Help & Support

How to use IMAP in Virgin Media Mail

What is IMAP?

IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol, lets you download messages from Virgin Media Mail's servers onto your computer so you can access your mail with a program like Microsoft Outlook Express or Windows Mail, even when you aren't connected to the Internet.
IMAP creates a constant connection between mail clients (desktop and/or mobile) and Virgin Media Mail.

What's the difference between IMAP and POP?

Unlike POP, IMAP offers two-way communication between your web Virgin Media Mail and your email client(s). This means when you log in to Virgin Media Mail using a web browser, actions you perform on email clients and mobile devices, for example putting mail in a 'work' folder, will instantly and automatically appear in Virgin Media Mail with a 'work' label on that email.
In addition, IMAP provides a better method to access your mail from multiple devices. If you check your email at work, on your mobile phone, and again at home, IMAP ensures that new mail is accessible from any device at any given time.

How much does IMAP cost?

IMAP for Virgin Media Mail is free.

Enabling IMAP

You can retrieve your Virgin Media Mail messages with a client or device that supports IMAP, like Microsoft Outlook or Windows Mail.
To enable IMAP in your Virgin Media Mail account:
Sign in to your Virgin Media Mail account.

1. Click Settings at the top of any Virgin Media Mail page.
2. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
3. Select Enable IMAP.
4. Configure your IMAP client and click Save Changes.

Supported IMAP client list

Once you've enabled IMAP in your Virgin Media Mail account, just configure your mail client or wireless device to download Virgin Media Mail messages. To learn about configuration settings, click the name of your mail client or wireless device below.
If your mail client isn't listed here, we're not yet able to provide assistance with its configuration, but it may still work.

Mail Clients

Virgin Media Web interface

When you've enabled IMAP and set up your client, sign in to Virgin Media Mail through the client and watch your messages arrive. You'll notice that all of your custom Virgin Media Mail labels will appear in your client as folders, with copies of the messages to which you've applied those labels. While we'd like to make your IMAP experience match the Virgin Media Mail web interface as much as possible, some Virgin Media Mail -specific features and terms, such as conversation threading and stars, won't appear in your client. Don't worry; you can still perform all the usual Virgin Media Mail functions, just in a slightly different way. The following chart shows you how actions in your IMAP client will appear in the Virgin Media Mail web interface.

Action on client or mobile device (e.g. Outlook) Result in Virgin Media Mail on the web Open a message Mark a message as read Flag a message Apply a star to the message Move a message to a folder Apply a label to the message Move a message to a folder within a folder* Apply a label showing folder hierarchy ('MainFolder/SubFolder')* Create a folder Create a label Move a message to Spam Report a message as spam Move a message to Bin Move a message to Bin Send a message Store message in Sent Mail Delete a message in inbox** Remove the message from inbox Delete a message from a folder** Remove that label from the message Delete a message from Spam or Bin Delete the message permanently

*IMAP translates labels with a forward slash (/) into a folder hierarchy like you see in your computer's file system. If you have a label such as 'Family/Friends,' you may want to reconsider your naming schemes because your IMAP client will display it as a folder named 'Family' with a subfolder named 'Friends.'
Please note that every client handles IMAP in a slightly different way. If you're curious about the specific use of your client, please contact the client's support team.

Where can I learn more?

Explore these topics for more information about the basic features of IMAP in Virgin Media Mail: