Wondering where your Gmail IMAP access is?

I was very glad to hear a few weeks ago when Google announced IMAP access for Gmail, the main reason being that this will mean my iPhone view of my email is much more closely tied to the Gmail application’s view of my mail. They’ve even done some clever stuff like using IMAP folders to simulate some of the Gmail experience (e.g. to remove a mail from inbox, but leave it available in the ‘all mail’ view, delete it from your IMAP inbox and it still appears in an ‘All Mail’ IMAP folder.)

The problem for me was that the ‘use IMAP’ option wasn’t appearing in my Gmail account. I waited, waited some more, fired off an email to some friends at Google, still waited, and still no IMAP access. What gives? Well today I found what gave. After trawling some help pages (help pages, who reads them anyway?) I found out that Gmail IMAP is only available if you set the ‘Global display language’ in your account’s settings to ‘English (US)’. I looked and sure enough it was set to ‘English (UK)’ – changing it to the american setting turned on IMAP access immediately.

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