smartphone-579549_1280The TDS email transition from Gmail to the new platform has sparked many questions about the POP3 and IMAP email delivery methods—also called protocols—and what one you should use for the new TDS email. If you access your TDS mail through you don’t need to think about which to use, but these protocols become very important if you want to get your email on a smart phone, tablet, or if you use an email client on your computer.

Post Office Protocol (POP) works just like the name implies—similar to how a post office and “snail mail” works. In this case, the POP3 (the post office) takes your mail from the sender to your mailbox/inbox. This protocol does not store the email in “the cloud” for you to retrieve later, unless you tell your mail client (Outlook or Apple Mail) to do so.

Why is this important? Many of you may have started with Gmail POP3 on your home desktop, or used POP3 on your mobile device, and found that you were able to get your messages on your phone and at home at the same time. This was because, with the previous system, even if you set your email client to “leave a copy of the message on the server,” Gmail still kept a copy unless you went into Gmail settings and changed it.

Now that you have migrated to TDS email, if you still are using the POP3 protocol, you may have found your email doesn’t work like this. You may be getting email on your desktop computer, but not your smart phone…or on your smart phone and not your desktop…or a little on each. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) works a little differently and can solve this problem if it is something that is frustrating you.

Changing the email delivery method to IMAP allows you to access your email from multiple devices and platforms all at the same time. You’ll see the same email messages no matter what client or what device you’re using. Why? When you use IMAP, messages are always kept on the server so any device can get to them at any time. But, know that if you try to check your email using IMAP and you don’t have an Internet connection, you may not be able to see the entire email or look at the attachment.

Most all email clients allow you to choose between IMAP and POP, depending on how you’d like your email to operate. Each program is different but look for places such as “account settings” or “preferences” and then select what type of email account you have. We do have Help and Support pages for configuring/updating different TDS Mail settings in different email clients.

POP3 or IMAP will work to help you organize your TDS email and I hope this article will help you to decide which one is right for your situation.

Guest Blogger: Casey T.

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