Set Up a Gmail Account in Outlook 2011 for Mac

Gmail’s Web interface is one of the best, but it’s common to use Outlook to sync email and calendars as well, especially at work.

And while Gmail is notoriously unfriendly with email clients like Outlook, with a few tweaks the two can play nicely with one another.

Here’s how to set up your Gmail account in Outlook 2011 for Mac.

Note: If you’re setting up Outlook 2011 for the first time, the Accounts screen will load automatically and you can skip to Step 2 below. Otherwise, start with Step 1.

1. Check Your Gmail Settings

Before you start in Outlook, check your Gmail settings.

  • Log in to Gmail and click the gear icon, then click Settings.Gmail Settings screen
  • On the Settings screen, click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Make sure IMAP is enabled. For added security, turn off POP as well.Gmail Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab
  • Click Save Changes.
  • Click the Labels tab and uncheck the Show in IMAP checkboxes for both Important and Chats. Outlook shows Gmail labels as folders, so unchecking these boxes will help things look right in Outlook. (For more information, see the note on labels at the bottom of this post.)Gmail Labels tab
  • Click the General tab and click Save Changes.

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2. Add an Account

  • Open Outlook 2011 and click the Outlook > Preferences.
  • Select the Accounts icon. If you have any accounts currently added to Outlook they will show here. Otherwise, it will show as empty.Preferences window in Outlook 2011 for Mac
  • Click the icon next to E-mail Account.
    Accounts window in Outlook 2011 for Mac
  • Enter your Gmail address and password, and leave the Configure automatically box checked.
  • Click the Add Account button. Outlook will attempt to find the server information for you.
    Add account dialog box in Outlook 2011 for MacAs long as Outlook is able to find the server information (and with Gmail it always should), your window should look something like the screenshot below.

    Gmail account added in Outlook 2011 for Mac

  • Fill out the “Account description” and “Full name” fields.

If the light next to the account name on the left side menu is green, everything is working and you’re all done!

When you’re using a Gmail account there’s no reason Outlook shouldn’t find this information easily. If you do run into any issues, though, check out Microsoft’s help page on getting Gmail set up in Outlook 2011.

Note on Labels

If you see any errant folders in Outlook, you can remove them by hiding them from IMAP in the Labels section of Gmail’s Settings page. Remember that while you see them as folders, Gmail considers them labels. Because of this difference, if you use multiple labels on a single email you may get duplication of messages on your computer. But unless you’re dealing with a huge amount of emails, you probably won’t even notice.

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