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As part of our migration to Google for email ITS is providing configuration instructions for previously supported mail clients.  ITS strongly recommends users make use of the web-based interface provided by Google rather than any client in order to take advantage of features specific to Google Mail.

If you are going to use a mail client, ITS recommends Mozilla Thunderbird.  Thunderbird is a free email client that can be downloaded from Mozilla.  Versions for Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux are available.

If you prefer Microsoft Outlook, here are the set up instructions. Outlook does not natively support Google Mail and Apps, so you will need to install and configure your account with a plugin called Google Apps Sync for Outlook.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Download and install Google Apps Sync for Outlook:
  2. During the install process, you will be prompted to sign into your Google account.
    • Enter your username and check the box to “Remember Me”.
    • Click Continue.
  3. Click Continue on the next screen to open your web browser.
  4. A new browser window will open to  Enter your Swarthmore username and password.  
  5. Click Allow to grant your Swarthmore Google account access to Outlook.

  6.  Switch back to the Google Apps Sync for Outlook program.   Leave the import options unchecked, and choose “Create Profile”.   Then choose to Start Microsoft Outlook.
  7. Click Start Microsoft Office, and Microsoft Outlook will open.   If you have more than one version of Outlook on your computer, whichever one is set as the primary is the one that is configured.
  8. Outlook will open and may ask you which account you'd like to open. Chose the one ending in "Google Apps." (If you click the Options>> button, you do have the choice of making this the default.)
  9. After your profile opens, you will see your messages and content begin to populate. Outlook is building a local cache of your mailbox, and you will see the following screen as it does so. You can safely use Outlook at this time, simply click Close on the status window to hide it.

About the local cache

If you're already familiar with Outlook, you may have heard of the phrase "cached mode." This refers to Outlook building a local copy of your mailbox. Because configuring Outlook using this method does not provide a real-time interface with Gmail, the only mail you'll be able to interact with from within Outlook is mail that has been "cached." The Sync tool will allow you to specify how much of your mailbox you want to store in the "cache," with the most recent content cached first. You can change this setting by right-clicking the Sync icon in your system tray, as seen below. Any mail that does not get synced because it's beyond the local size capacity has to be viewed using the Gmail web interface.

We recommend you leave the default setting (1GB) selected, however you may choose to have more of your content cached by upping this limit. Be aware that doing so may significantly degrade performance, and if you choose Unlimited and your mailbox itself grows to over 20GB in size, Outlook will most likely corrupt itself and crash.

Adding someone else's mailbox to your own (delegation)

If someone has granted you rights to their Calendar, you will automatically see it when you open Outlook. However, if someone has added you as a delegate to their entire mailbox, an additional step is required to make their mailbox viewable to you. Simply click the Windows start menu, browse to and run the Add account for delegation wizard.