What’s better: POP3 or IMAP in e-mail configuration?

We suggest using IMAP, which is the most modern postal protocol. With it, you can synchronize all folders with messages. You’ll see the same messages on each device with a mail account set up and IMAP protocol.

For an inexperienced e-mail user with advanced correspondence management, the key difference between POP3 and IMAP is:
  • POP3 limits itself to receiving e-mails and displaying them to the user. You can reply to an e-mail in your e-mail program, but a copy of the sent message will not appear on the mail server. If your email account is set up in multiple email programs, you’ll see only received mail in them. If one of the programs reads an e-mail, you may not be able to see it on another device. POP3 is useful for working with limited capacity accounts, when it’s important to keep messages on your device and not on your mail server.
  • IMAP allows you to receive messages on multiple devices. Each of them displays the same email content by synchronizing folders and e-mails. In addition, every message sent from any device is visible on the mail server and shared on every device. On each device on which the same e-mail account is configured. IMAP is the future of e-mail. IMAP responds to the needs of users managing one or more e-mail accounts on multiple devices at the same time.

What is POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3)?

POP3 is a protocol (an element of configuration and operation of an e-mail account) that allows receiving e-mails. You will hear the most about POP3 protocol in relation to the configuration of the e-mail program. If the e-mail program is to be able to receive messages and display them, it must connect to the e-mail server using, for example: POP3.

This standard protocol is built into most popular e-mail programs, such as Thunderbird and Outlook.

POP3 is an old, archaic solution. Few functional and inadequate to the requirements of consumers nowadays. However, he still works flawlessly in what he was created for. POP can be thought of as a „store-and-forward” service. He will limit his task on this.

POP3 allows you to download a copy of a message to a computer and request it to be deleted from the server. Messages that will be sent from your computer (from the e-mail program) will not forward a copy of the message to the server. POP3 does not synchronize messages in both directions.


The POP3 protocol allows e-mail clients to receive e-mail from the server. The message sent to you goes to the e-mail server, from where the e-mail program downloads its copies. The message remains on the server or, if it has been set, it is deleted from it (moved to the trash).

What is IMAP ( Internet Message Access Protocol)?

IMAP is a more modern version of the POP3 protocol. Its task is to receive e-mail in the e-mail program, display it. The e-mail message is sent to the mail server, from where it is downloaded to the e-mail client using the IMAP protocol.

Unlike POP3, IMAP can synchronize in both directions. Displays the contents of the e-mail inbox: all messages, all folders and additional configurations. In addition, it transfers the current status of e-mails and local folders to the e-mail server.

In practice, if you send a message from an email program, you create a new folder, change the location of messages between folders, exactly the same way it will be done on the mail server.

IMAP is an ideal synchronization tool that makes it easier to work with one e-mail account on many devices, for example: on a phone, tablet, private computer and company. It works at one time.


IMAP allows you to receive e-mail in a program on your computer or mobile device. The e-mail program with many additional functions allows you to easily manage e-mails. A full synchronization occurs between the program and the mail server. Messages are visible on all devices with a configured e-mail account. Deleting a message on one device removes it from the mail server and from other programs in which the account is running.



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