Difference between POP3 and IMAP

By Jaxson

Main Difference

Both the IMAP and POP3 are used to fetch emails from an email repository to client’s machine. However, the implementation of these two protocols is quite different. It is a matter of fact that from both of the two, this is the IMAP which is the better option. Therefore, the recommended option particularly when the users are required to check your emails from the multiple devices, including a work laptop, a home computer, or a tablet, Smartphone, or other mobile devices. You only need to tap into your synced (updated) account from any device with IMAP and enjoy the results. The method of the POP3 will permit you to check the email from one device only but after using the Imap technique, you will become capable of examining the messages from the multiple computers and other devices at the same time. The emails will be stored in the sole computer or device which you use when you utilize the services of the Pop3. The Imap, on the other side, provides you the option of storing the emails on the server as well. The category of the Sent mail is stored locally on your PC, and you are not able to find it on a mail server anymore while the Sent mail when you use the Imap method will stay on the server so you can see it from any device in an easy and a pain-free manner.


Downloads obtained from the POP3 email technique come from a server to a single computer then they will be deleted from the server. The email procedure of the Pop3 includes the process of messages which get downloaded to a single computer or device. Then they removed from the server; that’s why it can appear that mail is missing or disappearing from your Inbox at the time when the user tries to check his or her mail from a different computer or device. The term of POP3 stands for the Post Office Protocol.


For individuals who wish to utilize different PCs and gadgets, for example, cell telephones and tablets, the capacity to synchronize email activities among gadgets is fundamental for which the Imap is the best option. At the point when a man utilizes IMAP, and he or she peruses and erases or moves email into organizers, the activity happens overall gadgets at the same time. Since it is conceivable to download just the email headers with IMAP, it’s much snappier. Moreover, any disconnected from the net changes that are made to email are transmitted to the remote server once an Internet association is re-built up. Imap permits the client to document their email on their PC or gadget while having a reinforcement put away on the remote server. Also, business customers, particularly those in callings that request secrecy, want to utilize IMAP since it takes into consideration the additional security email encryption bears. The term of Imap gives the demonstration of the Internet Messaging Access Protocol.

Key Differences

  • The pop3 allows all messages as well as their attachments to download into the desktop of the PC during the ‘check new email’ process. A whole message will be downloaded only when it is opened for display from its content. Messages get downloaded in different parts while using the Imap method.
  • In pop3, the emails are downloaded to the user’s machine only unless they specifically leave a copy on the server. The Emails will stay on the server when using Imap. That thing allows access from multiple clients such as a web interface and fat clients like MS Outlook.
  • Mailboxes can only be created on client’s machine in pop3. There is only one mailbox (INBOX) exists on the server. Users must log in to Xeam’s admin to view their Junk and Possible Junk messages. In Imap, the multiple mailboxes can be created on the desktop PC as well as on the server. By default Xeams create Inbox, Junk, and Possible junk folders. Users can access their Junk messages right from your email client.
  • The Filters available in the pop3 can transfer incoming/outgoing messages only to local mailboxes while the Filters in the Imap can transfer inbound or outbound messages to other mailboxes no matter where the mailboxes locate (on the server or the client’s machine).
  • The pop3 permits the outgoing email to store only locally on the user’s computer while these emails can be filtered to a mailbox on the server for accessibility from another machine as well in the Imap method.
  • The pop3 is less resource intensive both on client and server than that of the Imap.
  • Unlike the Imap, the messages can be viewed even when you are not connected to the Internet when you utilize the services of the pop3.
  • The Imap is supposed to be superior as compared to the pop3.

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