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Email on different devices

maranello
Pro
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Email on different devices

Looking for some advice. The situation is thus.
I use a desktop machine to read email via Outlook Express, using POP3. I also have a Nook tablet that allows me to read emails, this is set up as IMAP. I don't want to Nook to get clogged up with downloaded emails, and the desktop is set up to back up the Inbox and any messages saved to other folders.
If I read messages on the Nook, they are marked as read. The same messages appear as read if I view using Webmail. This is what I would expect. However, when the messages are downloaded to the desktop any messages previously read on the Nook appear as unread in Outlook Express.
Is there a setting change for Outlook express which would preserve the read/unread status of the messages on the server?
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6 REPLIES
kmilburn
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Posts: 905
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Email on different devices

Essentially, no,  while the data is retrieved from the same server,  the POP protocol has no supportof the IMAP status information,  thus, Outlook has no way of obtaining the information.
If you want full synchronisation, you'll need to configure OE to use IMAP as well,  this has the added advantage (if setup correctly) or synchronising the sent, draft and deleted folders too, and any others created on the server.
maranello
Pro
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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Email on different devices

@kmilburn - thanks for the advice.
I thought I would be able to work around the problem. I can accept that for anything I read on the tablet via IMAP, the read status is not preserved when viewed on the desktop via POP3. But I expected that any messages deleted via IMAP would disappear from the server, and not appear in OE when accessed later. This does not appear to be the case. Am I missing something?

My other car isn't a Ferrari
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
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Re: Email on different devices

Yes, you are missing something - POP3 does not have the concept of read. All it does is present a list of ALL the messages on the server, the client (OE in your case) can choose which ones to download (normally all the messages it hasn't read before) and delete messages from the server. The read status you are seeing in OE is something held by OE in total isolation from the server.
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decomplexity
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Re: Email on different devices

In addition, remember that IMAP clients have (usually...) two forms of delete: 'mark as deletable' and 'purge'.
If you mark an item as deletable, it may either become invisible in your email client  Inbox or will be shown with a strike-through or will appear in the Deleted Items folder. Which occurs depends on the client's 'delete' settings, and the strike-through display is sometimes not supported.
If you purge a folder, all items marked deletable will be deleted from the client's local cache and from the server also. Any subsequent retrieval by POP3 will not retrieve them.
The main use of strike-through is for multiple users: other users can see that you have finished with an item even if they haven't. The purge operation is normally allotted to just one individual to prevent chaos. 
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maranello
Pro
Posts: 1,069
Thanks: 110
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Email on different devices

In that case, I may have missed out the second stage of the delete process on the tablet, which would explain why the 'deleted' messages appeared on the desktop.
I'll have to experiment
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kmilburn
Grafter
Posts: 905
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Email on different devices

Even if you purge them from the server,  they will still appear on the desktop as it has an independent copy,  POP3 will only download messages it has not seen, it will do no other synchronisation.
Usually,  once the messages have been downloaded over POP3, the client would delete all messages on the server,  these days you can let it leave them there so you have some access from other devices.
The only way to get the desktop to reflect the server and other devices is to use IMAP.