How to Sync Outlook with Gmail

Syncing Outlook with Gmail allows you to access your emails, contacts, and calendar events from both your Outlook and Gmail accounts seamlessly. Whether you prefer using Outlook for work or Gmail for personal use, this synchronization method ensures you never miss an important email or appointment.

Gmail is indeed highly reliable and packed with useful, unique features. However, its non-customizable interface and reliance on browsers for access still need to be improved. Luckily, 3rd-party clients, particularly Outlook, fill these gaps and make using Gmail on desktop more productive. Better alerts, calendars/contacts shortcuts, and unified inboxes (useful when handling multiple company emails) are only a few examples of the benefits of such apps. And this article offers a comprehensive email synchronization guide for Gmail accounts on Outlook-so please read on.

Benefits of Syncing Outlook with Gmail

Enhanced Productivity Through Unified Email Management

Managing various inboxes in Gmail’s web version involves opening multiple browser tabs. However, while entirely functional, this takes more computer resources, is inefficient, and unideal for comparing messages. The Outlook desktop app, on the other hand, allows switching through email accounts from the sidebar. There is also a unified inbox feature that collects messages from all accounts in one place.

Access to Gmail Features Within the Outlook Interface

Gmail is truly packed with useful features, and Google is adding new ones now and then. That said, there’s still no official Gmail desktop client, and its web interface can be less desirable for many. Luckily, the beautifully designed Outlook app supports many Gmail features for signed-in Google accounts. And it means one can utilize the best of both worlds without losing access to any essential functionality.

Seamless Synchronization of Contacts and Calendars

Similar to emails, calendars and contacts are essential for professionals and businesses. And besides seamless email integration, Outlook supports Google Calendar sync with complete event creation and management capabilities. One can also manually import Google contacts to Outlook (as there’s still no way to live sync these two phonebook platforms).

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Sync Outlook with Gmail

Gmail lets users synchronize emails across platforms via third-party clients, and Outlook supports most email providers. Additionally, the modern versions of these two are easy to connect with each other, with the steps to do so as follows:

Step 1. Check Gmail Settings

Allow Google Accounts Sign-in Prompts

1. Sign in to a Google account and then open “myaccount.google.com/connections” in the browser.

2. Click the gear icon in the top corner.

3. Turn on “Google Account sign-in prompts” by pressing the toggle and making it blue.

Create An App Password (For Users with 2-Step Verification Enabled)

The 2-Step Verification feature requires code for every new login of a Google account for extra security. And if this is turned on, one will need to generate an “app password” to open or import Gmail into Outlook. To generate an app password, please follow these steps:

1. Open “myaccount.google.com/security” in the browser.

2. Under “How you sign in to Google,” see “2-Step Verification.” If it’s turned off, simply disregard it and proceed to Step 2 of this process.

3. If the “2-Step Verification” is turned on, click the arrow icon next to it.

4. Scroll all the way down and click the arrow icon next to “App passwords.”

5. Type “Outlook” in the input field and then click the “Create” button.

6. Copy the generated app password and use it to log in to Outlook (Gmail email + generated app password).

Step 2. Set Up Outlook for Gmail Integration

After configuring a few Google account settings, it’s now time to sync Outlook with Gmail. Below, there are two methods to doing so-one for newly installed Outlook (with no accounts yet) and another for those that are already using Outlook with other email providers ( add a new Gmail account).

Method 1: For Newly Installed Outlook App

1. Open the Outlook app, type in a Gmail account, and then click “Continue.”

2. Click the “Continue” button and wait for the default browser to launch itself.

3. Once the browser launches itself, sign in to the Google account.

4. Go all the way down and press the “Allow” button. After that, go back to Outlook.

5. In Outlook, scroll through the text and click the “Next” button. Then, click “Continue” to proceed.

6. The Gmail account is now opened and accessible via the Outlook desktop app.

Method 2: For Already Installed Outlook App (Add New Gmail Account)

1. In the Outlook app, click the “Add account” text button in the left sidebar.

2. Type a Gmail account, click “Continue,” and then wait for the default browser to launch itself.

4. Repeat Steps 4 to 6 from the “For newly installed Outlook app” method above.

Useful Outlook App Configurations

The Outlook app indeed does a great job at preserving Gmail’s familiar navigation and email display behavior. Despite this, there are still simple configurations that one can try to ensure the Gmail inbox/messages work expectedly in this client:

Select the Right Gmail Account When Sending Emails

Unlike Gmail’s web app, all the accounts are accessible in one interface in Outlook. Consequently, some might make the mistake of using the wrong account when sending an email. To avoid this, click the email address in the email compose section and choose the right one from the pop-up.

Retain Gmail’s Conversation Grouping View

On all platforms, Gmail groups individual emails into a conversation to tidy up the inbox and make reading easier. To retain this in Outlook, please follow these steps:

1. Go to the “View” section and then click “Messages.”

2. Press “Conversations” in the pop-up and choose “Group into conversations.”

Step 3. Verify Two-Way Sync

Now that the Google account and the Outlook app are both configured, it’s time to verify whether their two-way sync settings work. It means if one has sent/received an email in Gmail web, that email should also appear in the inbox or sent folder of Outlook (and vice versa). Nevertheless, the steps to verify are as follows:

1. In Gmail web, compose an email, address it yourself, and then send it.

2. Go to Outlook and see if the email went through or shows up in the inbox. If it’s there, then Gmail and Outlook are now in sync.

