It is no secret that you can access your various email accounts right from your Gmail account. We even published an instruction manual on how you can access all your custom email accounts from Gmail email right here.
At first impression, it may seem like a very convenient way to get all your emails. After all with mobile devices and their email apps such as Gmail, this seems to be the norm. You can access all your email accounts from the same application. This, however, keeps your accounts separate and creates that link between the app and the various email servers.
There is a little complication when you try to emulate the same on your web version of Gmail. One of the features of the GMail account is its ability to fetch your emails from the various email servers and aggregate them into the same inbox for your convenience. This seems harmless and quite settling.
So What Exactly is the Problem with my Gmail Account?
The problem with trying to round up all your email accounts and having GMail manage the delivery is that Gmail does not play nice at all with other POP3 accounts or simply POP protocol. The thing about POP accounts is that it is based on pull technology. This simply means that the client is actually required to go in periodically to check if new mail has arrived on the server.
The other common method of mail delivery is IMAP. With this IMAP protocol, there is virtually no waiting time to deliver emails. IMAP synchronizes the emails on your client and what is on the server. This gives a near real-time delivery of emails. IMAP may not be favored in all circumstances. The reason being in most cases with IMAP a copy of your email is left on your server.
Most email hosts have limits as to how much disk storage you can use to store your emails. With IMAP you are sure to consume that storage in no time depending on your usage patterns.
Back to POP. With POP there is an option of deleting whatever is on the server once it has been downloaded by the client, therefore, saving you from reaching your host imposed limits. Seeing POP has to be pulled by the client, most clients set a time-frequency when this pull happens. Most clients allow the user to further this frequency based on the users’ convenience.
Gmail DOES NOT allow you the user to alter this frequency. To further complicate things, Gmail has set a default frequency at 1-hour intervals. This is surely not convenient especially if you have connected business email accounts to your Gmail account. This means that once the pull has happened, should you receive any important or worse, urgent emails, you will not be receiving it until a 1-hour has elapsed.
In many circumstances one may be inclined to accept this, however, is many circumstances this may not be to your liking.
How to Work Around the One Hour Pull Frequency
All hope is not lost. You can still get all of your incoming emails in near real-time. The trick is to set up the pick up of your emails from your Gmail account as shown in the link above.
Secondly, from all your email service provider account settings, you need to follow the instructions to forward emails to your Gmail account. Depending on the situation you can choose to delete all emails once forwarded or you could maintain a copy. If you decided to maintain a copy, you will end up with duplicates once Gmail pulls the emails.
To prevent this, in your Gmail settings you need to disable POP3 pick up but maintain the SMTP settings. With the SMTP settings, you will be able to send out emails using your custom accounts as desired. You will not need the POP3 pull because the emails will be forwarded to your Gmail account by the respective servers.
If you decided you do not need to keep a copy of emails on your mail servers you can simply configure your email server to delete the message once it’s been forwarded to Gmail. In this case, you do not need to disable POP3 because when the pull frequency is activated, Gmail will not find any emails on your server since they were deleted. This way you have avoided duplicates.
One thing to note about this is that your Gmail account also has storage limits. You might want to be careful to track your usage. If it appeals to you then you can always purchase additional storage space.