Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Fetch and Push

Fetch vs Push

“Fetch” and “push” are two terms that are often encountered when setting up email clients. With the relatively recent surge in smartphones that are capable of sending and receiving emails, more and more people are getting confused on whether to use “fetch” or “push. “The main difference between “fetch” and “push” is which side initiates the process of sending the email from the server to the client. With “fetch,” the client routinely checks the server to see if there is a new email. If one or more is found, it will then download the emails. With “push,” the client does not have to check the server every so often. Once a new email is received by the server, it will automatically notify the client and facilitate the delivery of the email.

Since the server delivers the email automatically, you typically get it faster with “push.” Clients that use “fetch” are typically configured on the interval between checks,which can range from every few minutes to every few hours. The longer the interval, the greater the delay before you get your emails. You can lessen this by reducing the time between fetches, but doing so would also increase the battery consumption as each “fetch” requires data transmission regardless of whether there is a new email or not. “Push” does not keep querying the server. The only thing that “push” constantly does is to update the server on its IP so that the server knows where to contact the client.

“Push” is actually a newer methodology that is only available on newer protocols like IMAP. Older protocols like POP do not have access to “push” and can only use “fetch” in retrieving emails. Different email providers like Yahoo and Google support all major protocols so you can still choose whether you want to use “push” or “fetch.” If you are using other email service providers, you should check the protocols they support and whether they support “push” as well as “fetch” retrieval of emails.


1.“Fetch” is initiated by the client while “push” is initiated by the server.
2.“Push” is faster than “fetch” in delivering email.
3.“Push” consumes less power than “fetch.”
4.“Push” is not supported by all email protocols while “fetch” is.

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  1. I have configured my Gmail account in my Iphone 5s running on iOS 8. Though my all other accounts have the ‘Push’ option Gmail doesn’t have it. I only have fetch and manual for gmail. Why is it so? As per your article gmail should support ‘Push’.

  2. Are there any differences in how much data the Apps consume depending on whether you use push or fetch? On my phone, I also have the option of push (no preview).

    Is one setting inherently better to conserve data?

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