Inter­net Mes­sage Access Pro­to­col

Glossary term descrip­tion
  • Also known as
  • IMAP

Inter­net Mes­sage Access Pro­to­col (IMAP ) is a stan­dard email pro­to­col, that allows users to access emails or mes­sages stored on a remote mail server from vir­tu­ally any local mail client and device that sup­ports the IMAP pro­to­col.

IMAP can be thought of as a remote file server acces­si­ble by email clients. Unlike with POP3 , the mails will retain on the mail server. Mul­ti­ple client appli­ca­tions on dif­fer­ent devices simul­ta­ne­ously can access the mes­sages and see whether a cer­tain mes­sage has been read, flagged for urgency, replied, and so on.

For exam­ple, you can read your mails on your works' desk­top com­puter, lap­top com­put­ers or your smart­phone, using email clients as Thun­der­bird, Microsoft Out­look, a web­mailer, or any other mail app of your choice.