VB.NET/ASP.NET/ASP MVC - Retrieve email using Google/Gmail OAuth 2.0 authentication + IMAP protocol

By default, you need to enable ” Allowing less secure apps” in Gmail, then you can retrieve email with user/password IMAP4 authentication.

However Google will disable traditional user authentication in the future, switching to Google OAuth is strongly recommended now.


Before you can use the following sample codes, you should download the EAGetMail Installer and install it on your machine at first. Full sample projects are included in this installer.

Install from NuGet

You can also install the run-time assembly by NuGet. Run the following command in the NuGet Package Manager Console:

Install-Package EAGetMail


If you install it by NuGet, no sample projects are installed, only .NET assembly is installed.

Add reference

To use EAGetMail POP3 & IMAP Component in your project, the first step is “Add reference of EAGetMail to your project”. Please create or open your project with Visual Studio, then go to menu -> Project -> Add Reference -> .NET -> Browse..., and select Installation path\Lib\[netversion]\EAGetMail.dll, click Open-> OK, the reference will be added to the project, you can start to use it to retrieve email and parse email in your project.

add reference in c#/vb.net/managed c++/cli

.NET assembly

Because EAGetMail has separate builds for .Net Framework, please refer to the following table and choose the correct dll.

Separate builds of run-time assembly for .Net Framework 2.0, 4.0, 4.5, 4.6.1, 4.7.2, 4.8.1, .NET 6.0, NET 7.0, .NET 8.0, .NET Standard 2.0 and .Net Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5.

File .NET Framework Version
Lib\net20\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net40\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.0
It requires .NET Framework 4.0 or later version.
Lib\net45\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.5
It requires .NET Framework 4.5 or later version.
Lib\net461\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.6.1
It requires .NET Framework 4.6.1 or later version.
Lib\net472\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.7.2
It requires .NET Framework 4.7.2 or later version.
Lib\net481\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.8.1
It requires .NET Framework 4.8.1 or later version.
Lib\net6.0\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET 6.0
It requires .NET 6.0 or later version.
Lib\net7.0\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET 7.0
It requires .NET 7.0 or later version.
Lib\net8.0\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET 8.0
It requires .NET 8.0 or later version.
Lib\netstandard2.0\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Standard 2.0
It requires .NET Standard 2.0 or later version.
Lib\net20-cf\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net35-cf\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 3.5
It requires .NET Compact Framework 3.5 or later version.

The Gmail IMAP and SMTP servers have been extended to support authorization via the industry-standard OAuth 2.0 protocol. Using OAUTH protocol, user can do authentication by Google Web Login instead of inputting user and password directly in application.

Create project in Google Developers Console

To retrieve email using Gmail OAuth in your application, you should create a project in Google Developers Console like this:

Create credentials (OAuth client id)

  • Click APIs & Services -> Dashboard -> Credentials

    google oauth Credentials
  • Click Credentials -> Create Credentials -> OAuth client ID -> Web application or Other (Desktop Application). It depends on your application type.

    google oauth Credentials
  • Input a name for your application, input your web applicaton url to receive authorization code at Authorized Redirect URIs. Desktop Application doesn’t require this step.

  • Click "Create", you will get client id and client secret

    google oauth client secret

Enable Gmail API

  • Enable Gmail API in "Library" -> Search "Gmail", then click "Gmail API" and enable it.

    enable Gmail API

Edit scopes

  • Set detail information for your project at "OAuth consent screen" -> "Edit App".

    edit Gmail oauth consent
  • Finally add "https://mail.google.com/" at "OAuth consent screen" -> "Edit App" -> "Scopes for Google API".

    enable Gmail scope

Authorized Redirect URIs

If you use OAuth in a web application, you should use a web page or controller to get authorization code from Google OAuth Server. So you need to add your page or web application routing path to Authorized Redirect URIs in APIs & Services -> Dashboard -> Credentials -> OAuth 2.0 Client IDs -> Your Client ID.

