Helpcloud Support > Helpcloud Support > Knowledgebase

Search help:

What is the difference between POP3 or IMAP?


What is IMAP?

IMAP keeps the mail on a server and synchronizes the message across multiple devices. Messages can be accessed across multiple devices. Whatever changes you make in your devices email program will update on the email server.

It is Bi-directional i.e. all the changes made on server or device are made on the other side too.

It allows a user to sync their emails. It is slower as compared to POP3 as everytime you connect to the server you are accessing all the mail on he server in that account..

What is POP3?

POP is a simple protocol that only allows downloading messages from your Inbox to your local computer. All the message are downloaded at once. POP3 downloads the email from a server to a single computer, then deletes the email from the server. It is unidirectional i.e. all the changes made on a devices does not effect the content present on the server.

Should you be using POP3 or IMAP?

It depends on how you want to access your emails.

Generally speaking, IMAP is more powerful and the recommended method for receiving email if you’re working across multiple devices BUT you need to delete and archive messages so you dont fill up your email storage limits.

Alternatively, if you prefer to have all emails accessible offline, and if you have a designated device for email, then POP could be a suitable option.

Was this article helpful? yes / no
Related articles Email Setup on Android based devices
Email Setup on iOS Devices
Setting up email - port settings for windows and mac
How can I setup email in Outlook 2007?
Why do I get duplicate emails?
Article details
Article ID: 54
Category: Email Setup information
Rating (Votes): Article rated 5.0/5.0 (1)

« Go back