How to Configure Google SMTP Server (Free Gmail SMTP Server)

Google offers a free Google SMTP server that companies and people with low email volumes can use to send their outgoing messages. This is a standard email transmission protocol that empowers sending of emails from non-Google web and desktop apps, for example, Outlook, WordPress, Thunderbird, and others.

The Google SMTP email server beats email delivery challenges that user experience when away from office or unable to use the hosting provider or ISP’s SMTP server. It is accessible to both paid and free Gmail account holders.

However, the free version is restricted to a limit of 100 emails per day. This means 3000 messages in a month, henceforth just appropriate for new companies with low cordial email traffic.

Benefits of using Gmail SMTP server include

  • Large, reliable and stable infrastructure
  • More secure mail servers not likely to be blacklisted
  • It eliminates the need to set up an in-house or hosted SMTP server.
  • Reduced load on hosting server

Setting up Free Google SMTP server on email applications

To use Google’s free SMTP server, a user must have

  1. Free Gmail address or paid Google account
  2. A custom domain email address
  3. Enable access by less secure applications

Step 1  Enabling access by third-party applications

Most of the cases, Google will blocks less secure devices and 3rd party application includes web, mobile, and desktop that don’t fulfill Google’s security guidelines.

You can enable access for third party applications as shown below.

Log in to your Google account and go to

  1. MyAccount
  2. Sign-in & security
  3. Connected apps & sites
  4. Allow less secure apps

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Step 2  Adding Gmail SMTP details to the applications

Normally, the process to add SMTP details is different in every application.

However, you will require the following details to connect with web and desktop application.

  • Outgoing SMTP server: smtp.gmail.com
  • Authentication: Yes. It is recommended to use the authentication.
  • Encryption: For security reason, always enable the secure connection by selecting SSL port.
  • Outgoing server port: This depends on the encryption type, for SSL port 465 and TLS port 587
  • SMTP Username: Full Gmail email address
  • SMTP Password: Gmail or Google account password

Setting up the Google SMTP server on Microsoft Outlook desktop application

From the Control Panel, open Mail & use the manual configuration.

Add New Account details in the Internet E-Mail Settings as follows.

  1. Your Name
  2. E-mail Address
  3. Incoming mail server, you can leave it as POP.
  4. Outgoing mail server (SMTP) – use smtp.gmail.com
  5. Enter the username and password in the Login information section.

Click on More Settings to configure encryption, ports and authentication.

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Authentication settings

Go to the Outgoing Server tab.

  1. Enable My outgoing server requires authentication,
  2. Add your Gmail address and password in the fields.

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Encryption

Click on the Advanced tab

Leave the incoming server as POP.
Choose SSL or TLS for encrypt connection. If you choose SSL, the outgoing port will be 465 and 587 if TLS.

Now, your Microsoft Outlook desktop application is now configured to send emails.

Step 3 Add custom email address to Google account

When using Gmail SMTP feature, Google re-writes the From email address, so that the recipients will see if the message is coming from a Gmail.

To display the custom email address, do the steps as follows.

  1. Login to your Gmail account, then go to settings, then Accounts and Import tab.
  2. Click Add another email account
  3. Enter the display name & custom email address, then click on next step.

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  1. In the SMTP server, use host name is smtp.gmail.com, 465 for SSL encryption, 587 as the TLS port.
  2. Input your Gmail address and password.

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Once you successfully setup the account, Google will send you the confirmation code or link. Click on the link or copy and paste the code in the given field to confirm the account.

You can add more than one email addresses that enable you to send message through different email address from single Gmail account easily.

Configure WordPress to send emails through Google SMTP server

A WordPress website usually sends notifications, subscriptions, lost password resets, newsletters, and other emails using its PHP mail function. However, sometimes these emails are not delivered successfully. This can be due to restrictions by hosting providers you use. As they try to prevent spam, wrong configurations, blacklisted or shared IP addresses.

To overcome these issues, you can use an external server to send all outgoing emails such as Gmail SMTP server.

Step 1  WordPress Gmail SMTP plugins

Gmail SMTP plugin uses OAuthe 2.0 mechanism to authorize access to the Gmail API and does not store passwords. It offers the most secure configuration.

To install the plugin, you need to login as WP admin.

  1. Login to your WordPress dashboard,
  2. Go to Plugins and select Add New.
  3. Type ‘Gmail SMTP’ in the plugin’s search field.
  4. Locate the plugin, click on the Install Now button and activate once finished.

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Step 2

From the left side menu, go to the Gmail SMTP settings; it will generate an Authorized redirect URI which you need for Google Developers console project.
Now, first you have to create the web application that will enable access to the Gmail account. During this process, Google will generate the API keys for Gmail.

Step 3  Create Gmail SMTP project

  1. Login to the Gmail account from which you will send emails, then go to http://console.developers.google.com
  2. Use the Create project button to start the new project.
  3. Click the plus sign to create a new project
  4. Give it a name that you prefer.

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Step 4  Enable API

  1. Click Enable APIs and services button,
  2. Select and enable the Gmail API

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Step 5  Create the credentials

From the left side menu, click on Credentials, Select OAuth client ID, and click Configure Consent Screen

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Configure consent screen with a product name, save the settings, and proceed to create Client ID.

  1. Select Web Application and give it a name. (i.e. Web client 1)
  2. Enter the custom domain for your WordPress installation
  3. Copy the Authorized redirect URI that Gmail SMTP plugin generated and paste it into the field provided.
  4. Click Create.

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After you click on create, it generates the Client’s ID and a secret key which you need to add in the Gmail SMTP settings of WordPress.

Step 7  Configure Gmail SMTP plugin

Enter the following on Gmail SMTP plugin settings (Step I)

  1. OAuth Client’s ID details,
  2. Google account that you used to create the project
  3. From email address & name that will be sending WordPress emails.
  4. Choose encryption (TLS or SSL)
  5. Add port: 465 for SLL and 587 for TLS
  6. Save changes and click on Grant Permission.

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Google will send you the notification with a warning that there was a suspicious attempt to login to your Gmail account. It will also give you the option to allow or deny the Google SMTP to full access your email account.

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Click on the allow button to activate the plugin and the Gmail SMTP status Connected by showing a green color button.

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Save the changes.

You have now successfully configured the WordPress with Gmail SMTP server to send emails. To confirm it works, first send a email.

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