Authorized Redirect URIs

Enable TLS Strong Encryption Algorithms in .NET 2.0 and .NET 4.0

Because HttpWebRequest is used to get access token from web service. If you’re using legacy .NET framework (.NET 2.0 - .NET 3.5 and .NET 4.0 - 4.6.1), you need to enable Strong Encryption Algorithms to request access token:

Put the following content to a file named NetStrongEncrypt.reg, right-click this file -> Merge -> Yes. You can also download it from https://www.emailarchitect.net/webapp/download/NetStrongEncrypt.zip.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00





Use client id and client secret to request access token

You can use client id and client secret to get the user email address and access token like this:

  • Your application uses a web browser/browser control to open Oauth Url;
  • User inputs user and password in web authentication page, and then the Oauth server returns access token back to your application;
  • Your application uses access token to access resource on the server.
  • You can find full example codes in EAGetMail Installation Path\Samples_{Programming language/Developer Tool} project.

Access token expiration and refresh token

You don’t have to open browser to request access token every time. By default, access token expiration time is 3600 seconds, you can use the access token repeatedly before it is expired. After it is expired, you can use refresh token to refresh access token directly without opening browser. You can find full sample project in EAGetMail installation path to learn how to refresh token.


You should create your client id and client secret, do not use the client id from example codes in production environment, it is used for test purpose. If you got "This app isn't verified" information, please click "Advanced" -> Go to ... for test.

VB.NET - Retrieve email using Google OAuth from Gmail IMAP server

Here is a console application which demonstrates how to use Google OAuth to do user authentication and retrieve email.


This sample cannot handle the event of Web Browser is closed by user manually before authentication is completed. You can refer to the better sample project which uses Web Browser Control in EAGetMail installation path.

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Net
Imports System.Net.Sockets
Imports System.Threading.Tasks
Imports System.Text
Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices
Imports EAGetMail

Module ModuleGoogleOauth
    Sub Main(ByVal args As String())
        Console.WriteLine("  Sign in with Google                                             ")
        Console.WriteLine("   If you got ""This app isn't verified"" information in Web Browser, ")
        Console.WriteLine("   click ""Advanced"" -> Go to ... to continue test.")
        Console.WriteLine("Press any key to sign in...")

            Dim p As GoogleOauth = New GoogleOauth()
        Catch ep As Exception
        End Try

    End Sub

    Public Class GoogleOauth
        Function _generateFileName(ByVal sequence As Integer) As String
            Dim currentDateTime As DateTime = DateTime.Now
            Return String.Format("{0}-{1:000}-{2:000}.eml",
                            currentDateTime.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss", New CultureInfo("en-US")),
        End Function

        Private Sub RetrieveMailWithXOAUTH2(ByVal userEmail As String, ByVal accessToken As String)
                ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
                ' to save the email retrieved.
                Dim localInbox As String = String.Format("{0}\inbox", Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())

                ' If the folder is not existed, create it.
                If Not Directory.Exists(localInbox) Then
                End If

                ' Gmail IMAP4 Server address, use access token as password
                Dim oServer As New MailServer("imap.gmail.com",

                ' User OAUTH 2.0
                oServer.AuthType = ServerAuthType.AuthXOAUTH2
                ' Enable SSL/TLS connection,
                oServer.SSLConnection = True
                ' IMAP SSL Port
                oServer.Port = 993

                ' Since EAGetMail 5.3.5, Gmail Rest API is supported as well. You can use the following code
                ' to retrieve email using Gmail Rest API.
                ' Dim oServer As New MailServer("gmail.googleapis.com",
                '        userEmail,
                '        accessToken,
                '        ServerProtocol.GmailRestApi)

                ' oServer.AuthType = ServerAuthType.AuthXOAUTH2
                ' oServer.SSLConnection = True

