When you configure email client for GMail , you have two options. You can configure Gmail and and IMAP client or POP clients.  Read more about POP and IMAP features and difference. Gmail supports configuring both POP and IMAP clients. Remember as we discusses IMAP or Internet Message Access Protocol creates a constant connection between mail clients and Gmail where as POP, or Post Office Protocol, lets you download messages from Gmail‘s servers onto your computer.

Gmail Mail Client configuration – IMAP versus POP

Since IMAP offers two way communication between your mail client and mail server it is recommended to use IMAP. But this depends on your requirement. If you use only your email client to communicate with email server and you don’t access server from any other means , then you can go for POP email clients. As we discussed in POP IMAP difference IMAP has two-way syncing capabilities.The operations you perform on email clients will appear in Gmail server also.gmail-pop-imap
IMAP allows to access same mail server by multiple clients, since none of them deletes mail from the server. IMAP ensures that all new email messages are accessible from multiple configured clients at any given time. This allows you to check your email at work, on your smart phone and also from your PC.
If you use IMAP and if you select your client’s option to work offline then the messages will download completely to your local machine or device. This allows you to read, sort, and compose replies to your messages even when you are offline and you’ll be able to sync with your mail server once are online again.
Both IMAP and POP for Gmail is free. To use POP or IMAP you need to enable the required service. ie IMAP or POP.
Read the Gmail Help to configure POP and Gmail Help to configure IMAP.

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