Where is Google's own information about Gmail?

Find virtually all you need to know at the Gmail Help Center. "Getting started with Gmail" covers:

  • Switching to Gmail
  • Send & receive messages
  • Basic settings
  • Gmail tips & tricks

Note: Working with your G Suite mail is almost identical to working with a personal Gmail account.

Look for "Email clients, offline, & accessibility" toward the end of the Help Center list for information about using Gmail with several email clients/programs as well as Gmail Offline for Chrome

How can I get a G Suite account?

If you need an account for a SIL field assignment, read our "creating email accounts for field assigned personal" (on the SIL Gateway). If you are a member of or assigned to Wycliffe USA, contact the Wycliffe USA Help Desk for a account. Otherwise, you are probably looking for an account from the Global Alliance team and can submit a ticket request by email.

How do I use the webmail interface?

Watch this quick start tutorial of the Gmail interface (YouTube, 22 minutes)

How can I get my email?

Your email can be accessed using most web browsers or though use of supported email clients.


Google's webmail interface and functionality for G Suite and any other Gmail is identical. To access your account online, go to any of the following:

    • (shorter and easier to remember and thus recommended)

Note that, in each case, your browser will switch to secure mode (https://)

Enter your account email address and your password. If you can't remember your password, see the instructions for resetting your password.

The first time you log in, you'll be asked to take a moment and set up your account.

Using an email client

An email client often offers additional/different features that users prefer, such as easily working offline. Select one of the supported email clients listed to learn how to configure them:

For our Apple users, Google Support indicated in the past that they do not support Microsoft Outlook for Mac and, because of this, SIL is unable to as well. We received a report in mid-2019 that, in a Microsoft Outlook 2016 for Mac environment, all email was archived (labels removed) after a Microsoft software update. We recommend you use one of our supported clients on this list.

Using a mobile device

Besides the ability to use the webmail interface on a mobile device. you may also configure an email app. While each mobile operating system platform (Android, IoS, etc) normally comes with their default one pre-installed, we strongly recommend using the Gmail app. This free app is available from the online stores and is easy to configure. Simply provide the email account (address) and password and these programs automatically supply any other required settings. See Mobile Setup in the Support section for more details.

Requirements before using an email client!!

Enable the appropriate protocol

By default, Google accounts have IMAP (recommended) and POP3 (discouraged) disabled. Disabling these keeps an account more secure that is only accessed via the webmail interface. You must enable the desired protocol before setting up your email client or Google will reject your program's attempt to login/connect, even when you have the correct username and password.

To access these settings, go here.

Turn on "Less secure apps"

In 2018 Google raised the bar on how email clients submit usernames and passwords from email clients to OAuth2. As of mid-2019, only Thunderbird and the latest version of Microsoft Outlook support OAuth2. As a result, you should almost invariably turn this setting ON. This setting is found on your account's security page.

Caution: too often we find that, though you can turn the setting on, it sometimes reverts to off. Double-check your work by refreshing your security page and ensure that "less secure apps" is still ON.

Note: Enabling "Less secure apps" is not necessary when ...

  • you are using an email client that supports OAuth2
  • you are using G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook (GSSMO), a MAPI protocol
  • you have 2 Step Verification enabled,. This option/setting is even not visible/listed. Read the next paragraph on what does.need to be done.

Obtain an account specific password (when 2 Step Verification is enabled)

If you have enabled 2SV, the password you would use when logging in online will be rejected by an email client. Read Google's information here for background information and steps to generate a password that Google will accept from an email client.

Recommended: Copy and save the password in a password manager program (such as KeePass or 1Password).

How can I best secure my account (2-Step Authentication)?

Google provides all the tools necessary to secure your G Suite account:

  • We require you to connect to your account using encryption when using a web browser or when using a supported email client.
  • Your password must be at least 10 characters long and contain at least one letter and one number. A more complex password (longer, using special characters, etc) is recommended
  • Google sends the SIL Google Admin team alerts after suspicious account activity, such as simultaneous login attempts from across the globe.
  • Google suspends accounts and alerts us when they believe the account has been compromised, such as when it begins sending large quantities of spam.
  • You may turn on Google's two factor authentication, called 2-Step Verification, for your account. This is highly recommended by us and is required by certain SIL departments.

But it's really up to you, the owner of the account, to use these tools, to use them consistently and to use them wisely.

