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IMAP outgoing emails saved on server

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IMAP outgoing emails saved on server

I have my own domain and web host services. I have previously always used pop3 for email, but after my employer stopped pop3 access on their work server and enforced IMAP, I moved over to that on my own accounts too. All is good, but I have noticed that every email that is sent, be it from Thunderbird on the laptop or K9 Mail on my phone, the message is always stored in the sent folder on the server. When the wife decides to send out her copious emails to friends with pictures attached, they stay on the server and decrease my available space. Is there a way to prevent the messages being saved? Everything I have read says that is the way IMAP is designed. I'm hoping there is a workaround as IMAP appears to be easier and quicker (mail delivery wise) than pop3.

Ta

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server

Just delete them from the sent folder. 

You're luckier than you believe, many mail systems don't save emails sent through their smtp server into the sent folder. They just accept the mail and pass it to the destination server. Yahoo never used to save sent mail, 2 decades after i joined they've finally fixed that and sent mail now goes into the sent folder. Handy if you need to refer to it away from the home PC...

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server

You're luckier than you believe, many mail systems don't save emails sent through their smtp server into the sent folder. They just accept the mail and pass it to the destination server

Whether  a copy is saved to a sent folder is down to how the mail client is configured, it has nothing to do with the smtp server. All smtp servers just pass the mail on to the destination.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@7up wrote:

Just delete them from the sent folder. 

You're luckier than you believe, many mail systems don't save emails sent through their smtp server into the sent folder. 


It's only lucky if that's what you want it to do. I was happy having a local copy left on the device which sent it, so it'll be back to pop3 for me. A shame, as I missed the immediate delivery of imap as opposed to having to check every x minutes.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@MisterW wrote:

Whether  a copy is saved to a sent folder is down to how the mail client is configured, it has nothing to do with the smtp server. All smtp servers just pass the mail on to the destination.


None of the programmes I have have the ability to do anything with the smtp mail that I can find in their settings. More reading shows me that imap is more for webmail based stuff and pop3 is for keeping local copies, which is what I want. A real shame though as immiediate delivery (as I stated in te reply above) is a much better way to receive email.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server

Yes, a pop3 client only has local folders, so both read and sent messages will be stored locally. When using imap , the client uses folders on the server ( unless you explicitly move messages to a local folder )

Imap isn't just for webmail, it's very useful when you access mail from other clients eg mobile phone 

All the clients will see both the received and sent mail.

All clients will either copy a sent email to the sent folder by default or have an option to control whether it does for not.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server

I don't really know the ins and outs of the different protocols, but I know IMAP doesn't work in the way I want it to. I access my mail by phone, pc and laptop and all are set to not delete incoming emails on server, so available to all. I use Mailwasher to purge the inbox. I have changed all devices (except my work one which doesn't allow it) back to POP3. No more sent emails saved on the server. A result in my case 😊

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server

That's fine and if it works for you then great. I used to operate exactly like that and it was ok when all you are using the phone and laptop for , is to check and read emails. The  problem comes when you use them to send emails. You then dont have a complete set of sent mail on any of your devices. 

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@Marksfish wrote:

I have changed all devices (except my work one which doesn't allow it) back to POP3. No more sent emails saved on the server. A result in my case 😊


I understand the desire to keep things working they way they always have, but you might appreciate other benefits of IMAP: server side searching, synchronised folders, push notifications, message flags and partial fetch downloads are notable ones that spring to mind for me. It is worlds apart from POP3 in terms of functionality and capability.

The desire to not keep sent emails on the server is not something I've heard before (not saying it's not genuine, just not common). Does your mail provider impose tight storage limits?

 

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@MJN wrote:

The desire to not keep sent emails on the server is not something I've heard before (not saying it's not genuine, just not common). Does your mail provider impose tight storage limits?

 


I have no desire to trawl through the sent folder of every account registered on my domain, just to keep the storage down. My cpanel hosting comes with 500GB of space for my websites. I have set aside some space for emails. I don't need my wife's 7MB per photo that she sends to each recipient, not by cc either clogging up the space.

I'm not interested in a "bells and whistles" email service, just something functional that meets my needs and it seems, as I have said before IMAP is not suiting my needs. Storage was never something i considered until moving to that system.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@MisterW wrote:

You're luckier than you believe, many mail systems don't save emails sent through their smtp server into the sent folder. They just accept the mail and pass it to the destination server

Whether  a copy is saved to a sent folder is down to how the mail client is configured, it has nothing to do with the smtp server. All smtp servers just pass the mail on to the destination.


