Helpful How To: My Gmail iOS IMAP Solution

I started using Gmail full time about a year ago. I decided to use Gmail over iCloud for many different reasons but the main reasons were as follows:
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  • Gmail Filters –  Filters allow for a convenient way to filter wanted and unwanted email for better management of email throughout the day.
  • Web Interface – The web client is great when a Mac isn’t readily available and the iOS device just isn’t enough.
  • Google’s 2-Step Authentication – This is the gold standard at the moment for security in email.

[/unordered_list]I used my iCloud email account as my main account and managed email with Gmail. This was a result of having an iCloud email address that I wanted versus not having Gmail address I wanted. Unfortunately I wanted was not available when I received my Gmail beta invite so many years ago.

Before I move on, here is a brief explanation of how I managed email from iCloud via Gmail.
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  • Forward the iCloud account to the Gmail account, this could also be any email account
  • Go to Gmail Account Settings
  • Click on the Accounts and Import Tab
  • In the Send mail as field add the iCloud email address (follow the steps to verify)
  • Set the iCloud email as the default email address

[/unordered_list]With this setup I would receive all iCloud email via my Gmail Account and within the Web Interface when I sent an email it would show sent from iCloud using I was able to set up signatures for each email address. Additionally, I added several other email addresses to the set up, but left the iCloud as the default, but I could always choose to send from any of the addresses from an email using the drop down function from a new message in the web interface.

All was well until Apple updated to iOS 5 and added the Gmail option in the new accounts selection sending email became much more of a chore as the default email became my Gmail account on my iPhone.  Though I had set up an iCloud account on the iPhone as the default email account, every email response I sent, the From email account defaulted to the Gmail address.   I had to manually change the from email each time I was responding from an email sent to the iCloud account.

I brought this problem to my friend Joshua Brauer as I had nearly given up on my set up and was looking to revert back to iCloud and this is the solution he provided.

[quote]You can change this behavior, but it’s not immediately obvious. First you need to setup Gmail using an IMAP account not Gmail. Second you need the comma trick to put multiple email addresses associated with your Gmail account. (And of course you need Gmail setup to send “from” that address but sounds like you have that covered. If you do this it works like OS X where it responds ‘from’ the address it was “To:” but you have to have that address on your account list.[/quote]

Following the instructions noted below I set up my Gmail using the IMAP.  I then used Notepad App in iOS and typed in my iCloud email followed by a comma ([highlight],[/highlight]).   I copied what I just typed and then went to Settings and then Mail, Contacts and Calendars on my iPhone.  I then opened the Gmail account and clicked on the Gmail address and pasted the iCloud address.  Now when I send a or reply to an email my default email address is my iCloud address.   All is well again.

How to set up a Gmail Account on iOS using IMAP.


Here are the step by step instructions from the above video courtesy of iPhone Faq:

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  1. Enable IMAP in your Gmail account settings.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Mail.
  4. Tap Add Account.
  5. Tap Other. (Note: don’t tap Gmail; if you do, you’ll set up POP rather than IMAP. We are aware of this issue and are currently working to make setting up Gmail more intuitive for the iPhone.)

[/ordered_list]Make sure that:
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  • The IMAP tab is highlighted
  • Host Name is
  • User Name is your full Gmail address, including ‘’
  • For Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP), Host Name is
  • Tap Save.

[/unordered_list]And you’re done. You can verify your Advanced settings by tapping Settings > [your Gmail IMAP Account] > Advanced.

Incoming Settings
Authentication: password
Server Port: 993

Outgoing Settings
Authentication: Password
Server Port: 587

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JT Ray

My name is JT Ray and that’s just JT, no periods or spaces (read more About Me). I am the owner and operator of JT’s Blog. I have been blogging since 2004 and podcasting since 2005. Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @therealjtray. Thank You for visiting and come back any time.

One thought on “Helpful How To: My Gmail iOS IMAP Solution

  1. Like you, I’m also a Gmail user, and have been using it as my primary email account. It’s really the best email provider around because of the additional features that comes with it like Google Docs and Google Drive.

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