How to Access IMAP in Gmail with Python


In this article, we show how to access IMAP in gmail with Python.

IMAP stands for Internet Message Access Protocol.

It is a protocol that allows a third-party service to gain access to emails on a certain email account.

Thus, IMAP allows a third-party service the ability to access and read emails for an individual email account (granted there has been successful authentication of the account).

So, using a Python executer such as a IDLE, we can access IMAP in gmail and be able to access and read the emails on a certain email account.

This is the power of IMAP. We can access and read emails on an email account through Python code, just as if we want to and logged into an email account using a username and password.

So, IMAP is pretty cool and powerful.

You don't actually have to go to and log in in order to view and read emails.

With powerful server-side languages such as Python, PHP, etc. we can access IMAP and authenticate into an account.

So let's see how this can be done in Python.

The code below gives access to IMAP in gmail.

So, the first thing we must do is import email and imaplib modules.

These modules are needed to access IMAP on an email service provider.

We then have to specify the username and the password for the email account we are trying to gain access to.

We then create a variable named mail (this can be named anything) that is set equal to, imaplib.IMAP4_SSL("")

What this line does is it has the variable that gives us access to the IMAP on gmail.

The line, mail.login(username, password), is what gives us access to access IMAP on the email account that we specified.

If this is successful, we now have access to be able to go through and read emails on the email account.

In Python, if the last line, mail.login(username, password), is successful, you will see the following code shown below.

So, once we have authenticated and you see 'Success', you are good to go.

You can now proceed to finish writing the code so that you can fetch and read emails.

In this article, we just wanted to show how to access IMAP in gmail. In our next tutorials, we'll show how to fetch and read emails once you have gained access.

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