IMAP Issues in Gmail

IMAP Issues in Gmail: Reasons and Fixes

“Email, the service you know, the protocols you don’t”. Protocols are a very significant part of your email, especially when you are trying to access your email account in other mail clients such as Outlook, Apple Mail, etc. 

There are three major protocols, namely, IMAP, POP, and SMTP. The IMAP protocol helps the users to read their messages in third-party mail clients. It also allows the users to access their accounts on multiple devices while they are synced in real-time. 

The IMAP protocol for Gmail is pretty neat and works across every platform. Despite being the best, users have also complained about experiencing the “ is not responding” error, commonly in iPhone devices. 

It generally surfaces on a large scale. For instance, thousands of users got this error message temporarily. If you are suffering from this, welcome to the club and get in line as we will be talking about the different methods that can be used to fix this issue along with the reasons why this issue occurs in the first place. 

But before you proceed any further, try to make use of the following servers;


Let us now take a look at the probable reasons behind this issue.

What are the major reasons behind not responding?

This error is generally experienced by mobile device users such as iPhone users. The issue occurs on desktop platforms as well but the occurrence of this issue on desktop platforms is pretty low when compared to mobile devices. 

After carrying out detailed research that included tons of different user reports, we have brought several reasons that may lead to this error.

Application is in a state of error

The phone application may be in an error state with the network interface. Doing a quick refresh might help you to fix when the IMAP mail server is not responding to

SSL is disabled

Most of the network connections do not work without SSL since it is a very important component when it comes to security. Gmail’s IMAP is also one such network connection and won’t work in some cases if SSL has been disabled.

Email is in a state of error

Tons of different components and configurations are there in the email that you add to your email account. It is possible that the configuration files are not working as the files might be in an error state. Simply re-add this email account to get rid of this issue. 

Application is outdated

Users may be using an outdated version of the application, which can also cause this issue. Tons of software distributors, which included the likes of Apple, Blackberry, and Samsung went ahead and released an update to fix this issue, which was occurring at a large scale. If you are one such user, you should update your application as soon as possible.

Network error

The application will be unable to communicate with the correct servers if there is a network limitation at your end.

Server Outage

In case the servers of Google Mail are offline, then there is nothing that one can do about it except to wait it out until the servers are back up. The email client will start working automatically as soon as the servers are online. 

Now that we know about the probable causes of this issue, let us now take a look at the general troubleshooting to fix the IMAP error in Gmail for different operating platforms. 

Troubleshooting to Fix IMAP error in Gmail

Method 1- Force Quit the Application

This is the foremost step that you should take if you are facing this issue. Tons of different variables are stored and being used by the application even when it is running in the background. If for some reason, some of the modules of the application go into an error state or get corrupt, it may lead to this IMAP error in Gmail.

For mobile devices, keep in mind to close them properly by removing them from recent applications as well. For desktop platforms, simply exit the application and then end the task with the use of a task manager. Once you have done so, restart the application to check if the error has been fixed.

Method 2- Try to email your account

Sending an email to your account might fix this issue for you. This further gives a boost to your account, forcing the modules to get up and running to fix the issue that you are currently facing. Simply navigate to the emailing application where you are receiving this error and then draft an email to your email address to send it. After doing so, wait for a couple of seconds while refreshing your inbox. 

As soon as you receive the email, refresh your account to check if the error has been solved. 

Method 3- Update your OS/Email client

There have been past incidents where users complained that the email client got into an error state itself, which further leads to it being unable to reach Google’s IMAP servers. One can fix this issue by updating the operating system to the latest version. Especially for IOS users since a special update was released by Apple to fix this email client problem. 

The same can be done for any other email client. A simple update can get the job done. Restart the device after you have updated it and then reconnect with your network correctly to try syncing your email again to check if the error exists or not. If the error is still there, reinstall the email client to try fixing this error. This is mandatory in the case of Gmail. 

Method 4- Check your internet connection

A stable and strong internet connection is optimal for all sorts of processes. This error can also occur due to a potential error in internet connection due to certain limitations. Users can also switch to a cellular network to check if that fixes this issue. 

