How to Check Your Gmail Account with Kmail

Email has changed dramatically over the years. What was once a single program on your computer that occasionally shouted “You’ve got mail” is now on the web, on your smartphone, and probably with you wherever you go. As easy as it is to dismiss the past necessity for having a standalone email client, there are still many situations where it is a good idea, especially for business.

Gmail is one of the most popular cloud/web-based email applications, and for users who still want access through a desktop client, Google offers free POP and IMAP connectivity. With KDE’s Kmail email client, you can download your Gmail to your computer and also opt to leave a copy on your Gmail account so that you can still access it from the web. This ensures that you always have backups of your email, even if something goes wrong with Google’s servers or something goes wrong with your computer.

To setup access to Gmail from within Kmail, follow these steps:

1. Login to your Gmail account

2. In the top right corner, click the settings gear icon and then click “Mail Settings”.

Gmail POP and IMAP settings

3. Click “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”.

4. To enable POP, select either “enable POP for all mail” or “enable POP for mail that arrives from now on”.

5. Choose an option for “when messages are accessed with POP”.

6. To enable IMAP, select “Enable IMAP”. Other settings are optional.

Now, you will need to configure your Kmail client:

1. Start Kmail and go to “Settings -> Configure Kmail

2. Click the “Accounts” button

3. In the Receiving tab, click “Add…”

4. At this point, you will need to decide whether you want to use IMAP or POP (This example will assume you chose POP).

Kmail account settings

5. In the “General” tab, enter a name you will use to recognize this account.

6. For “Incoming mail server” type: pop.gmail.com (for IMAP, choose imap.gmail.com)

7. For “Username” enter your complete email address: soandso@maketecheasier.com

Kmail POP settings

8. Enter your password.

9. Click the “Advanced” tab and select “Leave fetched messages on the server”.

10. In the “Connection Settings” section, select “SSL/TLS” encryption.

11. Click “OK”

Kmail SSL settings

Now click the “Sending” tab and follow these steps:

1. Click “Add…”

2. Select “SMTP” and click “Create and Configure”

3. For “Outgoing mail server” type smtp.gmail.com

4. Check the box next to “Server requires authentication”.

5. For “Login” type your full email address

6. Enter your password

7. If you want, select “store SMTP password” so that you do not have to enter it each time before you send.

Kmail SMTP settings

Disclaimer: If you use IMAP or have selected to download all of your previous Gmail messages with POP (perhaps as a backup measure), please be advised that it will download everything. That means if you have been in the habit of not deleting any Gmail message, you could spend the next few hours downloading your thousands of emails.

Kmail offers many email features, such as complex templates, that Gmail cannot. Moreover, you can access your messages offline and have full integration with other KDE apps. By keeping your message on your Gmail account as well, you can have the best of both worlds, accessing your Gmail through Kmail on your computer and still using web-based Gmail when you go mobile.