                Console.WriteLine("Connecting {0} ...", oServer.Server)

                Dim oClient As New MailClient("TryIt")

                ' Get New email only, if you want to get all emails, please remove this line
                oClient.GetMailInfosParam.GetMailInfosOptions = GetMailInfosOptionType.NewOnly

                Dim infos As MailInfo() = oClient.GetMailInfos()
                Console.WriteLine("Total {0} email(s)", infos.Length)

                For i As Integer = 0 To infos.Length - 1
                    Dim info As MailInfo = infos(i)
                    Console.WriteLine("Index: {0}; Size: {1}; UIDL: {2}",
                            info.Index, info.Size, info.UIDL)

                    ' Retrieve email from email server
                    Dim oMail As Mail = oClient.GetMail(info)

                    Console.WriteLine("From: {0}", oMail.From.ToString())
                    Console.WriteLine("Subject: {0}" & vbCr & vbLf, oMail.Subject)

                    ' Generate an unqiue email file name based on date time.
                    Dim fileName As String = _generateFileName(i + 1)
                    Dim fullPath As String = String.Format("{0}\{1}", localInbox, fileName)

                    ' Save email to local disk
                    oMail.SaveAs(fullPath, True)

                    ' Mark email as read to prevent retrieving this email again.
                    oClient.MarkAsRead(info, True)

                    ' If you want to delete current email, please use Delete method instead of MarkAsRead
                    ' oClient.Delete(info)


                ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from  server.

            Catch ep As Exception
            End Try
        End Sub

        ' client configuration
        ' You should create your client id And client secret,
        ' do Not use the following client id in production environment, it Is used for test purpose only.
        Const clientID As String = "1072602369179-aru4rj97ateiho9rt4pf5i8l1r01mc16.apps.googleusercontent.com"
        Const clientSecret As String = "Lnw8r5FvfKFNS_CSEucbdIE-"
        Const scope As String = "openid%20profile%20email%20https://mail.google.com"
        Const authUri As String = "https://accounts.google.com/o/oauth2/v2/auth"
        Const tokenUri As String = "https://www.googleapis.com/oauth2/v4/token"

        Private Shared Function GetRandomUnusedPort() As Integer
            Dim listener = New TcpListener(IPAddress.Loopback, 0)
            Dim port = (CType(listener.LocalEndpoint, IPEndPoint)).Port
            Return port
        End Function

        Public Async Sub DoOauthAndRetrieveEmail()
            ' Creates a redirect URI using an available port on the loopback address.
            Dim redirectUri As String = String.Format("{0}/", GetRandomUnusedPort())
            Console.WriteLine("redirect URI: " & redirectUri)

            ' Creates an HttpListener to listen for requests on that redirect URI.
            Dim http = New HttpListener()
            Console.WriteLine("Listening ...")

            ' Creates the OAuth 2.0 authorization request.
            Dim authorizationRequest = String.Format("{0}?response_type=code&scope={1}&redirect_uri={2}&client_id={3}",

            ' Opens request in the browser

            ' Waits for the OAuth authorization response.
            Dim context = Await http.GetContextAsync()

            ' Brings the Console to Focus.

            ' Sends an HTTP response to the browser.
            Dim response = context.Response
            Dim responseString As String = String.Format("<html><head></head><body>Please return to the app and close current window.</body></html>")
            Dim buffer = Encoding.UTF8.GetBytes(responseString)
            response.ContentLength64 = buffer.Length
            Dim responseOutput = response.OutputStream
            Dim responseTask As Task = responseOutput.
                WriteAsync(buffer, 0, buffer.Length).
                                Console.WriteLine("HTTP server stopped.")
                            End Sub)

            ' Checks for errors.
            If context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("error") IsNot Nothing Then
                Console.WriteLine(String.Format("OAuth authorization error: {0}.", context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("error")))
            End If