Visit the settings of your mobile data tab and then enable mobile data usage for all applications listed in the tab as it has also been known to fix this issue for users. If the error gets resolved, this means that there is something wrong with your internet connection. After you have switched to a different connection and the is still not responding, it means that there is some other issue that needs to be taken care of. 

Note: Keep in mind that you are not using any sort of network connection that involves the use of proxy servers. 

Method 5- Delete and re-add the account again

This is deemed by many as the most suitable method to fix IMAP errors on Gmail for iPhone. All one needs to do is delete the account and then re-add it again. As soon as you remove your account, all of the settings and configurations also get removed from your device. This makes it easy for the user to fix the fault since the configurations start from scratch during the re-addition process and if there was an issue, it would get fixed.

One can make good use of the steps mentioned below to fix the “cannot get mail” issue that pops up on the screen. The steps remain the same for every platform.

  • First off, visit the settings of your device and click on the Mail option. From there, you will see a list of all the accounts with their details just below the Accounts tab.
  • For the next step, choose the Gmail account that is causing the issue and then navigate to the bottom of your screen to select the “delete this account” option. 
  • After you have done so, move back to the settings option and select the Mail tab. Similar to the steps mentioned above, you will see the option of “add account” just below the Accounts tab. Select it and enter your details correctly. 
  • To finish it off, try to access your Gmail account to check if the issue has been fixed. 

Method 6- Allow access into Google account

Gmail may not work in some cases because you may not have authorized your account to be signed in to another device. Follow the steps given below to know how to do so;

These simple steps can help you to fix this IMAP error with relative ease. 

Let us now take a look at how one can fix this issue for third-party email clients such as Outlook by adding the email account correctly. 

But before we begin, take a look at some of the adjustments that one needs to make before moving forward with the process. 

Prerequisites for setting up Gmail account on Outlook

  • Begin by accessing your Gmail account.
  • From there, click on the gear icon and move to the settings tab.
  • In the next window, click on the tab that says “Forwarding and POP/IMAP“.
  • Now, scroll down to check that the “enable IMAP” box is ticked. If it is already checked, move forward. 
  • Next, locate the save button from the bottom of your screen to make the changes permanent.

Steps to add Gmail on Outlook

  • Launch the application of Outlook and choose the file option to select the Account settings, to begin with. 
  • From there, you will have to click on New and choose the “email account” option to click next.
  • In the next window, select “Manual setup or additional server types” and hit next after you have done so. 
  • Now, you will need to select either POP or IMAP as your account type to proceed further. 
  • In the next window, you will need to fill out the necessary information required. To begin with, in the name field, you will need to type your full name. for the email field, enter your correct Gmail address with the suffix 
  • For the account type field, choose IMAP with the use of the dropdown menu. Now, type “” in the incoming server field and type out “” in the outgoing server field (SMTP). 
  • Next, in the username field, fill out your Gmail address again, and in the password field, fill out your Gmail password. Click on “remember password” in case you want to save the login details. 
  • After you have done so, click on the “More settings” option. 
  • Now, visit the outgoing server tab and tick the checkbox that says “my outgoing server (SMTP) requires authentication”. After doing so, choose “use the same settings as my incoming mail server“. Doing so will ensure that the username and password entered previously by you will be used to access the account. 
  • For the next step, select the advanced tab to enter some extra information. Enter the value of 993 for the incoming mail server (IMAP) field and enter 465 for the outgoing mail server (SMTP) field. 
  • Select SSL as the type of encrypted connection for both fields and click on ok when you are done.
  • Now, click on next and Outlook will test your connection to check whether or not the sync should begin. 
  • In case the test was successful, finish the test by clicking on close. If the test fails, one or more than one of the fields may have been entered incorrectly. For this, double-check every step of this process carefully to make sure that your information is accurate and complete. Also, make sure that your internet connection is working properly. 

These simple steps can help you to set up your Gmail account on Outlook with relative ease. 


Gmail has been nothing short of perfection in the past decade when it comes to offering great features and filters to enhance the user experience. Protocols are a big part of this experience when it comes to accessing your Gmail account in email clients such as Outlook, Gmail App, and Apple Mail. 

In case you ever face this IMAP error in Gmail, you can make good use of the methods that have been mentioned above to solve it with ease for every platform, be it android, IOS, and desktop platforms.

We hope this blog has everything that you were looking for.

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