Enable POP3 in Gmail

  1. Sign in to Gmail.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper-right and select Mail settings .
  3. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
  4. Select Enable POP for all mail or Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on. Here you can learn more about Gmail’s POP3 behavior
  5. Remember that Gmail only allows secure SSL connections so you need to use ConnectSSL method.

Perfectly secure ‘less’ secure apps

For some (newer) Google accounts you may need to enable access for ‘less’ secure apps.

Please note that contrary to what the label says those applications (such as Thunderbird or Outlook) are secure – they use TLS or SSL to secure the communication.

The term ‘less secure apps’ is used only because such applications need to store the primary account password to be able to access POP3.

‘Less’ secure apps alternatives

  1. IMAP and OAuth 2.0 (OAuth 2.0 for installed applications, OAuth 2.0 for web applications, OAuth 2.0 for service accounts) which works despite the disabled ‘less secure apps’ setting.
  2. Application specific passwords (2-Step-Verification must be enabled to access this feature: Create application specific password)

2-step verification

If you use 2-Step-Verification and are seeing a “password incorrect” error when trying to access POP3, an app password may solve the problem. An application specific password is a 16-digit password that gives an application permission to access your Google Account.

2-Step-Verification must be enabled to access this feature:
Create application specific password.

Simple .NET POP3 access sample

// C# code:

using(Pop3 pop3 = new Pop3())
{
	pop3.ConnectSSL("pop.gmail.com");
	pop3.Login("your_email@gmail.com", "password");

	foreach (string uid in pop3.GetAll())
	{
		var eml = pop3.GetMessageByUID(uid);
		IMail mail= new MailBuilder()
			.CreateFromEml(eml);

		Console.WriteLine(mail.Subject);
		Console.WriteLine(mail.Text);
	}
	pop3.Close();
}

' VB.NET code:

Using pop3 As New Pop3()
    pop3.ConnectSSL("pop.gmail.com")
    pop3.Login("your_email@gmail.com", "password")

    For Each uid As String In pop3.GetAll()
        Dim email As IMail = New MailBuilder() _
            .CreateFromEml(pop3.GetMessageByUID(uid))
        Console.WriteLine(email.Subject)
	Console.WriteLine(mail.Text)
    Next
    pop3.Close()
End Using

More .NET POP3 samples. You can download Mail.dll POP3 library for .NET here.

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