Apple Mail Compatibility Issues with Google Gmail and Microsoft Live Hotmail


Cross Brand Compatibility Issues

In their pursuit of customer loyalty, companies sometimes create proprietary exclusive technologies that don’t work well outside a certain brand ecosystem.

For example, Gmail (from Google) and Hotmail (from Microsoft) work great on their respective platforms:

  • Using a Google Chromebook or Android device (available on tablets and phones) you’ll likely have very few problems with Google’s gmail system.
  • Similarly, using Microsoft’s proprietary email clients found in Windows computers, tablets, or phones, it’s possible to enjoy a quality email experience.

However, using products across competing platforms often produces undesirable and unpredictable results.

According to conservative estimates, thousands of people are currently being inconvenienced by the incompatibility issues between the Apple Mail Client and Google Gmail Mail service.

Apple Devices Produce Unexpected Results

Oddly, when using an Apple iOS device (iPod, iPhone, or iPad), users experience exceptional email client compatibility with all features, folder access, and synchronization working properly. Yet, using Apple Mail on an Apple OS X device (laptop or desktop computer), users experience numerous problems.

Apple Mail and Gmail Issues

Here’s what OS X may experience when using Apple Mail with Gmail:

  • Archiving Error. New emails are delivered to an archive folder rather than the inbox.
  • Unread Count Error. Messages read on another device show up as unread on other devices.
  • Speed Issues. Apple Mail may load slowly.
  • Missing Emails. All messages may disappear from the inbox or other folders and not show up for a few minutes (or longer).
  • Synchronization Latency. Services like Apple iCloud, Microsoft Live, and Microsoft Exchange server all allow Push notification so you’re instantly notified of emails, calendar changes, and updated or new contact information. Gmail, unfortunately, requires a Fetch command in order to receive updates.

Apple Support Documents

Here are some Apple support documents relating to Apple Mail compatibility issues with Gmail.

Google Gmail Support Documents

Google offers a document with suggested IMAP settings for various email clients.

  • Recommended IMAP client settings – “All IMAP clients differ, and you can configure your mail client’s settings to best suit your needs. However, to work optimally with Gmail, we recommend certain settings. Click on your client below to view our recommended configuration.”

Jeff Schuette Configuration Document

There is a lengthy document on this subject, with suggestions from Jeff Schuette on how to best configure Apple Mail to work with Gmail.

  • Setting up Apple Mail to Rock and Roll with Gmail – “OS X 10.9 Mavericks has changed how Mail works with Gmail. This article is now only relevant for older versions of Mail. If you have previously followed these directions and have now updated to Mavericks, please see Apple Mail and Gmail Part Deux.”
  • Apple Mail and Gmail Part Deux – “If you followed my tutorial Setting up Apple Mail to Rock and Roll with Gmail, you will need to make some changes after upgrading to Mavericks.”

Further Reading

The following articles document the above issues and in some cases offer possible resolutions or work-arounds. It’s important when searching for articles to read current ones (within the past few months) since older articles may only be relevant for software that’s been replaced or subsequently updated.

  • Apple mail does not sync with gMail – “Today my Apple Mail no longer provides me with my gMail in the inbox. I can send mail to my gMail address and it shows in the Sent box …but it never makes it to my Inbox. If I log directly into Google Mail the email message is there.”
  • IMAP Gmail messages going directly to Archive folder instead of inbox – “Since upgrading to Mavericks, my Gmail accounts have been acting up in my Mac Mail program. At first it was just extremely slow to download the IMAP mail (my other POP email accounts continue to work just fine). However, in the past couple of days, I’ve noticed that incoming mail through the Gmail account randomly goes to my Inbox or to the Archive folder. This is very frustrating and can lead me to missing emails that I need to see. I haven’t changed any settings in Gmail or in the Mac Mail program.”
  • Mavericks Mail App and Gmail folders – “I have installed Mavericks on my MBA. Now in the mail app, when I drag messages from the inbox to a gmail folder, they leave the inbox. But if I click off of the inbox and then click back on it – they reappear in the inbox.”
  • Even after OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks update, users still complaining about Mail issues – “Mail in OS X Mavericks has been the new operating system’s least impressive point. Since launch, users have been complaining about issues relating to Gmail accounts, stability, and overall synchronization. Apple first attempted to patch up these bugs with a fix in early November of last year…”
  • Mail App crashes after OSX 10.9.2 update – “Updated to 10.9.2 today, now mail app crashes, Activity Monitor is showing it using 100% usage. It also makes my MacBook Air 2013 very hot.”
  • Apple posts workaround for Mavericks Mail sync issues, no permanent fix yet – “There’s good news and bad news for users of Apple’s Mail app who have been plagued by problems since updating to OS X Mavericks. Apple has acknowledged that users are still having trouble despite multiple updates since a new version of Mail first released with the updated operating system, but the suggested fix is only a temporary workaround.”

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