This is incorrect.

As I mentioned in my previous reply, most SMTP servers will not save the mail that you send through it. This means that your sent mail will stay in the clients local sent folder but will not be accesible to other clients you may use such as your phone, laptop, works computer etc.

I've yet to find any setting in Outlook that allows me to save sent mail to a remote imap sent folder - and believe me, i've spent many hours scratching my head on that one. Don't think i'm a idiot regarding mail servers either, i've written two and am well aware of how they work.

Like I said, most smtp servers will not save mail to the servers sent folder. A good one will. At the end of the day the pop3, smtp and imap servers are simply a protocol interface that allows you to download, send or manage mail on the remote mail system. Ultimately the mail system is where the mail should reside and any mail system that offers imap but doesn't save mail sent through it's smtp server is IMO junk. Yahoo finally caught up with this after 25 odd years and i can now send mail through their smtp and it will show up in my sent folder when using their webmail. So much for "all" smtp servers just passing it on huh.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@Marksfish wrote:

@MisterW wrote:

Whether  a copy is saved to a sent folder is down to how the mail client is configured, it has nothing to do with the smtp server. All smtp servers just pass the mail on to the destination.


None of the programmes I have have the ability to do anything with the smtp mail that I can find in their settings. More reading shows me that imap is more for webmail based stuff and pop3 is for keeping local copies, which is what I want. A real shame though as immiediate delivery (as I stated in te reply above) is a much better way to receive email.


 Typically imap clients don't save mail to the remote sent folder so you are indeed correct.

As for their uses, here's a quick guide:

pop3 - post office protocol 3: This is the clients interface to the mail system which allows you to download the mail to your local client - eg outlook express, thunderbird, outlook. The protocol doesn't offer that many features, message count, download, mark specific mails as read and delete are the main ones from the top of my head.

smtp - simple mail transfer protocol: your client connects to this to send mail regardless of using pop3 or imap. Once your client is connected, it will login. If that's successful then the mail will be sentto it via text (attachments being base64 encoded into text). When sending has finished the client will sent a carriage return and then send a simple dot to siginify the end of the message. The server will then look at the domain in the to field for each recipient and make it's own outbound connection to the smtp server on that domain (note it won't connect to the pop3 server - that's only for your client to download from). The smtp server at the far end will then decide if it wants to accept the incoming mail or not and if it does, it will then store it in the users inbox or filtered folder if the user has set any. This can be different on each system though - some will filter the mail at the smtp server level, others will use their own mail system to filter the mail once the smtp server has accepted it. Note that the smtp server (like pop3 and imap servers) is simply a TCP server on a port working as an end point / command server for its own protocol for the clients to communicate with. What happens behind the servers protocol connection (eg storing as a text file, in a database, passing it to a mail management program, sending a text etc) is down to how it's written / setup. 

imap - internet message exchange protocol: this is basically a protocol for the management of folders on the remote server. You can use both pop3 and imap on some mail systems while others might only offer pop3 OR umap. Anyway it's main purpose is to allow your mail to reside on the server and allow you to remotely command it to manage your mail - things like moving mail from one folder to another, downloading mail (either to view or save), deleting mail, getting the header list of mail in the folder, creating, renaming and deleting folders etc. This protocol isn't typically used for sending (though from memory it does offer the feature). It's also incredibly slow. EG downloading a list of messages can take in excess of 5 minutes so many mail clients will launch multiple threads to download parts of the message list - eg thread1 might download 1-10, thread2 would download 11-20 and so on.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@7up wrote:

As I mentioned in my previous reply, most SMTP servers will not save the mail that you send through it. This means that your sent mail will stay in the clients local sent folder but will not be accesible to other clients you may use such as your phone, laptop, works computer etc.

 

 

*No* SMTP server will do that. It is not part of the specification. An SMTP is a Mail *Transfer* Agent (MTA); its role is limited to acceptance and delivery of mail to other MTAs.

This is where IMAP comes in; after successful submission of a message via SMTP it (can) then submit a copy to the Sent folder on the server for subsequent synchronisation by other IMAP clients.

There is a downside to this - the message effectively has to be transferred over the network twice - once via SMTP and again via IMAP. An effort was made by RFC4468 to address this by concatenating such functionality into one transaction but it has never seen general adoption. I have seen it adopted on a low-bandwith closed network but this was very much a bespoke system that had to address very specific operational constraints.

