How to Setup Gmail Over IMAP to Play Nice Within Mac OS X Mail

So, you want to use Mac OS X Mail with Gmail, which is an excellent, free webmail service from Google? While Snow Leopard makes the default setup is very easy, there are some rough edges of Google’s somewhat-wonky IMAP setup that need to be smoothed off for a better experience.

I’ve written out the steps to reach “Gmail IMAP in Mac OS X Mail” nirvana. While that doesn’t roll of the tongue, it does soothe the soul of the Gmail-using Mac lover.

Download my helpful PDF here, and if you find any bugs in it, please let me know.

Please note this was written using Gmail in Fall 2010 and with a Mac running 10.6 Snow Leopard. Mail in older versions of OS X should behave the same way, however.

Release Notes:

  • Version 1.4: Added note about Gmail over Exchange in iOS and folder weirdness.
  • Version 1.3: Added note about the “All Mail” label and threads.
  • Version 1.2: Added note about creating new labels online.