How to Add a Gmail Account to Windows Live Mail 2011

This step by step guide explains how to add your Gmail account to the Windows Live Mail 2011 app.

Please note: This guide was initially published back in 2011 and since then Microsoft has stopped supporting (no more updates) Windows Live Mail. With that said, the steps in this guide are still accurate, the link to download Windows Live Essentials works – so there’s really no reason you can’t continue using Windows Live Mail to check your Gmail, if you’d like. If you’re using Windows 10, switch over to our guide on setting up Gmail in Windows 10.

  1. The very first thing you’ll need to do is enable IMAP in your Gmail account, which is super easy to do. Open Gmail in a web browser and sign into your account. Click the Settings button (the “cog” looking icon in the upper-right corner) and select See all settings
  2. gmail settings icon

  3. Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab
  4. the Forward and POP IMAP section of Gmail

  5. Select the Enable IMAP option in the IMAP access: section. Click the Save Changes button to make sure the change gets applied.
  6. enabling IMAP in gmail

  7. If you don’t already have the Windows Live Mail app on your PC, download and install Windows Live Essentials 2011. If you need help setting it up, check out our Beginner Guide to Setup Windows Live Mail 2011. After you have it installed go ahead and launch the Live Mail app, click the Accounts tab, then the Add Email icon.
  8. setting up windows live mail for gmail

  9. In the window that comes up enter in your Gmail account information and decide if you want the account to be the default.
  10. entering account info into Windows Live Mail 2011

  11. Click the Next button to continue configuring the Gmail account for Live Mail. Success!
  12. a Next button

  13. Close out of the success message and a dialog will come up letting you know Live Mail is gathering your messages from Gmail.
  14. windows live mail downloading gmail messages

  15. Now you’ll see your Gmail account listed in the navigation pane in Windows Live Mail 2011 and can send and receive emails from your Gmail account.
  16. Windows Live Mail 2011 inbox

That’s all there is to it! Setting up Gmail has gotten a lot easier in this new version of Live Mail and you shouldn’t need to manually configure your settings. If you’re having problems setting it up and these instructions aren’t working for you, leave a comment and I’ll show you how to set it up manually.

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3 thoughts on “How to Add a Gmail Account to Windows Live Mail 2011”

  1. There’s one more step that’s needed. Under Google Account, click on “Manage Your Google Account”, then on “Security.” Under “Less secure app access” click on “Turn on access (not recommended)” and then “Allow less secure apps.” Otherwise Windows Live Mail can’t access the Gmail account, instead getting an “incorrect password” error message. Is there a safer way of doing this?

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