Forward your Gmail to Outlook or Thunderbird

View messages sent to your Gmail account in your ISP mail account automatically.

Dennis O'Reilly Former CNET contributor
Dennis O'Reilly began writing about workplace technology as an editor for Ziff-Davis' Computer Select, back when CDs were new-fangled, and IBM's PC XT was wowing the crowds at Comdex. He spent more than seven years running PC World's award-winning Here's How section, beginning in 2000. O'Reilly has written about everything from web search to PC security to Microsoft Excel customizations. Along with designing, building, and managing several different web sites, Dennis created the Travel Reference Library, a database of travel guidebook reviews that was converted to the web in 1996 and operated through 2000.
Dennis O'Reilly
2 min read

Last Friday I described how to receive messages sent to your ISP mail account in your Gmail inbox. Lots of people prefer the sorting, contact lists, and other features of their client mail program, so today I'm going to turn things around and tell you how to forward mail sent to your Gmail address in the Outlook or Thunderbird inbox for your ISP mail account.

Start by logging into Gmail, clicking the Settings link in the top-left corner, and selecting Forwarding and POP/IMAP. If your ISP uses POP3, choose Enable POP for all mail if you want to see all your current Gmail messages in your desktop mail app, or Enable POP only for mail that arrives from now on if you want to keep your existing Gmail stuff where it is and get only new messages forwarded to your mail program. In the drop-down menu to the left of "When messages are accessed with POP," you can choose to keep the messages in your Gmail inbox, archive them automatically, or delete them. If your ISP mail account uses IMAP, simply click Enable IMAP. When you're done, click Save Changes.

Gmail's POP-forwarding settings.
Set Gmail to forward its messages to the POP account in your desktop mail program.

Once you've got Gmail set to forward, you're ready to add the account to your desktop mail program. If you use Outlook 2003, click Tools*E-mail Accounts, choose Add a new e-mail account, and click Next. On the Server Type screen, select POP3 or IMAP, whichever you set Gmail to, and click Next again. Enter your name, Gmail address, logon name and password, and the incoming and outgoing server addresses: pop.gmail.com and smtp.gmail.com, respectively, if you use POP, or imap.gmail.com and smtp.gmail.com, respectively, if you use IMAP. Finally, click Next and Finish.

Outlook 2003's E-mail Accounts dialog box.
Configure Outlook 2003 to download your Gmail messages automatically.

Access Outlook 2007's Add New E-mail Account wizard by clicking Tools*Account Settings*New. Choose Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP, or HTTP, and click Next. Fill in your name, e-mail address, and password (twice), and then click Next again. The program will attempt an encrypted connection, and will opt for an unencrypted one if the first try fails.

Connect Gmail With Thunderbird

To add your Gmail account to Mozilla Thunderbird, click Tools*Account Settings*Add Account, choose Email account, and click Next. Enter your name and Gmail address, and click Next again. Choose POP or IMAP, whichever is appropriate, enter the Gmail server address (either pop.gmail.com or imap.gmail.com), leave User Global Inbox (store mail in Local Folders) checked if you want the mail kept in Thunderbird as well as in Gmail, and click Next once again.

Mozilla Thunderbird's Account Wizard
Use Thunderbird's Account Wizard to add your Gmail messages to the mail program.

Enter your "Incoming user name" (if Thunderbird doesn't add it to the field automatically), click Next, type in your Gmail address (Thunderbird should do this for you as well), and click Next one more time. Check over the account settings, click Finish, and then OK.

Tomorrow: Reset Microsoft Word's faulty defaults.