  • Our #1 recommendation is to enable Google's 2-Step Verification.
  • You must maintain control of devices (computers, smartphones, tablets) which usually have passwords stored in their email clients.
  • You should have strong passwords not only for your email accounts but also for all devices. (Search for "strong password definition" to understand this better.)
  • Change your password if you have ANY suspicions. (Remember to set up an alternate contact point to let you reset your password at any time.)
  • Use dependable, antivirus/anti-malware software on each device. Ensure it is self-updating and that it is scanning all your activity.
  • Do not fall prey to Phishing attacks, give away your login or personal information, open email attachments you did not ask for, visit websites that raise red flags, or act in any other way that compromises your device or email account.
  • When sharing Google Drive files/folders, be stingy. Don't let people edit if they only need to view; don't share a folder if someone only needs to work with an individual file; Use the advanced option that prevents others from sharing your file with a third party; etc.
  • Respond quickly to any emails from SIL Google Admin if we are asking you to confirm any suspicious activity we have noticed.

Additional information about securing your Google Account.

What is Google's "basic HTML" view?

Google's support page describes this as one of two views or display modes, the other being "standard view." While it states that this basic view is used when you use an unsupported browser, it also fails to mention that it is used when your browser connects using a very slow internet connection.

How do you know if you are using the basic HTML mode? Oh, you'll know!

  • First, after entering your login credentials, the lower right corner of the web page will display "Loading basic HTML", disappearing as your Inbox displays.
  • After your inbox loads, you will find a section at the bottom that says "Your Organization Mail view: standard | basic HTML"
  • And the entire web page appears very, very different from what you would normally see in standard mode.

Because this view/mode is designed for old/unsupported browsers, the ability to perform some advanced actions is missing. If Google's documentation or instruction you have received from others seems to be unavailable, including how to make changes to your settings, ensure you are in standard mode.

Additionally, as your Google Admin team, we have also heard where users have made changes to their email settings that have not "stuck". In one case, someone turned on a feature, saved the changes, but found that nothing changed. Returning to the same screen, the setting was still turned off. Only when they switched to standard view were they able to make the change and have it take effect.

I need help with my password!

Whatever the problem, we can offer help. If your account is from SIL, refer to our password support page. If that doesn't resolve the problem, contact us.

If your account is from any other organization, contact their support staff. See our Requesting Help page for some details.

GSSMO, IMAP and POP3: Which one do I use in my email program?

The most important decision you can make and the most common point of confusion is what type of email protocol to use. Traditionally the choices have been POP3 and IMAP. When using Microsoft Outlook for Windows, Google offers a very good third choice: G Suite Sync for Microsoft Outlook (aka GSSMO).

While each has advantages, there are also disadvantages. In short, while POP3 is great and often even necessary for those in the field with terribly slow, expensive and unstable internet connections, the bottom line is that we strongly recommend at least IMAP, and GSSMO if you use Microsoft Outlook for Windows. In other words, avoid POP3 if at all possible.

More details about IMAP and POP are here, including specific settings used for accessing a Google Apps account.

Why are emails with attached .zip and other compressed files being blocked?

Hackers have developed sophisticated ways to deliver and install malicious content on your devices. This malware may delete files, install ransomware, steal personal information via spyware, etc. One of these ways is by sending malware as an compressed file and tricking you to open the file and infect you device.

In an attempt to not only protect your account but also other accounts to which this malware may try to send itself, we have implemented a policy of monitoring and/or blocking compressed files when we can not verify the attachment is "clean". This policy may result in the email you send or is sent to you being denied delivery. It may result in the message being delivered but the compressed attachment (and any other attachments too) being removed.

When an email is denied, we attempt to communicate to the sender (with a copy to the intended recipient) as often as possible that this action was taken, why, and what alternative solutions are available. These are:

Files extensions used for compressed files include: .zip, .7z, .rz, .tar, .rar, .gz, .arc. A more complete list is found here.

Why are certain file types not accepted as email attachments on our domains?

To prevent against potential viruses, Google doesn't allow you to attach certain types of files to messages, including:

    • Dangerous file types that can be executed and trash your devices.
    • Documents with malicious macros
    • Compressed files (archives) whose listed file content is password protected
    • Compressed files (archives) whose content includes a password protected archive

Note: If you try to attach a document that is too large, your message won't send. Learn more about attachments and file size limits.