Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Windows Mobile Messaging and GMail POP

Nice thing about google's POP/SMTP access is that it allows you to get rid of your unfriendly ISP's typically restrictive policy of sending out email via default SMTP port. Plus you get great anti-spam filters!

However, setting things up turned out to be a little less straight-forward. Initially, I gave up on Windows built-in messaging app once I could not set an outgoing server's port number (as required for gmail). I figured its yet another one of Microsoft's evil tricks. However, as it turns out (and not so surprisingly, I must add) I was wrong to judge too soon. In the mean time, I used google's nifty gmail Java app available from www.gmail.com/app. Works great except for deleting messages (this really ought to be simpler) as well as selecting more then one message AND the super-small scrollbar which is somewhat of a pain to work with. But apart from that (!) its really great! :)

In addition I got some feedback that it was virtually impossible to properly use gmail POP with multiple clients (Outlook 2003, Windows Mobile 6 Messaging). Apparently only one would download mails and the others would be left without those. I figured it was just a matter of properly configuring POP so when I gave it a shot. Tried downloading mail on my mobile and ... nothing happened. Hm. Go figure.

So, here is a quick and (almost) simple set of steps to configure proper gmail POP access from multiple devices with an accent on Windows Mobile 6 Messaging.

Setting up GMail POP Account Access on Windows Mobile 6 Messaging

  1. Start > Messaging (opens Select an Account screen)
  2. click New E-Mail Account (if you already have one configured then select your existing gmail account and then click Tools > Options... followed by another click on gmail account in the list of current accounts you have defined)
  3. enter your email address (eg xyz@gmail.com)
  4. Enter your name
  5. Enter gmail.com in the account display name
  6. for Incoming mail server type pop.gmail.com:995 (notice the :995 - that's the POP port number you need to specify as per gmail's official setup configuration)
  7. for Account Type choose POP3
  8. for User Name type (and this is the trick!) recent:xyz@gmail.com
  9. Type in your password (check Save password), click Next
  10. for outgoing SMTP mail server type smtp.gmail.com:587 (again, notice the port number 587 added after column) and check both checkboxes below the smtp server name for requiring authentication and to use same username for sending and receiving email
  11. click Advanced Server Settings and tick both checkboxes for Require SSL for Incoming E-mail as well as for Require SSL for Outgoing e-mail. Choose The Internet for the Network Connection dropdown on the same screen and click Done to continue with setup
  12. click Next
  13. Choose some frequency for automatic send and receive of emails (eg. Every 10 minutes) and select All Messages for Download Messages dropdown
  14. click Advanced Settings and under When Deleting Messages dropdown select Keep them on the server
  15. click Done and click Next to go to final step
  16. choose message format as HTML and message download limit of 2KB (both default values)
  17. click Finish
That's it! With the above setup my HTC Touch and Gmail work like a breeze.

Important trick is the use of "recent:" in your account name - this apparently relies on gmail's "recent mode" which allows multiple clients to access messages via POP without getting into that trouble with one client getting the messages and the others don't. Apart from that, make sure you use the port number for POP and SMTP server as outlined above. Thanx to this post for figuring that part.

This should be enough to get your Windows Mobile Messaging 6 application to happily start working with gmail for both sending and receiving email regardless of your ISP setting.

Hope it helps.


ucsblzygrl said...

Using IMAP may be a bit easier. Nothing to download, and everything sync's. Check it out- http://www.google.com/mobile/mail/index.html

BTW, it's easy to set up. Took me 5 minutes.

sjusic said...

Agree. IMAP for gmail is easier to setup, but I think you have to kind of get used to working with IMAP as it behaves differently then POP3. I also prefer POP3, especially as I'm syncing 3 devices and seem to have least problems through that setup...

Anonymous said...

thank you for writing this post! it helped me immensely in getting gmail set up on my new sprint touch.

Anonymous said...

Thank You!!!! I've been stressing about this for days trying to get this setup. Even the tech support for my ISP wasn't any help.

Followed the instructions and I'm up and running.


Boris said...

dude, amsterdam loves you!
i hate using diff apps for diff acounts. want all things bundled up in one app. you got gmail going on my htc, all set!

kri5t0f said...

You call it Little Things but that was a great help. I was trying to set up my mail account on a Japanese WM6 with my first ever smartphone. Noway I could do it by my own!

Ben said...

Ugh. THANK YOU. For a month now I've been able to send email but not receive it on my HTC Touch. Works like a charm now.

Earnpin said...

Bravo friend. Just helped my customers with his PDA setting followed your guide. Nice!

El Operador said...


I was a little bit tired of fiddling around with my new HTC until I found your post. Many thanks for your great help!

Ash said...

Mate, let me just say that you possibly saved me from throwing my TyTn II through the wall :op

Great tips, well written.
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

oh thank you so very much i nearly threw my phone out the window

Anonymous said...

thank you very much! i hope you also post how to set up a yahoo mail account on htc touch. :)

Kili trek said...

the suggested setup worked just right for me. Thanks. now i could send emails. but after fresh settings, I have new problem. my HTC cell phone continues to down load email even from archive folder. so I changed POP settings in my gmail account to 'mail that arrive from now on' but still problem continues.

Rajesh said...

I have used the above mentioned setup but i am still not able to do this its giving me message "message can not be downloaded to your mobile phone make sure that you are connected and your email account settings are correct then try to download the message again."
i have given correct info about my account and also about connection.
can some body help me that what needs to be changed to get it resolved.
immediate response would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

You are awesome!! Thank you!

My only question is that when I reply with my WM6 device, the next time it downloads messages it also downloads the reply.

Is there a way to stop this?

Anonymous said...

GREAT INFO!!! Thanks so much.... the :port info helped me to get my yahoo pop setup using SSL properly on my HTC Touch Pro

Diário da vida na Suíça said...

Hey, this was a great iformation...


Thank you for your post.

Traian said...


In the meantime I guess they thought about it and implemented an easy way to add the gmail account in win mobile 6.1.

anyway, there is a problem. the labels are seen correctly as folders, BUT these folders are empty. I've searched all over and I couldn't find a solution. My guess is that when you filter a message in gmail, you choose "skip inbox (archive)", and this is the reason why all you can see on your mobile are the messages that remain in the gmail inbox (no labels).

If someone found a workaround, please share.
Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

dude. thank you.