Setting Up Email on Multiple Devices      Jun 24, 2020

Person Using Laptop Computer

Many people use multiple devices when sending and receiving email. While Gmail, Yahoo! and Hotmail offer unlimited storage, those using email accounts where messages are sent and stored on their hosted server typically have a limited email storage quota.

Those using an email server on a hosted account often encounter storage quota issues if messages are allowed to accumulate on the server.

There are several options available to reduce the number of messages stored on your server, including the appropriate use of IMAP and POP3.

Differences Between IMAP and POP3

Generally speaking, using IMAP leaves messages on the server, and POP3 allows you to delete messages from the server. While IMAP is great if you want to sync your email among multiple devices, the drawback is it will quickly eat into your server storage space.

One solution that has worked well is to set up IMAP on mobile devices and POP3 on laptop or desktop computers. It's generally recommended to set up POP3 on your laptop or desktop, because those devices typically have more disk space available for storing and archiving messages.

POP3 on Server Settings Your Computer

In most cases you will use IMAP settings your mobile devices, so all you must do is configure POP3 on your computer where messages remain on the server for a given number of days. The screenshot below shows server settings in Thunderbird on my laptop (which are typically available in all email applications).

Email Server Settings

In the example above, messages will remain available to applications using IMAP for 30 days after received via POP3. You may prefer keeping messages on the server for more or less time, but using POP3 appropriately is a much better option than manually deleting messages.

Important Note: To ensure all messages on the server are downloaded to your POP3 application, run send/receive messages before selecting the checkbox associated with "For at most XX days".

Recommended Settings in Your Email Applications

Email Setup


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