Excessive mail download periods

Recently, about once a day, when I check my email on Mac OS Mail or Thunderbird on XP all messages are required to be downloaded from the server. This is an annoying issue because it does take several minutes for all mail messages to re-download/refresh in the mail client.

Is this an expected behavior? Why would all email need to be re-downloaded to the client so often?


What’s your setup? IMAP? POP?

Have you read the wiki on how to configure Mail.app and Thunderbird?


I am using IMAP and have Mail configured as follows:

Incoming server: mail.almondice.com
IMAP Path Prefix: blank
Port: 143

Keep all messages and their attachments offline for viewing.

I think the problem has something to do with Dreamhost’s IMAP server not keeping mail message IDs constant. I don’t know the details of the IMAP protocol, but I /think/ that each message has some sort of unique ID. Due to the Dreamhost setup, these ID values are not always constant with time - therefore mail clients end up re-syncing more information with the server than would otherwise be needed.

I’ve run in to this problem before trying to use offlineimap with my account. If this is real problem/annoyance for you, it may be worth email Dreamhost support to see if there is anything they can do about it, or make a suggestion in the support panel. If enough people speak up then perhaps they will do something to fix this.

In the mean time, I’ve been taking advantage of the fact that my gmail account now has IMAP support… though I’d still rather use Dreamhost for email in an ideal world.