Help changing from POP to IMAP mail?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by RedTomato, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Just got an iPhone 2G. Can you help me work out how to get my macbook email synced with it?

    It seems I have to change from using POP to IMAP but I'm not quite sure how.

    I use on my macbook. I have about 4 different email accounts, (2 for different employers, 1 for freelance work, and 1 personal) plus I'm in a couple of high traffic newsgroups.

    All gets downloaded to via POP access.

    The newsgroup and junk emails get filtered out into their respective folders.

    Other mail is filtered into other folders. Some gets to my inbox.

    I want the non-newsgroup / junk mail to auto-sync with my iphone.

    That means :

    Appearing in the same folder in my iPhone and on my laptop
    Reading mail on one device will mark it as read on the other.
    Email sent from one device will appear in the sent folder on the other.

    So it seems I need to change from POP to iMAP, but I'm not quite sure how to set it all up to deal with my 4 accounts and various folders. In I have about 30 rules for filtering.

    Do i need 4 different IMAP accounts?

    Thanks for any help
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    So IMAP and POP3 are protocols used to access email.

    First step is to check with whomever is hosting them and see if they support IMAP.

    The other thing to understand is that the iPhone itself can't run rules, so if you don't leave your running on your Mac, all new mail may arrive and stay in the Inbox until the next time rules are run somewhere. (This is assuming that your mail hosts don't allow you to create server-based rules).

    IMAP really is the way to go, although if you're unfamiliar with it, it may take a little playing around with at first.
  3. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    OK my most highly used account does, so I'll focus on getting that working.

    OK thanks, that's given me a better understanding.

    So if a new email arrives (via IMAP) to my iphone, while my mac is off, I read it on the iPhone, it then becomes marked as [Inbox/ read] on the IMAP server.

    Then when I next run on my mac, it is downloaded (via IMAP), already marked as read, filtered into the right folder, and the IMAP server notified that it's been moved into a different folder.

    Then when I next read mail on my iPhone, the same message that I read earlier in the Inbox is now sitting in a different folder? (because iPhone Mail has moved it automatically based on notification from the IMAP server)

    That's OK, I can deal with that. Can you tell me if my understanding of what's happening is correct?

    Many thanks!
  4. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Sounds like you have it.

    Basically, with IMAP, your email (and folders) reside on the server, and you use use clients (like your iPhone, or on your Mac) to access that mail.

    These clients may cache emails locally so things can work offline, but any change you make in a client (like moving an email, making it read, deleting it, etc) get done on the server, so your email should look the same no matter what client you use to check it.

    Some clients don't immediately update the server away after changes, so I wouldn't worry if you don't immediately see a change made from one client reflected in all of the others.

    Make yourself a free gmail account if you want to play around with IMAP before touching one of your regular accounts. :)
  5. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..

    A couple more questions:

    The account that supports IMAP, I currently access it via POP3. Is changing over as simple as just telling to access it via IMAP, and not POP3?

    It seems I have to make a new account, with the same account details, just accessing via IMAP, then turn off mail checking on the older POP3 account.

    Lastly: How do I deal with older mail?

    I have 6 years of old mail, thousand and thousands of emails, and I don't want to throw it away. But I don't want it all to stay on the IMAP server, clogging it up. Currently, accesses my account via POP3, and deletes anything older than few months from the POP3 server, for local storage on my Macbook.

    How do I set to do the same thing under IMAP?
    Some of my folders have years (and thousands) of mail in them. My IMAP server won't have space for all of that (and the attachments too).

    Sorry for all the questions.

    Best wishes

  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    That's what I would do. That def. leaves your old POP3 email still on your Mac. I'm not sure what would happen to it if you switched the existing account from POP to IMAP.

    I don't get that much email, so I've never had to do that. I know you can create local email folders on your Mac and if you drag 'n drop emails from your IMAP account to them, they're removed from the IMAP server. There's probably some automated way of doing that. Hopefully someone with some experience in that area will reply. :)

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