The difference between POP3 and IMAP email accounts.

Many people may not even know this but when you are setting up your email
addresses there are two different account types you can set up – POP or IMAP.  POP3 is the standard on most email clients and it is the most widely used, but IMAP may be more suitable depending on how you want to handle your emails.


POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) is the most widely used for email accounts. With
POP3, new messages are downloaded off the mailserver and stored on your email
client. So managing all operations on the account such as reading, deleting or
moving an email are all handled on your computer rather than on the mailserver.
This means the account is available whether you are online or offline and no
changes are communicated back to the mailserver.

Pros and Cons of POP3:


  • POP3 is well supported in all email clients.
  • POP3 is faster than IMAP.
  • You can view and manage your emails offline.
  • Most email clients will allow you to keep a copy of email on the server.


  • Your email can only be viewed on one device


IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) differs from POP3 in that your emails are stored on the mailserver and all actions performed on the account are communicated back to the mailserver.

IMAP is useful for managing your account through more than one device. You can have the account set up at work, at home and on your phone, and anything you do on the account such as mark the email as read, or add a new folder etc will be seen the same way on each device. e.g You send an email from your phone and you can then see that in the sent folder on your
computer when you get home.

Pros and Cons of IMAP:


  • Your email messages can be synchronized over multiple devices.
  • All folders -Inbox, Sent Items, Trash etc are available on all devices you use.
  • More than one person can simultaneously manage the same email account.


  • You must be online to view your emails.
  • IMAP uses more bandwidth.
  • IMAP is slower

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