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Mail and IMAP - Mac Applications & Software

I recently switched to a new ISP for high speed service and they have an IMAP email system. My previous dialup service was a POP system, so I'm still trying to get the hang of IMAP and understand what I'm seeing in Mail.app Question: In the "In" box on Mail, I have two sub-folders for the two email addresses I have with my new ISP. When I click on these, I see the list of new email message that have come in. Am I correct that what I'm seeing in the Mail "In" box at this point is just the ...

  1. #1

    Default Mail and IMAP

    I recently switched to a new ISP for high speed service and they
    have an IMAP email system. My previous dialup service was a POP system,
    so I'm still trying to get the hang of IMAP and understand what I'm
    seeing in Mail.app
    Question: In the "In" box on Mail, I have two sub-folders for the
    two email addresses I have with my new ISP. When I click on these, I see
    the list of new email message that have come in. Am I correct that what
    I'm seeing in the Mail "In" box at this point is just the headers --
    that the actual message is still on the server and has not yet been
    downloaded to my computer?
    If I double click on the email to view the body of the message,
    does this download it, or am I still viewing it on the server?
    I know that if I move the email message to another mailbox that
    I've set up for incoming mail, it then definitely downloads to my
    computer. I'm trying to sort out if that happens prior to this point.
    In particular, I'd like to know if I can trash unwanted email on
    the server without it ever touching my computer.
    Thanks for any help.

    --
    ads123
    ads123 Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mail and IMAP

    ads123 wrote:
     

    Depends on what you mean by "download". Yes, reading the header or body
    involves downloading from the server, and your system will cache what it
    reads. But there's no impact on the server's copy. I'm not at my Mac, but
    on many IMAP clients you can configure whether it immediately downloads the
    entire message or just the header. (I use the latter mode on my Palm
    Tungsten C PDA, for example, and manually download the rest if I really
    want to read it.)
     

    You can't read what's on the server without downloading it. But unlike the
    normal configuration of POP mail, the server retains the information after
    downloading it; until you tell it not to. Of course, you can configure a
    POP client to leave the message on the server, as well.

    The biggest difference with IMAP is that message status, including whether
    you've read it, is on the server rather than in the client. When you
    configure a POP client to leave mail on the server, and then connect from a
    different client, all the mail you'd already read is "new", and you need to
    deal with it again. With IMAP, the new client immediately knows that you've
    already read it.
     

    Depends on where you move it. Your mail folders can be on the IMAP server or
    on your local system. Moving the message to a local folder will implicitly
    mark it deleted on the IMAP server and download it to your local folder.
    Moving the message to another IMAP folder will just update the server's
    database without downloading anything.
     

    Depends on how you've configured your client. If there's a Mail.app IMAP
    configuration option to avoid downloading the message body until you read
    it, then absolutely. Mozilla, for example, normally does NOT download the
    message body until you read it; nor does the mail on my T|C.

    --
    /--------------------[ com ]--------------------\
    | Hewlett-Packard Company Tru64 UNIX & VMS Thread Architect |
    | My book: http://www.awl.com/cseng/titles/0-201-63392-2/ |
    \----[ http://homepage.mac.com/dbutenhof/Threads/Threads.html ]---/
    David Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mail and IMAP

    In article <boi.hp.com>,
    David Butenhof <com> wrote:
     
    >
    > Depends on how you've configured your client. If there's a Mail.app IMAP
    > configuration option to avoid downloading the message body until you read
    > it, then absolutely. Mozilla, for example, normally does NOT download the
    > message body until you read it; nor does the mail on my T|C.[/ref]

    Thanks for the information about using an IMAP email system. I
    looked in the preferences/accounts section in Mail and under the
    "advanced" tab, it has an option that says: "Keep copies of messages for
    offline viewing." I'm still not exactly sure what this does. It offers
    four choices: all messages and their attachments, all messages but not
    attachments, only messages I've read, and don't keep any copies of any
    messages.
    I've tried clicking on the last option to see if this would result
    in messages being erased from the server once I downloaded them, but it
    didn't seem to work that way.
    The only way I've been able to erase the messages from the server
    is either to move them from the In box to another "incoming" box that
    I've set up locally on my computer, or to move them to the trash. These
    methods are okay, but I'm just trying to understand how it works. I want
    to check email before I let it onto my computer and trash stuff I don't
    want before it gets that far.

