Got Gmail and Windows 8? Get Push email in the Mail app

The little known secret about Gmail is that you can also configure it to act like an Exchange account on your iPhone, which enables PUSH like features and is actually supported by Google as well.

Their name for it is Google Sync, and this also works in the Windows 8 Mail app and any email client that supports adding Exchange accounts.

The Sync service itself, which was announced in 2009, uses a Microsoft ActiveSync protocol in order to keep your data up to date. It's a Push service, meaning that you won't have to push any 'Synchronize' buttons in order to update your client; it'll just happen. So, any changes you make to your Google Calendar or Contacts will be automatically synced on wired connections or over the air, whether the change was made in the mail client, phone or in your web browser.

This presents an advantage over IMAP, and you can enable these features right now by following the steps below.

  1. Open the Windows 8 Mail Client app from the Start screen, if you haven't already setup an account you'll be prompted to do so
  2. Or open the Mail app settings by activating the Charms bar Winkey + C
    Select AccountsAdd an account
  3. Select Exchange, you'll be prompted to add your email address and password, instead:
    Click Show more details
  4. Add your email address, and in the "Server address" field enter:
    m.google.com leave the domain field blank
  5. Add in your username, which is your gmail address, and your password
  6. Hit Connect, and you're done!

The various settings as shown above can be configured after you have added your Gmail account.

Let us know your results in the comments below!

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Having it setup as "Gmail" already uses activesync. I am getting push emails without doing any of this. None of this is necessary.

Exchange has had this functionality for 15+ years, with realtime email delivery.

Hotmail has supported this functionally for about 10 years, which there are people that still do not realize or use because they are using horrid clients that do not have the protocol technologies.

As new devices have properly integrated and added Exchange protocol technology, users have also figured out and realized that Hotmail/Live/Outlook also are live mail delivery systems.

I just wanted to throw out this information, in case someone was going to jump from Hotmail, etc to Gmail to get the functionality, when they already have it.

(Hotmail in crappy email client software is sometimes better configured as an 'Exchange' server, with m.hotmail.com as the server. This uses the higher level protocols with realtime and other features enabled.)

This can be done with Hotmail as well by adding an Exchange Active Sync account.

I'm using a custom live domain, so I can't just hit the hotmail button.

Same idea as above but m.hotmail.com

Guess what? Microsoft are well aware that Gmail supports ActiveSync and the Mail app already (in Dev Preview & Consumer Preview) sets up Gmail or Google Apps as ActiveSync. DP & CP doesn't even support POP/IMAP.

The only difference between 'Google' and 'Exchange' are those names, the icon, and m.google.com not needing to be filled in. Hotmail ActiveSync is also supported as equally.

You can verify this is the case by (1) Checking the Gmail access log and it will show 'Mobile' instead of 'IMAP' (2) Disabling IMAP in settings and it still works (in fact IMAP is disabled by default and (3) Windows 7 appears in m.google.com/sync with other ActiveSync devices.

The real news is that Apple are morons as iOS insists on setting up Gmail as IMAP instead of ActiveSync, and Mac OS X does not link to the right IMAP folder by default.

Also their 'Geniuses' are morons who have no idea how to setup a Google Apps account on an iOS device or Mac. They ALWAYS bugger it up in my experience. Google's own documentation says to do ActiveSync on iOS but they don't do this & They convert Google Apps Outlook PST files manually to Apple Mail breaking all sync instead of just letting it resync.

Simon- said,
Guess what? Microsoft are well aware that Gmail supports ActiveSync and the Mail app already (in Dev Preview & Consumer Preview) sets up Gmail or Google Apps as ActiveSync. DP & CP doesn't even support POP/IMAP.

The only difference between 'Google' and 'Exchange' are those names, the icon, and m.google.com not needing to be filled in. Hotmail ActiveSync is also supported as equally.

You can verify this is the case by (1) Checking the Gmail access log and it will show 'Mobile' instead of 'IMAP' (2) Disabling IMAP in settings and it still works (in fact IMAP is disabled by default and (3) Windows 7 appears in m.google.com/sync with other ActiveSync devices.

The real news is that Apple are morons as iOS insists on setting up Gmail as IMAP instead of ActiveSync, and Mac OS X does not link to the right IMAP folder by default.

