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Differences between POP and IMAP

If you want to use an email client to check and manage your email, you first have to decide whether to POP or IMAP your email account. University Systems recommends IMAP for most users.

POP IMAP
POP (Post Office Protocol) downloads ALL messages from your Inbox on the email server onto your computer's hard drive. Email is then managed locally on your machine without the need for a continuous Internet connection. Downloaded messages are deleted from the email server. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) keeps all messages on the email server. Message headers are downloaded when you check your email, and a copy of the individual emails are transferred to your computer when messages are selected for viewing. The original email remains on the server until you manually delete it from the server.
Choose POP if...
  • You check your UVic email from only one computer.
  • You want UVic WebMail to display only new messages that have not been downloaded onto your computer.
  • You check your UVic email over a slow dial-up connection.
Choose IMAP if...
  • You check your UVic email from multiple computers.
  • You want UVic WebMail to display previously read messages.
  • You want UVic WebMail to access folders created in your email client.
  • You want your email client to access folders created in UVic WebMail.

These are very basic guidelines. For more information, contact the Computer Help Desk.