            If context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("code") Is Nothing Then
                Console.WriteLine("Malformed authorization response. " & context.Request.RawUrl)
            End If

            ' extracts the authorization code
            Dim code = context.Request.QueryString.[Get]("code")
            Console.WriteLine("Authorization code: " & code)

            Dim responseText As String = Await RequestAccessToken(code, redirectUri)

            Dim parser As OAuthResponseParser = New OAuthResponseParser()

            Dim user = parser.EmailInIdToken
            Dim accessToken = parser.AccessToken

            Console.WriteLine("User: {0}", user)
            Console.WriteLine("AccessToken: {0}", accessToken)

            RetrieveMailWithXOAUTH2(user, accessToken)
        End Sub

        Private Async Function RequestAccessToken(ByVal code As String, ByVal redirectUri As String) As Task(Of String)
            Console.WriteLine("Exchanging code for tokens...")

            ' builds the  request
            Dim tokenRequestBody = String.Format("code={0}&redirect_uri={1}&client_id={2}&client_secret={3}&grant_type=authorization_code",

            ' sends the request
            Dim tokenRequest As HttpWebRequest = CType(WebRequest.Create(tokenUri), HttpWebRequest)
            tokenRequest.Method = "POST"
            tokenRequest.ContentType = "application/x-www-form-urlencoded"
            tokenRequest.Accept = "Accept=text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8"

            Dim _byteVersion As Byte() = Encoding.ASCII.GetBytes(tokenRequestBody)
            tokenRequest.ContentLength = _byteVersion.Length
            Dim stream As Stream = tokenRequest.GetRequestStream()
            Await stream.WriteAsync(_byteVersion, 0, _byteVersion.Length)

                ' gets the response
                Dim tokenResponse As WebResponse = Await tokenRequest.GetResponseAsync()

                Using reader As StreamReader = New StreamReader(tokenResponse.GetResponseStream())
                    ' reads response body
                    Return Await reader.ReadToEndAsync()
                End Using

            Catch ex As WebException

                If ex.Status = WebExceptionStatus.ProtocolError Then
                    Dim response = TryCast(ex.Response, HttpWebResponse)

                    If response IsNot Nothing Then
                        Console.WriteLine("HTTP: " & response.StatusCode)

                        ' reads response body
                        Using reader As StreamReader = New StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream())
                            Dim responseText As String = reader.ReadToEnd()
                        End Using
                    End If
                End If

                Throw ex
            End Try
        End Function

        ' Hack to bring the Console window to front.
        Public Sub BringConsoleToFront()
        End Sub

        Private Declare Auto Function GetConsoleWindow Lib "kernel32.dll" () As IntPtr
        Private Declare Auto Function SetForegroundWindow Lib "user32.dll" (ByVal hWnd As IntPtr) As Int32

    End Class
End Module

VB.NET - Retrieve email using Google OAuth from Gmail IMAP server in ASP.NET/ASP MVC

If you use Google OAuth in ASP.NET/ASP MVC application, you should use a ASP.NET page or ASP MVC Controller to get authorization code instead of HttpListener. You need to add your ASP.NET page or ASP MVC Controller routing path to Authorized Redirect URIs in your Google project.

' Please add http://localhost:54098/oauth/token to Authorized redirect URIs in your Google/MS Azure project.
Public Function Token(ByVal code As String) As ActionResult
    ' code parameter is the authorization code returned by Google OAuth server,
    ' then you can use it to request AccessToken
    ' just like RequestAccessToken method in previous example
End Function

TLS 1.2 protocol

TLS is the successor of SSL, more and more SMTP servers require TLS 1.2 encryption now.

If your operating system is Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 2003/2008/2008 R2/2012/2012 R2, you need to enable TLS 1.2 protocol in your operating system like this:

Enable TLS 1.2 on Windows XP/Vista/7/10/Windows 2008/2008 R2/2012



If you have any comments or questions about above example codes, please click here to add your comments.