Keeping local copies of IMAP e-mails in Mail

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by haravikk, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005

    I currently have a number of IMAP mail accounts set-up in Mail on OS X.5. I've set them up to keep all message locally with their attachments, however, I have no e-mail older than around 4 weeks in my mailboxes! This seems to be related to the server-setting, which has my mail server set up to delete messages after 4 weeks if they've been read.

    So, anyone know why I'm not keeping local copies? I want to keep the server-setting as it is so that I minimise space used for my e-mail, but I also want local-copies to be downloaded and retained forever!

    Fortunately I haven't lost anything important, but I don't like the idea that I might get something important that I want to look-up, but if it's older than 4 weeks then it's gone and I have to go digging through time-machine to find it again.
  2. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Anyone have any ideas why Mail isn't retaining local-copies?

    *Bumping because these forums move way too fast!*
  3. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    Note: bumping posts is generally frowned on here.

    However, your problem is most certainly due to your server-side settings. A local cache of your IMAP mailbox is exactly that - a cache of the mailbox that resides on the server. Mail deleted from the server will be deleted from your local cache next time you sync.

    If you don't want to keep the whole archive on the server, your only real option is to manually copy your mail over to a local store - just make a mailbox 'On my mac' and archive the relevant messages there. There are also various third-party applications which can archive email for you - a search on Version Tracker should turn up several options.
  4. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    The "Keep copies of messages for offline viewing" option is not the same as keeping true local copies.

    The purpose of that setting is so you can read your email if you're not connected to the web. However, once reconnected to the web it will sync up with the mail on the server, including deleting messages that are no longer on the server.

    If you want a true local copy of your messages, that will be retained forever, then you need to create a local mailbox, and copy all messages from the server to it. Then, you can set up a rule so that in the future all newly created messages are automatically copied to the local mailbox.
  5. haravikk thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    For those interested, I've actually just opted to use a rule in Mail which copies all incoming, non-junk messages to an "Archive" folder under "On my Mac".

    The only downsides with this are that there seems to be no way to mark the archived copy as read while leaving the inbox copy as unread, and also when I search I will now get two copies for anything recent. Neither of these are a big deal since the archive folder's unread count isn't included in Mail's dock icon, and extra copies in search are easy to ignore =)

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