    --
    ads123
    ads123 Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mail and IMAP

    ads123 <invalid> writes:
     

    IMAP doesn't work that way. For an IMAP account, stuff always stays
    on the server. You may or may not have a local copy.
     

    That's exactly how it works.



    --
    Plain Bread alone for e-mail, thanks. The rest gets trashed.
    No HTML in E-Mail! -- http://www.expita.com/nomime.html
    Are you posting responses that are easy for others to follow?
    http://www.greenend.org.uk/rjk/2000/06/14/quoting
    BreadWithSpam@fractious.net Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mail and IMAP

    ads123 wrote:
     
    >>
    >> Depends on how you've configured your client. If there's a Mail.app IMAP
    >> configuration option to avoid downloading the message body until you read
    >> it, then absolutely. Mozilla, for example, normally does NOT download the
    >> message body until you read it; nor does the mail on my T|C.[/ref]
    >
    > Thanks for the information about using an IMAP email system. I
    > looked in the preferences/accounts section in Mail and under the
    > "advanced" tab, it has an option that says: "Keep copies of messages for
    > offline viewing." I'm still not exactly sure what this does. It offers
    > four choices: all messages and their attachments, all messages but not
    > attachments, only messages I've read, and don't keep any copies of any
    > messages.
    > I've tried clicking on the last option to see if this would result
    > in messages being erased from the server once I downloaded them, but it
    > didn't seem to work that way.[/ref]

    No, I wouldn't expect an option expressed that way to delete, much less to
    prevent initial download. When you tell it to keep copies, it will
    permanently cache the data so you can read it when you're not connected to
    the server (without another download); whereas otherwise the data will
    eventually be flushed out of the local cache and require additional network
    traffic.
     

    You're going to have to at least download the header if you're doing
    filtering in the client rather than on the server; you can't know what it
    is otherwise. If your filter looks at the body, then obviously you need to
    download that. I SUSPECT that Mail.app does indeed load and cache the body
    as well as the header when it receives new mail, even before you click on
    the header line to read it. That's because I've gone through periods where
    my cable internet was flakey -- but even though I may not have an active
    connection at the time I read my mail, when I click on the new mail line I
    can see the body (though not any image links that require additional
    network traffic).

    I was speculating that this "eager download" behavior might be configurable
    in the account preferences, but your research suggests that it's not.

    --
    /--------------------[ com ]--------------------\
    | Hewlett-Packard Company Tru64 UNIX & VMS Thread Architect |
    | My book: http://www.awl.com/cseng/titles/0-201-63392-2/ |
    \----[ http://homepage.mac.com/dbutenhof/Threads/Threads.html ]---/
    David Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Mail and IMAP

    In article <boi.hp.com>,
    David Butenhof <com> wrote:
     

    But as far as I can tell, what I'm looking at when I click on the
    "IN" box is what's on the server, not on my machine. For example, I
    tried sending a test message to myself. When I clicked on the IN box, I
    saw the headers. I then took the account offlline and tried to double
    click on the message (I could still see the headers.) I got a message
    saying that "the message...concerning "test2" has not been downloaded
    from the server. You need to take this account online in order to
    download it."
    This only happens when I enable the ""Keep copies of messages for
    offline viewing/don't keep any copies of any messages" in the Advanced
    tab.
    So it would appear that, under these cirstances, I can view the
    headers without downloading the message to my computer, but cannot see
    the body of the message unless I download it. For the purposes of
    weeding out spam and other junk, this might be good enough.

    --
    ads123
    ads123 Guest

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