.

To send an email, click the compose button on the top left. You'll see a drop down in the "From" field that allows you to choose which address to send from. This also appears when replying to an email, so you can override the settings you chose above for individual emails if you want to.

When you receive an email, just below the name of the sender is a small arrow. Clicking this will show you which email address the email came in to. This is helpful if you chose the same display name for both your email addresses, as it is not immediately clear which one the sender used.

Gmail's spam filter will automatically filter out any spam to your spam folder regardless of the email address it was sent to. Any existing mail filters you've set up may also affect mail coming to your new address, so if you use filters, you may want to check them to make sure.

You can also set up the Gmail app on your phone or tablet to send and receive emails on the go. You should be aware that the apps don't handle email signatures in the same way as the Gmail website. Instead of using your regular signature, the app will add a plain text signature which is the same across all your email addresses. If this is a problem for you, you'll have to send all your email through a web browser. The Gmail mobile website has the option to use your regular signature.

Gmail is a great email application, and using it with your own email address allows you to send and receive emails from any device wherever you are, as long as you have an internet connection. I think that's pretty awesome.

Photo of Kate


Kate is our director of operations at QWeb Ltd. She's a former front-end developer and accessibility consultant, and a bit of a maths geek. She runs our social media profiles, works with our accountants to keep everything ticking over smoothly, and figures out most of the complicated algorithms that go in to things like our 3D rendering engines. She also has a degree in architecture and a masters in historic building conservation, so she's responsible for making sure our medieval game designs are reasonably accurate!

Blog posts are written by individuals and do not necessarily depict the opinions or beliefs of QWeb Ltd or its current employees. Any information provided here might be biased or subjective, and might become out of date.

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