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Out of all the IMAP email clients, Gmail is still considered as the first choice of users. Generally, IMAP is a protocol that allows you to read your messages from other email clients like Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.

However, the safest and most reliable email clients are often unable to open Gmail emails properly. They may show errors like like ‘IMAP Email Server is not responding.’ Many users have even submitted queries related to this error on Google forums. Also, it mostly appears in mobile devices, especially iPhones.

Although there is no specific single reason behind this error, it can occur due to wrong email settings or minor issues with the email server or internet connection, such as:

  • The mobile application faces errors.
  • The SSL certificate is disabled, which very crucial security component for network connections.
  • The email added in the email account has multiple components and configurations, and one of that configuration file is in error state.
  • If the application you’re using is not up-to-date.
  • Due to limited network, the application unable to communicate with the servers.

These are a few reasons that could cause the ‘IMAP email server is not working’ error. But, if you take the required actions and use the right tactics, then you can fix this error quickly.

Methods to Fix ‘IMAP Email Server is Not Responding’

Here, we are going to talk about some of the best solutions that could be used to solve this error. But, before using any of these methods, make sure you have a secure and active Internet connection.

  • End the Application from Background
    If you are facing some error with any application, then the first thing that you need to do is shut down the application or force stop it. By force stop, we mean ending all its activities from the background as well. When you run an application, it uses several files, and if any of them gets corrupt, the application could cause several issues in opening the emails.
    End the Application from Background
    However, if you are using a mobile application, then close the application properly. You can go to the settings and select the application to force stop it. After going through this process, restart the application and check if the issue still persists.
  • Remove and Add the Account Again
    Another solution that you can use to fix this error is removing and re-adding your email account to the application. For instance, if you’re facing this error in iPhone, then follow the below steps to fix it:

    1. Go to Setting on your iPhone and open the Accounts & Passwords preferences.
    2. Select the email account with which you’re facing the error, and then go to Mail, Contacts, Calendar >> Mail account.
    3. Here, click the Delete Account button, the account will be removed from the iPhone.
    4. Now, click the Add Account button, and re-add your account to the mail app.

    After adding the account, select the email provider from the list and log-in with the username and password to receive emails again.

  • Allow Access into IMAP Account
    Sometimes, the error occurs when you haven’t authorized your IMAP account to be signed into another device. In Gmail, this could be easily done by following the below steps:

    1. Go to ‘Display Unlock Captcha’ by following the below link:

    2. The “Allow access to your Google account” page will appear on the screen, click Continue.
    3. Allow access to your Google account

    After performing these actions, check if the problem still persists.

  • Change the SSL Settings
    Most users often enable SSL even without installing SSL on the server, which also could be a reason behind this error. So, make sure you adjust the SSL settings, such as port, SSL authentication, etc. in the email client.

    These methods might solve the problems you’re facing while accessing your IMAP account with other apps. However, if you permanently want to move your IMAP data to other applications like Microsoft 365, then you can take help from an automated solution like Kernel IMAP to Office 365.


Most users prefer to access their Gmail account with email apps for better functionality and collaboration. But, accessing an IMAP email with any other application often gives a common error mentioned above. In this article, we discussed how that error could be fixed with various methods. Also, we talked about a tool that can be used to migrate IMAP emails to Office 365 quickly.