Frequently Asked Question

Example of SMTP & IMAP Working Together
Last Updated 2 years ago

Whether you’re sending a transactional email like a password reset, or you’re receiving a paycheck notification chances are that you’re using both SMTP and IMAP.

Here’s how SMTP and IMAP work together to transmit an email message:


  1. After creating an email and pressing ‘send’, your email client (e.g. Gmail, Thunderbird, Outlook, etc.) will use SMTP to send your message from your email client to an email server.
  2. Next, the email server will use SMTP to transmit the message to the recipient’s receiving email server.
  3. Upon a successful receipt of the SMTP transmission (indicated by a 250 OK response code), the recipient’s email client will fetch the message using IMAP and place it in the inbox for the recipient to access.

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