Computing & Communications Center

Using IMAP


IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. It is a method of accessing electronic mail or bulletin board messages that are kept on a mail server. All messages viewed through an IMAP connection remain on the mail server, though some client programs can be configured to move the mail from the server to your local machine. By keeping the messages on the server, it becomes easier to access and reference your e-mail from multiple locations. This is useful if you check your e-mail from many different computers.

Choosing a client program

The Helpdesk officially supports these IMAP clients: Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and alpine. (Many of our staff members are familiar with other clients; however, we may be unable to assist in all situations.) alpine is a traditional UNIX mail reader, while Outlook is a traditional Windows mail readers. Both alpine and Outlook offer methods to filter mail based upon rules.

Note: You may also access WPI's IMAP e-mail server through UNIX SquirrelMail, a web-based interface.

Setting up your client program

For each client, the method is slightly different, though the basic settings will be the same. If you have any questions, or would like assistance in going through the setup procedure, please contact the Helpdesk.

Basically, you will want to choose IMAP for your connection method. The username to use will be your UNIX username. If you are on campus or using the VPN, the SMTP server (or outgoing mail server) will be Otherwise, you will have to use an alternate SMTP server, such as your local ISP's.

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Last modified: Nov 07, 2014, 15:52 EST
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