E-mail: What are POP3 and IMAP?

Favorite Article   

IMAP and POP3 mail clients provide e-mail management within a user interface environment. The mail client types differ in that the e-mail messages reside in different places.


The IMAP protocol keeps messages on the mail server; nothing is downloaded to your computer. The IMAP mail client accesses messages as you need them. Since the messages are stored on the mail server, you have flexibility in moving to another computer or using other mail software to access messages.


A POP3 mail client physically retrieves messages from the mail server and stores them on the hard drive. Once the messages are downloaded to your computer, you must use the same mail software and computer to access those messages. 

Some POP3 mail clients also offer the ability to retrieve messages and retain a copy of them on the mail server. This option mimics IMAP functions, but has its drawbacks; two separate copies of the same message are created.  One message remains on the mail server and the other stores on the local computer. You must manage both copies separately.

Which one should I use?

Depending upon your own preference, both IMAP or POP3 e-mail clients provide an easy way to access and store your e-mail messages.  The key difference is that if you use a POP3-based client, e-mail that you receive is stored on the hard drive of the computer you are using.  Mostly, people opt for IMAP protocols because of its flexibility.  For further assistance, contact the Help Desk.
Referenced from: Gmail.com
8/8/2018 4:33:27 PM