Desktop Client Setup

Many desktop clients support both IMAP and POP protocols, so it's best decide first which type would be best for your needs. This documentation provides instructions on how to set up Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail desktop clients.

Please note that IMAP/POP desktop clients are not officially supported by SFU, and that the SFU Connect web client is the only officially supported client. Additionally, as of March 2015, users wanting to access mail via the POP protocol will have to request that the protocol is enabled for their account.


IMAP/POP desktop clients are not officially supported at SFU. Individual departments may support desktop clients or mobile devices for their faculty and staff. Students, you are welcome to use the settings provided here with other clients, but questions regarding desktop client or mobile use will not be answered by SFU computer help staff.

Using the SFU Connect web client before setting up a desktop client is strongly recommended, as the web client is the only SFU-supported client. Additionally, an IMAP connection is recommended over a POP connection (see differences between IMAP and POP below). You may also opt to use the web client interchangeably with a desktop client when you are away from your computer.

What are the differences between web, IMAP, and POP clients?


No setup required; ability to access your email online anywhere with an Internet connection using a browser.

Actions performed on messages are immediately completed on the server and no synchronization is needed.

Read more about the SFU Connect Web Client

Ability to synchronize messages and mail folders (i.e., actions performed on messages in your desktop client are reflected on the SFU Connect web client, and vice-versa). Downloads messages to the desktop client; changes in desktop client are not reflected in SFU Connect web client or any other clients (i.e., changes are not synchronized).
Email is stored directly on the mail server. Ability to store email both locally (i.e., on your desktop) and on the mail server. In most POP clients, messages are downloaded and stored on your desktop by default, unless specifically set to leave copies on the mail server.


Always be aware of when and where your SFU credentials (i.e., SFU Computing ID and password) are being stored.  Third party email clients (such as Thunderbird and Outlook) or services like Gmail store your SFU credentials when used to check your SFU email via POP or IMAP.  Make sure that your SFU credentials are only stored on a computer or site that you trust.

IMAP client setup

  • Incoming: (or
  • Outgoing:

POP client setup

  • Request POP activation
  • Incoming: (or
  • Outgoing:



To ensure email password security, configuring your email client to use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is strongly recommended.  As of the Summer 2011 semester, the use of SSL for all desktop email clients will be required.

When your email client is configured to use SSL, it will encrypt all traffic between the client and server so that your password cannot be easily intercepted by unauthorized individuals.
Read more about SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)