If I delete an email through IMAP

… And then, say, log into the webmail 15 minutes later, why does it still look as though there’s email in my inbox? It stays that way until the folder list refreshes at least once. It’s not a major thing, it’s just… really, really odd, and a little puzzling. You would think if it shows up deleted in the mail client, and the inbox shows itself to be empty, then the inbox is empty, no? But, and I’ve just recently tested this, I’ve received and deleted 20 messages over the course of the last hour or so, then logged into the webmail interface. The folder list looked as though all 20 messages were still there. Maybe I’m the only one here with enough time to actually notice that kinda thing, but… it’s just curious to me.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?

I believe that’s a characteristic of an usynchronized mailbox. Mail clients don’t always update the IMAP server every time they do something, but periodically sync the two together. See if your mail client has a Sync command via menu or button somewhere and give that a try.


I believe there is also a concept of “marked for deletion” as some clients show those marked items as deleted but don’t actually delete them until a purge is run.

I guess we need more experience with IMAP to be sure. I expect someone will show up and fill us in.


Exactly. In Pine it’s mark for Deletion, and then Expunge.

Here was something high in Google :slight_smile:


Edit: Equal treatment for East Coast schools. Very similar text. :slight_smile:


They hired more support help.
Tip me (and DreamHost gets 5% $0.30) Cut the code: [color=#00CC00]9999[/color]=$99.99 Off

This doesn’t explain why a deleted message eventually disappears with no apparent action on the user’s part. The mail client I use (Apple’s Mail) periodically syncs the mailboxes, so a message deleted locally will get deleted on the server during the next automatic sync.


Perhaps your “automatic sync” doesn’t take place before you log in to web mail.

I use Mail.app for IMAP as well and I have mine set to sync immediately so I don’t run into this.

I’m not the original poster, but how do you get yours to sync immediately? I have mine set to Sync changed mailboxes, but it doesn’t do it immediately upon change, but usually on the next mail check.


I am on the road this week and using a cough windows cough machine so I am not able to go over my settings at the moment. I can tell you that the Activity Window shows my changes being made (move, delete, reply…) in real time… when I am able to, I will take screenshots of all my mail.app settings for you… also, DH servers support IDLE which is great in mail.app - but you have to load a third-party plugin found here:


Based on my understanding of IDLE, this has nothing to do with sync of delete/move type things, only new mail notification. I will try to get a reply in here with a link to screenshots this coming weekend (Dec 16th).