How to transition from SMTP to Gmail sync


If you are switching from an SMTP email provider to Gmail, you will now have the option of utilizing two-way sync between Gmail and Front. Going forward, you can also add new Gmail inboxes to Front with two-way sync.

The two-way sync means that both inbound and outbound emails will be synced between Front and Gmail. If you send in Front, you'll see it in Gmail; if you send in Gmail, you'll see it in Front. Open or archived conversation status will also be synced both ways — so when you archive a conversation in Front, it's also archived in Gmail, granted that your settings have not changed the sync, explained here

Want more details about what exactly syncs? Learn more here.

About the transition

If you want to transition your SMTP team inboxes to the Gmail sync, you will need to be a Front admin and have the Gmail login credentials to make the changes.

You will first remove the SMTP channel you've been using. Do not delete the inbox if you want to keep your conversation history in Front — just remove the channel. You'll then add a new channel for that email account using the new sync channel option. See instructions below for the detailed steps.

As long as you do not delete the inbox when you remove the channel, existing conversations in Front will not be affected when you make this switch. If you update a conversation (like archiving it) after you reconnect with sync, the conversation will sync that action at that time.

Note: any drafts you composed using your existing channel will not be retained so be sure to send or delete any remaining drafts before proceeding.


Step 1

Click into Settings, then Inboxes, choose the inbox, scroll to the channel, and click Remove this channel.

Removing the channel will not delete any of your email history that is already in the inbox, which means it will retain any comments and activities made to the emails in Front.

If you want to delete all history in Front and start a fresh import of emails from Gmail, then you can click Delete this inbox at the top of your inbox settings page. You can then follow these steps to add a brand new Gmail inbox to Front.

Step 2

Once you’ve removed the old SMTP channel from the inbox, you should add the Gmail sync channel to the inbox by clicking Add a Channel.


Step 3

You will see a list of options for the type of channel you can create. Click Email.

Step 4

Type in your Gmail address and click Next

Step 5

You will be asked to chose between a Gmail account or Google Group setup. Click the first option Gmail account. This is the option that will give you two-way sync.

Troubleshooting: Sometimes Front cannot detect your Gmail domain if you have certain security measures in place. If your screen does not show the above options and instead shows a forwarding setup, then go back to Step 4. This time, hold down the SHIFT key while clicking Next to trigger a Gmail sync channel to be created.

Step 6

You will see a pop-up window to sign in to your Google account. Go through this authentication flow for your desired email account or shared mailbox.

Note: if you are adding a Gmail shared mailbox account, you must have access to that shared mailbox in Gmail. If you do not have access to it, the authentication will fail.

Step 7

You will now see the channel listed on the inbox overview page.

Step 8

Emails will begin arriving through your new channel and Front will automatically import up to 50k emails associated with the email channel. Now, the actions you take in Front within this channel will sync back to your Gmail account, such as archiving or sending emails from Front, but there are cases where the sync will stop.

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