Gmail Introduces Pop Refresh And Other Updates

email mobile ipad feature

Gmail Refresh is a new update that allows you to receive pop mail on your own schedule.  Typically, imported POP mail is checked and received at regular set system intervals, but with the Google Labs feature enabled, you can choose when you would like to check for new mail at the push of a button.

Add a POP3 Email Account

But hold on just a second; you probably check Gmail using IMAP, so why POP refresh?  Gmail just so happens to have an import feature that will allow you to receive an email from any external email account with POP3 enabled. It’s a feature that allows you to check all of your email accounts from Gmail without setting up any forwarding or other troublesome services.

import external 3rd party email into gmail without forwarding

Now, if you’ve set up an imported Gmail account, you’ll find this new lab feature to be very groovy.  I hate waiting in line for things when I don’t need to, and now there is no more waiting to see if the imported POP accounts for my external emails have any new stuff. So here is how to enable it just in case you’re new to Gmail Labs.

How to Enable the New Refresh POP Accounts Feature

1.   Click the Labs icon at the top right of the Gmail window. Alternatively, visit the Labs settings tab.

change gmail labs settings

2.  Scroll way far down and check Enable, where you see Refresh POP accounts by Emmanuel P.

enable a gmail labs feature

3.   Now scroll all the way to the top or bottom and click Save Changes.

save changes to gmail labs

That’s it!  Now you can click the Refresh button, and it will check your POP accounts right then and there.

refresh gmail to receive pop messages

There are still a few more noteworthy updates Gmail has made. Let’s take a quick look at them.

Gmail Pop-Out Windows Get A Speed Boost

While this may not be the biggest news, Gmail was having an issue where pop-out windows were running very slowly.  This new update should fix that problem and get things back up to the expected speed level, which is fast enough. Now you can also shift+click or shift+hotkey items in Gmail to make them automatically open in a new pop-out window.

Note this doesn’t work in Internet Explorer 8, but what does?

Gmail Labs and Features Graduation Party

Some Gmail Labs experiments have officially become full-fledged Gmail features.  The development team has also taken note of unused lab features, and they’ve done away with them.  Hopefully, you weren’t a big fan of the Email Addict lab, which helped many poor souls by locking them out of their email.  But if you were, it’s time to say ciao!

Here’s the list from the Gmail team:

Graduating: Now Permanently Fused With Gmail

  1. Search Autocomplete
  2. Go To Label
  3. Forgotten Attachment Detector
  4. YouTube Previews
  5. Custom Label Colors
  6. Vacation Dates

Retiring: Deleted!

  1. Muzzle
  2. Fixed Width Font
  3. Email Addict
  4. Location in Signature
  5. Random Signature


  1. Milan Gajic

    Is this a hoax? because i can not find these features anywhere in my Gmail.

  2. Heather

    This is apparently no longer available. Do you have an update?

    • Ben Stockton

      Hey Heather, thanks for the comment. We’re going to take a look at updating this article shortly.

  3. Will B.

    Have you done the above?
    >>We’re going to take a look at updating this article shortly.

    There is no longer a labs setting, that I can find, at least.

  4. christophe

    can’t find the labs tab, but these setting look like those from 10 years ago…

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