Periodically, we are asked to help support an environment where the client is running hosted Gmail services through Google, but are choosing to access the Gmail mailboxes through Microsoft Outlook mail clients. While there are many how-to articles posted on setting up this configuration, inevitably, problems will crop up where Outlook doesn’t want to communicate with Gmail correctly, and mail processing that has worked fine in the past no longer functions correctly.
At it’s core, the root cause of the issue is that the bridge that connects the two products is reliant on both sides being able to handle the processing. Any time an update is received on either end, with how Gmail works on the back end, or Outlook is updated on the client-side, there is the risk of something breaking the bridge, causing incompatibility or issues where none previously existed.
Ultimately, Gmail is a Google product, and Outlook is a Microsoft product. Outlook is designed to work with either a local or hosted Exchange mail server, or Office365 mail subscription – both Microsoft products. Expecting Outlook to work flawlessly with Gmail is like expecting your Honda Accord to work flawlessly with a Toyota engine… you may be able to connect everything and get the drive train to turn the axles, but that Toyota engine just wasn’t made to work in that Honda chassis, and performance issues are sure to be expected.
For the most reliable performance, our recommendation is to commit to one product or the other – Gmail accounts accessed through Google login, or Outlook only if connected to a local Exchange server, our Innovative Cloud Exchange (ICE) offering, or Office365. Feel free to ask for our help on selecting the platform that makes the most sense given your needs.