cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Stuart22
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎10-10-2007

Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

My Android 4.4.2 POP3 email client always deletes mail from the server as soon as I delete it from my phone.
I have the settings "never delete email from server" selected, and fair enough, the emails remain on the server when I "sync" with the server (as Android calls downloading email). But as soon as I delete an email on receipt or from the inbox, it disappears from the Plusnet mail server and therefore does not get downloaded to my PC client.
I do note that the Plusnet email guide explaining the difference between POP3 and IMAP just states that POP3 deletes mail when it's downloaded, without referring to the fact that you can prevent this in most mail programs. Windows Live Mail for example can be set never to delete, delete on download or delete when mail is deleted from the Deleted Items.
But with the Android mail app, there isn't any specific setting to choose what happens when you delete an email after downloading, and I wonder if that means if you do delete an email (rather than just download) there is no way to stop the Plusnet mail server from then deleting the item too. In that case the option "never delete email from server" is not really a never delete, but just do not delete after downloading.
Another confusing setting on Android is that the mail checking frequency is controlled by a command "sync". Now sync could also be interpreted as an IMAP style setting, but for POP3 there should just be a "check for new mail" or "send and receive".
I know it sounds like the issue is more like an Android issue than Plusnet but wondered if anyone had any insight into what commands the Android mail client sends to the Plusnet mail server when you delete a mail, and if there is a workaround, other than just not to delete any emails from Android!
Stuart
10 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 2,568
Thanks: 177
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎27-05-2011

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

I don't have the problem and I have several clients running on Ipad, Ipod and Android
I think why it works for us is that I started with just Outlook on our desktop at home and that is set up to leave e-mails on the server for a month before deletion. All the other clients don't seem to be able to countermand that and hence deleting them on the other devices leaves them  on the server till the setting on the Outlook dialogue is actioned. But we were several months or even years before we checked e-mails with handhelds!

hope that helps
To do is to be - Neitzsche
To be is to do - Kant
do be do be do - Sinatra
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,913
Thanks: 964
Fixes: 58
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Quote
My Android 4.4.2 POP3 email client always deletes mail from the server as soon as I delete it from my phone.
I certainly don't have the same problem on the Android 4.3 mail client. Maybe it's a (another!) 4.4.2 bug!.
Have you tried k-9 mail instead ?
Stuart22
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎10-10-2007

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Hmm. Installed K9 Mail (thanks for the suggestion) but a bunch of emails went missing off the server again. Android mail had been disabled, K9 was set not to delete mails from the server, and WLM was set to only delete items when deleted from Deleted Items.
Clearing out the server inbox entirely now so I can better monitor what's going on.
Stuart
Stuart22
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎10-10-2007

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

OK both K9 Mail and Android mail are deleting from the server when items are deleted from the phone, despite being told not to.
I a further test I set the Plusnet settings to mark for deletion not delete, and with a second test email, when it was deleted from K9 it became marked for deletion on plusnet server.
Stuart
dick:quote
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,913
Thanks: 964
Fixes: 58
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Seems like it is a Android kitkat (4.4.2 ) problem.
http://forums.androidcentral.com/android-4-4-kitkat/338779-kit-kat-seems-have-caused-problem-my-emai...
http://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-mega-6-3/317271-help-want-delete-email-only-phone-no...
http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/nexus/yHkxY1v0_-Q/d-Iq0RSECQAJ
I'm surprised that k-9 does the same though since those posts above seem to imply it's only the standard client.
Ok , I've just tried it on my Moto G running 4.4.2 , the standard email client does delete from server even when told not to but k-9 seems to work properly and doesn't delete from server.
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎26-08-2010

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Howcome you're using POP? If you want to access your mailbox from multiple devices you really should consider using IMAP as it supports such a scenario by design and allows full synchronisation across them all.
There are many benefits, eg:
- If you delete a message from one device (or client) it will remove them from the others when they next sync
- A message sent using one device will be visible in the Sent folder on all the others
- Any messages read on once device will also be flagged as such on the others
- Customisable download strategies e.g. download headers automatically but message bodies only on demand
- Push-like messaging for instant notification of new mail (i.e. it doesn't have to reconnect every few minutes to check for new mail)
- Server side searching (I don't know if Plusnet support this as I don't use their e-mail)
- Full support for folders
- ...and more!
Stuart22
Grafter
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎10-10-2007

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Because I don't want mail deleted from the server! It's the IMAP type behaviour I'm trying to prevent Android Mail from doing. I might have a quick check of my emails on my phone but want them on my PC to respond to, archive, keep attachments etc, so finding after clearing space on my phone that I've lost them from the server before downloading on my PC is really annoying.
Anyway after some early glitches with K-9 I'm finding it doesn't delete any more. I don't know if when I was using both K-9 and Android Mail, then deleting mail on K-9 somehow caused it to be marked on Android mail for deletion through syncing. I might migrate to IMAP at some point as long as there are no additional authentication issues sending from non-Plusnet networks and I can get used to not deleting from my phone and non-prime PCs.
Stuart
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,136
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Quote from: Stuart22
My Android 4.4.2 POP3 email client always deletes mail from the server as soon as I delete it from my phone.

With POP3 "don't delete messages from the server" usually means "Keep the messages after I've downloaded them".
When you delete the mail from your phone, you're (probably) also deleting it from the server. It's been a while since I used POP3 but I'm pretty sure that regardless of the 'keep messages on server' option when you delete a message you're saying "I don't want this message any more" and not "I don't want this message on this device any more"
F9 member since 4 Sep 1999
F9 ADSL customer since 27 Aug 2004
DLM manages your line the same way DRM manages your rights.
Look at all the pretty graphs! (now with uptime logging!)
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 6,913
Thanks: 964
Fixes: 58
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Quote
as long as there are no additional authentication issues sending from non-Plusnet networks
the same smtp server and configuration is used for IMAP as POP.
MJN
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,103
Thanks: 54
Fixes: 2
Registered: ‎26-08-2010

Re: Android POP3 mail client deletes from mail server despite settings

Quote from: Stuart22
Because I don't want mail deleted from the server! It's the IMAP type behaviour I'm trying to prevent Android Mail from doing

IMAP won't delete them from the server (unless you want it to) - that's the whole point. Even once a message is downloaded to a client it still remains on the server for the other clients to fetch if they wish. All IMAP does is flag them as read so the other clients don't inadvertently tell you you've got 'new' mail.
POP is wholly unsuited to multi-device access and is the sole reason why IMAP was invented and why the latter is becoming so prevalent now that we're getting more and more access devices in our lives.
I'd wholeheartedly recommend giving it a try as you will immediately see your concerns are unwarranted.  Smiley
Quote
as long as there are no additional authentication issues sending from non-Plusnet networks

Sending is done via SMTP and hence unaffected by which choice (POP or IMAP) of fetching protocol you choose.
Quote
[...] and I can get used to not deleting from my phone and non-prime PCs

Don't worry about that. As above that's not how IMAP works. All clients will see the very same 'view' of your mailboxes. Only if you actually want to delete a message from your mailbox will it be also deleted in the client views. You are perfectly free to just mark a message as read, or even move it to another folder, and that desire will be reflected in all the other clients when they next connect.