3. Lastly, to be sure, do the same thing for Outlook. Compose an email, address it to yourself, and send it.

4. Go to Gmail web and see if the email went through or shows up in the inbox. If it’s there, then Gmail and Outlook are confirmed in sync.

Troubleshooting Tips

While the Outlook and Gmail integration is easy to set up, there can still be hiccups that users might experience. In detail, here are the most common issues (with solutions) one might experience during the sync process:

Issue #1: Can’t Sign In to Gmail in Outlook

Solution 1:

For accounts with 2-Step Verification enabled, generate an app password in Google Account settings and use it instead of the original password. To do so, please refer to “Create an app password” under Step 1 of the Step-by-step guide to syncing above.

Solution 2:

Use a stable internet connection, as the Outlook app does many background verification processes to retrieve account data before signing in.

Issue #2: Outlook Won’t Connect to Gmail

Solution 1:

Update the Outlook client to the latest version or at least the 2016 build.

Solution 2:

Step 1. Go to Gmail, click the gear icon, and then press the “See all settings” button.

Step 2. Go to the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab, click “Enable IMAP” in the “IMAP access” section, and then press “Save Changes.”

Issue #3: Can’t Receive New Emails

Solution 1:

Go to Gmail web and delete unnecessary emails to free up space (Google only offers 15GB free storage and stops email sync when it’s full). One can also delete files in Google Drive or Photos to regain storage.

Solution 2:

Use a stable internet connection as some emails contain large attachments or long texts, which can be quite network-demanding.

Solution 3:

Sometimes, new emails actually arrive but are just moved to the bottom of the inbox, making them unnoticeable. To fix this, go to Outlook inbox, click the filter icon, and then “Sort” in the pop-up. After that, press to check “Newest on top.”

Issue #4: Can’t Send New Emails in Outlook

Solution 1:

Go to Gmail web and delete unnecessary emails to free up space (Google only offers 15GB free storage and restricts email sending when it’s full). One can also delete files in Google Drive or Photos to regain storage.

Solution 2:

Verify if the right Gmail account is selected before sending an email in Outlook’s compose interface.

Advanced Settings (Optional)

Out of the box, Outlook is already fully functional and will let users do all basic or essential operations. However, for those who like customization or other syncing modes, there are various advanced Gmail in Outlook settings.

Customize Mail View, Ribbon, and Buttons

Step 1. Go to the “View” tab, click the three-dotted menu, and then press “Customize.”

Step 2. Remove, hide, reorder, and rename options/buttons in the interface and click “Save” to save changes.

Add Folder to Favorites or Quick Access

Step 1. Open any folder and click the star icon next to its header.

Step 2. To remove a folder from “Favorites,” simply open it and click to clear the star icon next to its header.

Only Receive Notifications from Favorite Contacts

Step 1. Click the gear icon, go to “General,” and then “Notifications” in Settings. After that, enable “Only from favorite people” under “Mail” and press “Save.”

Translate Emails

Step 1. Click the gear icon, go to “Mail,” and then “Message handling” in Settings. After that, choose the translation languages and press “Save.”

Set Separate Signatures for New Messages and Replies/Forwards

Step 1. Click the gear icon, go to “Accounts,” and then “Signatures” in Settings. Then, enter new signature details, assign signatures, and click “Save.”

Best Practices for Email Productivity 

Similar to Gmail, Outlook also makes it easy to manage inboxes. And users can practice things and utilize features to enhance the experience further, like these email productivity tips:

  • Delete completed conversations or archive important ones to declutter the inbox. Doing so makes it easier to scan emails and perform operations.
  • Unsubscribe to unimportant newsletters or email notifications from brands to focus the inbox on work/business-related matters.
  • Sort emails by importance to never miss anything critical
  • Utilize Outlook’s keyboard shortcuts for quick operations. Click “?” while in Outlook to view them.
  • Add folders to favorites for easier access. To do so, open any folder and click the star icon next to its header
  • Enable dark mode to make working at night less harsh to the eyes. To do so, click the gear icon, go to “General,” and then “Appearance” in Settings. Then, select “Dark” and hit “Save.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How many Gmail accounts can I sign in to Outlook?

A. Microsoft allows users to sign in as many email accounts as they like. However, be cautious and consider how many incoming emails your computer can handle before crashing.

Q. Is the Outlook app free to use?

A. Yes, it’s free to use as a 3rd-party email client. You’ll only have to pay if you want more features/storage options for Microsoft’s own email service.

Q. Do you need a special Outlook Gmail connector to sync Outlook with Gmail?

A. No. You simply need to download Outlook and sign in to your Google account there.

Q. Is there a limit to email recipients?

A. Practically no. Microsoft only advises users to limit the number of recipients per email to 1,000 addresses, which is more than enough for basic and professional use cases.

Q. Can you access Gmail’s features in Outlook?

A. Yes. Outlook supports Gmail’s filters, folders, and conversation grouping and offers its own reply autocomplete, spam detection, signatures, and other extra features.

Q. What data types are synced between Gmail and Outlook?

A. Gmail and Outlook sync incoming/outgoing emails, drafts, spam, archived/trashed messages, read/unread statuses, and other critical information.

 

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