If we want to use the most scientific definition – look, mama, no hands!
Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but the interesting thing is that most of us, doesn’t know about this option.
The ability to configure the required setting for Outlook mail client that needs to access the Gmail mail server automatically can save us a lot of time and frustration.
Using Outlook to access your Gmail mailbox article series include the following articles
- Outlook cannot connect to Gmail – Password re-prompt | Part 1#3
- Configure Outlook connect your Gmail mailbox automatically (look mama no hands!) | Part 2#3
- Configure Outlook connect your Gmail mailbox Manually | Part 3#3
Gmail – the preliminary configuration settings
An important thing that I would like to mention is that before we can configure Outlook to connect our Gmail mailbox, we will need to complete the required configuration setting – Configuring Gmail to support the IMAP protocol, and Turn ON the option of – Allow less secure apps that were reviewed in the first article.
Configure Outlook mail client to connect our Gmail mailbox automatically
So.., without further introduction, let’s demonstrate how to perform the magic!!!
Our scenario characters
In our scenario, we are going to add an additional Outlook mail profile, which will connect Outlook to a Gmail mailbox.
The Outlook version that we use is – Outlook 2016 and the user desktop is a Window 10 OS.
Creating a new Outlook mail profile – connecting Gmail mailbox
- Access the control panel and select the Mail (Microsoft Outlook X) (32 bit) icon
- Select the option – Show Profiles…
- Click on the button – Add…
- Write down the mail profile name and click OK
Now, all we need to do is just providing our Gmail user credentials (E-mail address and password).
- In the section – name, write down your name (number 1).
- In the section – E-mail address, write down your Gmail E-mail address (number 2).
- In the password section – write down your Gmail password (number 3).
- Click the Next > button
In the following screenshot, we can see that the Outlook mail profile created successfully!
All we need to do to finish the creation of the Outlook mail profile is to click on the Finish button.
What is the secret that enables us to connect Outlook mail client to the Gmail mailbox automatically?
In case that you have wondered about – how does Outlook mail client “knows by himself”, all the required configuration settings, the secret is – a small XML configuration file that is installed automatically with Microsoft office 2013 and 2016.
Former versions of Outlook client.
I have also tried to use the option of Outlook automatic configuration for connecting Gmail mailbox using Microsoft Office 2010 but, I couldn’t find where the information about the Gmail mail server setting kept.
In case that you want to use the Outlook Gmail configuration settings that are stored in the XML file, you can download the file.
The Outlook XML Gmail configuration file
All the information about the required configuration setting needed for Outlook mail client to connect a Gmail mailbox is kept in an XML file named – GMAIL.COM.XML
The GMAIL.COM.XML file is kept in the following path, based on the specific Microsoft office version:
In Microsoft office 2016 the path is-
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OutlookAutoDiscover
In Microsoft Office 2013 the path is-
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office15\OutlookAutoDiscover
In Microsoft office 2010 the path is-
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\OutlookAutoDiscover
In the following screenshot, we can see the content of the OutlookAutoDiscover folder.
We can see that the OutlookAutoDiscover contains other XML configuration files for other mail providers such as YAHOO.
In the following screenshot, we can see the Outlook registry setting, that “direct” Outlook client to the OutlookAutoDiscover folder.
GMAIL.COM.XML file content
This is an example of the GMAIL.COM.XML file content.
When we edit the XML file, we can see the configuration settings that contain the Host names of the Gmail mail server such as – imap.gmal.com and smtp.gmal.com.
Also, we can see the protocol name and the port number that each Gmail mail server uses.
For example, the SMTP Gmail server uses the TLS protocol by using the port number 587.
Viewing the Outlook Gmail mail profile settings
In case that you are still curious about the magical process in which Outlook use for creating a new Outlook mail profile automatically for access Gmail mailbox, and you want to see the process with your own eyes, lest view the Gmail profile settings –
- We will open the Gmail profile that was created in the former step
- To be able to view the Outlook mail profile setting, select the File menu
In the Information section, select the Account Settings icon and the menu Account Settings…
- Select the E-mail tab, double-click on the Gmail mail profile
In the following screenshot, we can see the information about the “Gmail mail servers.”
Viewing how Outlook gets the required Gmail account configuration setting by using Test E-mail AutoConfiguration
In this section, I would like to demonstrate the way that the Outlook mail client use for “fetching” the required configuration setting for Gmail mail account using the local XML file.
To be able to view this process, we will use a built-in Outlook option named – Test E-mail AutoConfiguration
Start Outlook client
- On the bottom right corner of the taskbar, select the small white arrow
- Select the Outlook icon and press down the CTRL key
- Select the menu – Test E-mail AutoConfiguration…
- Enter your Gmail user credentials – E-mail address and password (number 1)
- Uncheck the opting – user Guessmart and secure Guessmart authentication (number 2)
- Click on the Test button (number 3)
In the following screenshot, in the Results tab, we can see the Gmail mail account setting that was “fetched” from the XML configuration file.
In the Log tab, we can see that Outlook gets this information by using a process which defines as “Local autodiscover for gmail.com”
Recap and the next article
In the current article, we have learned how to-
- Configuring Outlook mail client to connect our Gmail mailbox automatically.
- The process which Outlook mail client uses for getting the required information from the local Gmail XML configuration setting file.
In the last article in the current article series – Configure Outlook connect your Gmail mailbox Manually | Part 3#3, , we will learn how to connect Outlook to our Gmail mailbox manually.
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