BlackBerry Tip: Use Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages

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One of the downsides of being a BIS user is that you don’t get the ability to archive your deleted BlackBerry emails. Well there is a way to do it and it has changed my life.

If you’re like me, you have drunk the Cool-Aid and you’re using Google Calendar, Reader, Docs (which I’m writing this on right now) etc. Even though you love Google products, you can’t make the jump to Android because, when it comes to communication and getting things done, nothing is better than BlackBerry.

There have been rumors of a BlackBerry plugin for Gmail for ages, but it’s taking a long time and we’re not hearing much news about it. Until then, here is a solution for archiving your deleted BlackBerry emails using Gmail.

First, we’ve got to let the BIS know to use IMAP and nothing but IMAP.

1) Log in to your BIS account. If you already have your
2) If you see your Gmail account, go ahead and delete it.
3) Click “Set Up Account.” On the next page, type in your email address but do not type in your password. Click ‘next.’ Choose “I will provide the settings to add this email account” and again, click ‘next.’
4) Make sure that “This is my personal email account” is selected, and hit ‘next.’ Choose “I will provide the settings to add this email account,” click ‘next’, and here’s where the magic happens.
5) Under “User name” type in your full email address: i.e. joe@gmail.com. Now you can go ahead and enter in your password. Under ‘Email server’, put in imap.gmail.com , and put your email address in the ‘email’ field. Click ‘next.’ You are now done with the BIS side of it.

Now we’re going to set up the Gmail side of things. Go ahead and log into your Gmail account.

1) In the upper-right-hand corner, click on “Settings”, and then click on the “labs” tab.

If you haven’t played with the labs, take some time, there are great things here. My personal favorite these days is the “send and archive” button. Love it.

2) Find “Advanced IMAP Controls”. Enable them.
3) Sign in and sign out of Gmail. If you have ‘Offline Gmail’ enabled, Advanced IMAP may take a few minutes. Be patient.
4) Click on “Settings” again, and then choose “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”. Make sure that IMAP is enabled.
5) Click on “Do Not Automatically Expunge Messages”, and finally, “When a message is expunged from the last visible IMAP folder”, and choose “Archive the Message”. Ok, you’re almost done! Go ahead and ’save’ your settings.
6) Finally, click on “Settings” again, choose the “Labels” tab, and under “Show in IMAP” make sure that ‘Trash’ is unchecked.

That’s it, you’re done! Go ahead and test it out to make sure it works. From now on, when you delete a message from your BlackBerry, it should Archive it in your Gmail. Enjoy!

  • James Taylor
    Thanks for sharing this tip. I have set things up exactly as you say, however whenever I delete an email from my BB it still stays in my Gmail inbox.
    IMAP seems to be working OK otherwise as messages are marked as read in Gmail inbox when I've read them on my BB.

    I do have the Blackberry Emhanced Gmail app installed (my 9700 Bold came with it installed and I can't see how to remove it), but as Ben Pike explains above, this shouldn't affect the delete to archive process.

    Any help? Thanks!
  • Brett
    I have a storm when I set up my the account it will not let me leave the password blank it says, "You must enter a password," what do I do?
  • Ben Pike
    @Evan H,

    Yes it will still archive it, *BUT* if you archive it from your "(insert username)@gmail.com" folder it will NOT remove it from "Messages" - which is kinda annoying... but if you delete it from "Messages" it WILL archive it AND remove it from your "(insert username)@gmail.com" folder...
  • Evan H
    Hi, i was wondering if this will still work once the new GMAIL Plugin from google/RIM is installed. I had this all working great, but since then (when i installed the new plugin), it no longer works. Any ideas
  • Cameron
    IMAP allows you to use the mail server like an exchange server. You can use Outlook or any other e-mail program without actually downloading the e-mails off the server. I use a combination of MS Outlook (one desktop, one laptop), web-based access on public PC's, and my BB to access my e-mails. With POP3, that would be much more difficult and slower. My experience with POP3 has been that once you get it off the server, it is stored in your e-mail program and no longer available to your web-based interface. I'm an IMAP fan!
  • Charles
    (Off topic for a second) Once again, I asked this awhile back, why do people post tweets in the reply section of the article that they are tweeting about? It doesn't make ANY sense and it's annoying as hell! :-(

