Featured Mobileburn Video

Our online glossary is here to help you make sense of the terminology used in the cell phone industry. It covers mobile technologies, such as 3G and 4G, and even includes a bit of information on smartphone operating systems and the companies that make the cell phones and other mobile technology devices we all use.

What is "IMAP"?

The Internet Message Access Protocol is a network protocol that allows a compatible mail client to access email messages and message folders that are stored on a central mail server. Unlike POP3, which retrieves messages from the server to be read, IMAP clients leave the actual message stored on the server. Additionally, an IMAP server tracks the state of a given message, so that a message that is read and responded to on a mobile device will show on a desktop client as having been read and responded to. This advantage is why IMAP is often used by business users and those that make use of mobile devices to read email. Version 4 of the IMAP protocol is the one most commonly in use today.

Also known as: "IMAP4", "Internet Message Access Protocol"

See Also: POP3

Referred to by: POP

See a typo or something that needs a correction or clarification? Send us feedback and let us know.

Search for other terms:

Return to the Glossary Table of Contents.