This is how you synchronize emails on all your devices

Of course you would like to receive your mail on all devices, such as a PC, notebook, tablet and smartphone. This is a piece of cake via a webmail service such as Gmail or, because you only have to log in to the correct web address. It works differently for email addresses from your internet provider.

01 POP3 or IMAP?

It is important that you check with the internet provider which protocol the e-mail server supports. If that is only POP3, you can only download the messages from the server with the device and save them locally. As soon as you download the messages to your PC via this protocol, the e-mails are no longer available on the server. Also read: 15 tips for your wireless network.

Other devices can no longer retrieve the e-mail messages that your PC has already saved. For that reason, POP3 is unsuitable for synchronizing email. A better alternative is IMAP. With this you can easily view all messages with an e-mail program, while the e-mails still remain on the server. This means that different devices can address the email server to open messages. For example, changes you make on the PC are also immediately visible on other connected devices.

This way you never have to delete an email message twice. Keep in mind that not all internet providers support IMAP. XS4ALL, KPN, Telfort and are in any case perfectly fine with this protocol.

When your provider accepts IMAP, you can easily sync emails between devices.

02 Enter IMAP data

To configure an email account based on the IMAP protocol, you need several details. With an email address, password, outgoing mail server, incoming mail server and port numbers you can easily configure any device. You can usually find this information on your provider's website. Often it is not even necessary to enter the mail servers manually, because the e-mail program retrieves this data on its own.

Unfortunately, this also sometimes goes wrong, so always check the settings yourself. For example, you use Thunderbird or MS Outlook to retrieve e-mail via the IMAP protocol. Smartphones and tablets also always have a mail app with which you can read e-mail based on this protocol.

Always check that the suggested incoming and outgoing mail servers are correct.

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