Why you should check your email directly using IMAP instead of Automatic Forwarding

What is IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol)?

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP shares many similar features with POP3. It, too, is a protocol that an email client can use to download email from an email server. However, IMAP includes many more features than POP3.

We recommend using IMAP instead of POP3 because IMAP synchronizes your mailbox across various devices (so you can create folders, and see the same messages and folders everywhere). POP3 only downloads messages from the server - it doesn't allow your folders or messages to be synchronized with the server or other devices, so, for example, if you delete a message on one device, or try to move it from your inbox to a specific folder, your other devices will still show you that same message in your inbox.

Direct Access via IMAP vs Automatic Forwarding

IMAP is more reliable than forwarding. It’s the most legit way to check your email as it avoids the following risks:

  • Forwarded messages are sometimes incorrectly marked as spam by the major email providers (google/yahoo/microsoft) and delivered to spam/junk folders, which means you might not see messages that are sent to you.
  • Forwarding increases a mail server’s risk of being blacklisted by major service providers, especially if actual spam gets forwarded. Blacklisting is a major problem that effectively causes downtime.

Because of risks related to spam penalties, we only recommend using automatic forwarding when you want to forward to an email account that’s hosted on the same server (for example: from sales@acmewidgets.com to steve@acmewidgets.com).

For all other cases we recommend checking your email directly by adding your account to the device/app of your choice:

See instructions: How to access your email (IMAP) using various apps:

How to access your email (IMAP) using various apps