Also their 'Geniuses' are morons who have no idea how to setup a Google Apps account on an iOS device or Mac. They ALWAYS bugger it up in my experience. Google's own documentation says to do ActiveSync on iOS but they don't do this & They convert Google Apps Outlook PST files manually to Apple Mail breaking all sync instead of just letting it resync.

Sadly it is NOT just the 'Geniuses' at Apple that do this crap.

There is also a lot of people that STILL try to setup Hotmail or Exchange using freaking IMAP or POP3, cause they got caught in the Linux innovation era, and still don't realize how antiquated the protocols are.

IMAP might supposed to be instant but it doesn't use a push service, this was evident in that emails sometimes arrived in my inbox an hour after they were sent (after I forced a sync) while the mail app settings was set to "as mail items arrive" rather than a 15 minute interval check. This method works better for me at least.

I have the mail app set up as Gmail (rather than Exchange), and the emails arrive instantly anyway.

... so what's the difference? :-/ I don't get it.

Does anyone remember when "push" was the next big thing for the Web/Internet back in the 1990s, which never really took off like they thought it would.

Push back then had nothing in common with push today. That push had more in common with today's feed readers and news aggregators, providing offline access to a growing web when many people were still relying on dialup with hourly limits.

Modern push, which is a complex method of instantly delivering small packets of information over always-on connections, comes across as quite the opposite of classic push. While the older style solved a problem that we no longer have, the newer style takes advantage of the solution (always-on) to the problem (limited dialup), and the two techs don't belong in the same bucket at all.

Both are very innovative, and very interesting developments. It's likely we could bounce between the two as networking advances (new connectivity options always come with early issues that make an 'offline-mode' attractive, and issue resolutions allow tech to push those networks harder in online-mode).

This should also work with Outlook 2013 however, when I entered gmail account parameters, SSL was not an available option. And didn't work. Works beautifully with Hotmail (and even syncs the tasks - wonderful!). Did anyone have a different experience with gmail and Outlook 2013?

In more settings > last tab, ensure ssl is enabled and tls for outgoing mail, for ssl try both ports 993 and 995 (i forget which one it is) outgoing server requires authentication (in sending mail tab) use setting "same as incoming mail settings"

pop server is m.google.com / username is your email address. I don't have outlook installed here to actually test it, sorry!

It's also possible that it worked for me because I had itunes installed, which also installs mobile activesync? I really don't know.

Neobond said,
In more settings > last tab, ensure ssl is enabled and tls for outgoing mail, for ssl try both ports 993 and 995 (i forget which one it is) outgoing server requires authentication (in sending mail tab) use setting "same as incoming mail settings"

pop server is m.google.com / username is your email address. I don't have outlook installed here to actually test it, sorry!

It's also possible that it worked for me because I had itunes installed, which also installs mobile activesync? I really don't know.

Its sounds like you are describing the settings for POP3/SMTP, not Exchange Server. Outlook 2010 does not support Exchange Activesync as we've seen on mobile devices; Outlook 2013 does.

KibosJ said,
I don't think Outlook supports MOBILE Activesync. Which means it won't work.

There is no distinction. When on a domain you connect to an Exchange Server via MAPI/RPC, not Exchange ActiveSync.

EDIT: Never mind. Either I didn't read the article closely enough or it was changed in between me reading it and me submitting a post

testman said,
m.google.com

Really? This explains why I couldn't connect, Neowin, please fix the article, it's not m.googlemail.com

EDIT: nvm, they already did!

Rafyelzz said,
Awesome!!!


dumped gmail years ago


I came back to gmail.
Why?:

-> Major problems with hotmail (unable to access my account/etc)
-> Works ugly, over some years it was like it was a job to check my email via live.com as how it looked and worked was so awful
-> much other...

Adamodeus said,

And switched over to AOL? Or Hotmail? hh...hhh.... hahahahah!

Ferreal man, like, gmail is the only *cool* free e-mail service.

nsow- said,

I came back to gmail.
Why?:

-> Major problems with hotmail (unable to access my account/etc)
-> Works ugly, over some years it was like it was a job to check my email via live.com as how it looked and worked was so awful
-> much other...


I left gmail.

Why:
Google.