Increase The Frequency Gmail Checks Your Other Email Accounts For New Mail

Gmail's Mail Fetcher tool checks POP email more frequently when your email account regularly receives email. Reader maltesh writes in with a clever strategy for keeping Gmail's POP-checking frequency high using only Google tools. Here's how:

One of Gmail's nice features is that you can use it to check your email at other accounts that support POP3 access. However, Gmail bases its mail-fetching frequency on how often it finds messages in the account when it checks; if the account only gets email rarely, Gmail will check it once per hour. From what I've been able to tell, given a regular rate, Gmail's mail fetcher seems to stabilise at fetching twice as often as mail appears in the account.

I set up a secondary Gmail account for this purpose. In my opinion, it's a legitimate use of the service, but I didn't want to risk accidentally running across the Gmail sending limits and having my primary account shut down for 24 hours. Hasn't happened to the secondary account, but better safe than sorry.

Create a Google Docs Spreadsheet in the other account. Name and save it.

Tools Menu -> Scripts -> Script Editor.

Edit the code of the script to something like this;

function myFunction() { var subject = "[popChurner]Or other easily-filtered subject"; var message = "Anything you want. For example, This email was sent at " + new Date(); var recipient = "[email protected]";

MailApp.sendEmail(recipient, subject, message ); }

Replace the email address with the email address of the account you wish to be checked more often, of course.

In the script editor, go to Triggers Menu -> Current Script's Triggers.

If you haven't already, name and save the script when it prompts you. For this example, we'll call the script "myFunction".

Create a new Trigger. The options we'll want on this script will be the following:

"myFunction" "Time-Driven" "minutes timer" "every 30 minutes"

This will send an email message to the specified account every 30 minutes. Save the trigger options, save the script and close it, save the spreadsheet and close it. Log out of the other account.

Open your primary Gmail account. Create a filter based on the subject you set and give it two actions:

"Apply A Label" (create and choose whatever label you want) and "Delete It".

Delete it is pretty self-explanatory. The resulting messages wind up in the trash, collected into (in my case) 61-message conversations.

Applying a label makes things easier if you aren't diligent about cleaning the resulting conversations out of your Trash, and need to search the Trash for something else. If all the above messages are labelled "Dross" for instance, you can easily see what else is in your trash with the search terms "in:Trash -label:Dross"

At any rate, if it's working, you're done. Over the next several hours, the mail-fetch frequency of that account will ramp up to about twice the script frequency. In my experience, Gmail didn't blink an eye when I used a variant of the above script to send email messages every ten minutes to three different email accounts for 30 hours, your mileage may vary.

The biggest issue I've had so far is that if Gmail has long-term trouble checking the account for email, the ramp-up process will start back at 1 hour when POP3 starts working again.


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