Mail 5 and long-standing IMAP issue

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by joewhite, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. joewhite macrumors newbie


    Jun 16, 2011
    IMAP connections from to certain hosts (Hostgator, in my case) have been problematic for a while, opening too many processes and leaving them; for example discussions, see:

    Fingers have been pointed in both directions, but more seem to be pointing at Apple than at the hosts, especially since other email clients don't seem to experience this issue.

    Can someone check if this is still an issue with the new Apple Mail? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ionzig macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2011
    Im in the exact same situation with hostgator.
    Tested Mail 5 yesterday dose not appear to be any better, still opens up a bunch of connection just for 1 IMAP account.

    Also had a look in preferences could not see any new options to limit number of concurrent IMAP connections.

    I had some limited improvements by doing the following
    - Removing all unnecessary IMAP folders
    - Not saving Drafts, Notes, Junk & Trash to the server
    - Turning off IMAP IDLE
    - Only checking mail every 10mins

    Still was not good enough for my situation so I have upgraded to a VPS account
  3. macmongral macrumors member

    Jun 18, 2011
    then go to your imap provider and delete/hide all the labels you do not want

    that way it will look like a pop acc. or MM

    its not mail its the way your provider set up imap
  4. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    The problem, if I understand correctly, is that your host is crap because they set limit the amount of connections you can make much too low.

    Switch to a proper host. I have never had this problem. Mail will create, usually, about 4 connections to speed things up when processing (so it can do some things in parallel) and this is a very normal number. That is, most clients will do this.
  5. keiran230, Mar 30, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012

    keiran230 macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2012
    I saw these posts, and I just have to correct it. I work for a competitor of Hostgator, but I'd hate to see you switch hosts, deal with all of the frustration of a website transfer, then become disappointed when you find out it's actually nothing to do with the host you chose, even if it means we gain another customer.

    First off: All email servers have a limit on IMAP connections. IMAP takes a lot more CPU power server-side than POP does. To make it worse, a lot of email software, mac mail being the biggest culprit, open way more connections then necessary, making it far worse.

    1. Is Apple Mail behaving in a way that is not compliant with imap standards?

    YES. Very much so. All email products made so far by Apple are abusive to IMAP servers. While Mac mail opens more connections than are necessary even when not malfunctioning, I've actually encountered some customers before whose Mac Mail clients decided to go nuts and open a jaw dropping 480 or so connections, before finally halting courier, the imap server software. (This was on VPS hosting, which had a very high limit) It's sort of ridiculous actually, since I've programmed IMAP software in Java which performed better.

    2. Would this be a problem with other shared hosts?

    Yes. No question about it.

    3. Is there any way to control the number of imap connections made concurrently, in a way similar to thunderbird?

    Not that I have found so far, sorry. We attempted limiting the connections by disabling the IDLE command with some customers, however this ended up not making a difference. I bet I could hack the software to make it happen, but I don't have a mac to tinker with. I use Linux only...

    4. Any other way around this problem without switching to another email program?

    Here's the good news: YES

    If you reconfigure Mac Mail to use POP3, you can instruct Mac Mail to leave a copy of the messages on the server, so that Mac Mail behaves as if it was connecting using IMAP, minus a few insignificant features.

    To configure POP3 to leave messages on the server in Mac Mail
    1. Go to Mail -> Preferences
    2. Click the accounts tab, then the account on the left, then the advanced sub-tab
    3. UNcheck "Remove copy from server after retrieving a message"
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    I understand you're saying that Apple Mail is abusive, however, you didn't say what was conflicting with the standards. Also, I do not see this issue with Apple Mail, so maybe there's something else at play?

    Insignificant? You mean like being able to have messages filed in other folders on another server so your mail shows up the same way on more than one device? I don't think "missing" features that POP3 lacks are insignificant.
  7. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    I'd love to know which company you work for. I like to keep records of which ones to avoid because their representatives spout off nonsense to potential customers.

  8. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    It's not nonsense. In a shared hosting environment, memory is limited resource. Dovecot, by default allows a maximum of 20 connections. Each connection takes up about 2MB of resident memory. So an IMAP client that leaves 5 connections open is using 10MB of memory just for IMAP "IDLE". Doesn't sound like a whole lot until you multiple that by all the customers on the shared server. Put 500 customers on a server at it could use 5GB of memory just to handle IMAP connections. Crazy.....

    The is terrible in how it manages it's IMAP connections. In fact, Apple is the worst offender when it comes to mail clients and how they interact with the servers they communicate with.


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