    Ok, I don't (think) I use the imap function, and as someone said earlier, it might do it automatically or something like that, but the archiving of your mail if using pop3 on gmail is very simple. You select archive after pop and all your email messages are archived automatically, so you can delete to the cows comes home on your BB. :-) Tried imap on my computer, and it doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but maybe one day someone might enlighten me on the advantages of imap or pop3. :o)
  • Richard
    I too followed the directions and nothing deleted on my BB archives to the gmail account. Is there any support for this issue? Thanks!
  • bjjgarrity (Brian Garrity)
    rt @blackberrycool BlackBerry Tip: Use Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages http://bit.ly/16tiHg
  • Cameron
    I could not proceed without entering a password either. I have a 9530 with 4.7.0.148 on Verizon. Ideas?
  • refhan (takmaz)
    bbery den gmaile yedekleme. denemedim aksam deneyecegim http://tinyurl.com/mujhvu
  • Cameron
    Will this work for other IMAP mail services? I use a mail service that allows IMAP, POP3, or web-based access. Right now my BB only sees the new messages to my inbox, and I would like a better e-mail experience, whatever that may entail.
  • Regina
    Not sure what (if anything) I am doing wrong. I have checked and rechecked the configurations. Still nothing I delete from my BB is going into my archived Gmail.
  • Regina
    Is this to archive just gmail or all email addies associated with the BB?
  • BBP
    I have an 8100 with BIS service. I simply used the "Email Settings" on my pearl, and used "auto forward" and "auto BCC" to my gmail account. The effect is that all my BlackBerry messages are copied on my gmail account. I can delete, archive, etc. when I get back to my office/home. So everything is basically backed up on gmail.
  • gregadams (Greg Adams)
    BlackBerry Tip: Use #Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages http://bit.ly/16tiHg [BlackBerryCool] #BlackBerry #mobile #email
  • sdotphillie (SdotP)
    RT @BlackBerryCool: BlackBerry Tip: Use Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages http://bit.ly/16tiHg
  • carlos
    Ok I really don't understand. I'm a blackberry newbie and as a lawyer sometimes I need to search old emails to get info, so I use the Gmail app to search old emails in my blackberry is this the same thing? Sorry I just don't understand what you meant by this procedure. Thank you very much.
  • treywhitmire (Trey Whitmrie)
    RT @BlackBerryCool: BlackBerry Tip: Use Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages http://bit.ly/16tiHg - This is awesome! Thanks BBCool!
  • renesix (Joan Jimenez)
    RT @BlackBerryCool: BlackBerry Tip: Use Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages http://bit.ly/16tiHg
  • Stephen
    Ok, I guess I don't fully understand. I deleted my gmail account and I wasn't able to re add it like you stated. I wasn't allowed to progress without entering an password. :( I take it BIS is something important that I do not have.
  • Steve
    Hey, this sounded like a great idea, so I went ahead and started the procedure. Unfortunately when I deleted the gmail account, which I have set as my main schedule for my BB, it changed ALL my appointments to "Device Default". And of course for what ever reason on the BB you can't change a calendar once the appointment has been saved, I now will have to reset my whole calendar. Maybe you should add a step where you turn off your device (not sure if that would work) or at least warn people that this can be an outcome. hopefully the archiving will be worth the trouble.
  • fusionwireless (Fusion Wireles
    RT @BlackBerryCool: BlackBerry Tip: Use Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages http://bit.ly/16tiHg
  • MixedBunny (Mixed Bunny)
    RT @BlackBerryCool: BlackBerry Tip: Use Gmail to archive deleted BlackBerry messages http://bit.ly/16tiHg
  • dan
    Actually if your carrier has updated BIS then you need only recreate the gmail account, new versions automatically use the imap interface.
  • Andy
    Thanks for this! I'm like you in that I love being able to archive everything. The trick to keep in mind is that you have to make sure the setting is turned on to either prompt you as to whether you want to delete it just from the handheld or the mailbox also or to simply delete on the handheld & mailbox. Simply deleting it from your phone won't "move" the message from the inbox to the archive folder. This will be very nice going forward I can already tell!
  • trey.whitmire
    Thanks for the great tip! It may be worth mentioning that on my Curve, I had to be sure to change my deletion option to "Mailbox & Handheld. To do that, from the mailbox: Options, Email Reconciliation, Delete On: Mailbox & Handheld.
  • Ben Pike
    Thank you! I've been tryin to figure this out for a long time now and apparently was over thinking it.

    One thing you might wanna add - in the "Email Reconciliation" settings under the email options on your BlackBerry set "Delete On:" to "mailbox & handheld"
  • DanielB
    No problem at all---glad you like it.

    I was having such a tough time...I was a loyal gmailer, and it kept me organized.... and then when I got the BlackBerry, my organization fell apart.


    Let me know if it works out for ya--
  • W4LNUT
    I love gmail's "archive everything" philosophy, thanks for the how-to!
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