zawebs logo
IMAP vs POP Email Account Setup

IMAP vs POP email account setup

Here you will be able to view the difference between setting up an email as an IMAP or POP account.


Email accounts setup as POP, download emails onto the device onto which the email account is setup.  POP accounts can be set to remove emails/messages from the server or to keep messages on the server either permanently or for a certain amount of days.  Should you have important emails, then it is important to backup emails on an external device, such as an external harddrive.


IMAP does not download emails onto the device (i.e. PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones)  on which you are wanting to view your emails.  It rather accesses your email account’s mail box on the server and shows you the emails in this mailbox.


We advise that a POP account be setup on your main device, i.e. PC, Laptop, Tablet or Cell Phone.  The POP setup will download the emails to your main device from the server.  For a backup, you may set your email settings so that it “removes messages from the server” after a certain amount of days.  Normally  15 to 30 days, but this can be set pending your needs.  This will give you a 30 day backup of incoming mails on the server. 

POP accounts can also be used on secondary devices, but ensure that these devices do not remove messages from the server.  This functionality should be left to the main/primary device.  By setting up POP accounts on multiple devices, emails will be downloaded to the different devices.


This is recommended more for the secondary devices.  Should you have a POP account setup on another device, it is essential that this main device leaves a copy of messages for a sufficient amount of time on the server.  As mentioned above, the IMAP accounts do not download emails from the server and only show you emails that are currently on the server.  If the POP account removes emails from the server, they will not be visible to the device on which IMAP is setup.

Contact ZAWebs

Contact ZAWebs

Please complete this short form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.