 

I've yet to find any setting in Outlook that allows me to save sent mail to a remote imap sent folder - and believe me, i've spent many hours scratching my head on that one.

 

You've probably been using POP3, in which case the setting will not indeed exist as the protocol doesn't support such functionality. If using IMAP or HTTP mailboxes this behaviour should occur by default as it is a native part of both mailbox handling methods.

 

What version of Outlook specifically do you have? Happy to try and help pinpoint what the issue you're having might be. Outlook is unfortunately notorious for not supporting IMAP particularly well as it has always been a threat to the Exchange model of operation and so not something Microsoft have been keen to make easy to use. Outlook Express (and its replacements) on the other hand have always supported it well as there has been no risk of conflict of preference with Exchange. My recommendation would therefore likely be to change to a better client (Thunderbird is particularly good).

 


Yahoo finally caught up with this after 25 odd years and i can now send mail through their smtp and it will show up in my sent folder when using their webmail. So much for "all" smtp servers just passing it on huh.

 

As far as I am aware, Yahoo have always supported IMAP and hence always supported folder storage of mail - certainly I used to use it when I had a Yahoo account and I'm sure that must've been over 10 years ago now. If you've been using their service via POP3 then, no, you won't have had that functionality. That's not Yahoo's fault though - use IMAP (or webmail, but that is likely using IMAP at the backend) and you'll be fine. It's a moot point though - this is a thread about IMAP, not Yahoo.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@7up wrote:

Don't think i'm a idiot regarding mail servers either, i've written two and am well aware of how they work.


 

No one is thinking you are in idiot @7up, so don't take disagreement personally.

 

Notwithstanding this, statements like the following suggest you don't fully understand how mail servers work:

 


Like I said, most smtp servers will not save mail to the servers sent folder. A good one will.


 

Let's take the Exim and Postfix SMTP servers which I know you will be familiar with and agree are examples of 'good' mail servers. More to the point, they represent 58% and 34% of the world's mail servers respectively - yes: 92% of every single mail server out there is running one or the other (with the 3rd place, Sendmail (RIP), running on only 4%). *Neither* of those mail servers will save a submitted mail to the Sent folder on the server. The reason why? Because, as mentioned, it is not the role of SMTP to do that.

 

Edit: If you don't want to take our word for it, have a read of this brief discussion elsewhere where the same point is echoed.

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Re: IMAP outgoing emails saved on server


@MJN wrote:

@7up wrote:

As I mentioned in my previous reply, most SMTP servers will not save the mail that you send through it. This means that your sent mail will stay in the clients local sent folder but will not be accesible to other clients you may use such as your phone, laptop, works computer etc.

 

 

*No* SMTP server will do that. It is not part of the specification. An SMTP is a Mail *Transfer* Agent (MTA); its role is limited to acceptance and delivery of mail to other MTAs.


Specifications are open to interpretation though. Does it explicitly say it must ONLY transfer mail to another MTA and do nothing more? I don't recall seeing that though i may well be wrong.

Also you say *No* mail server will do that.. well.. as mentioned previously, Yahoo does.

@MJN wrote:

 

This is where IMAP comes in; after successful submission of a message via SMTP it (can) then submit a copy to the Sent folder on the server for subsequent synchronisation by other IMAP clients..

I'm aware of that..

@MJN wrote:

 

There is a downside to this - the message effectively has to be transferred over the network twice - once via SMTP and again via IMAP. An effort was made by RFC4468 to address this by concatenating such functionality into one transaction but it has never seen general adoption.

Yahoo... Okay fair enough it may not be widespread but I did make that very clear myself in previous replies. If you look at my very first reply I did say that the op was lucky and that very few smtp servers saved mail in the sent folder.

You also just said that it's seen low general adoption.. well You now know that both Yahoo and Plusnet have adopted it.. so there will be others out there.

Sure most cPanel packages won't offer it but that doesn't mean real ISPs who know what they're doing won't offer it.

@MJN wrote:

 

 

I've yet to find any setting in Outlook that allows me to save sent mail to a remote imap sent folder - and believe me, i've spent many hours scratching my head on that one.

 

You've probably been using POP3

Believe it or not, i can tell the difference (see my previous reply where i describe the 3 different protocols). If you read my previous replies where i've mentioned Yahoo saving smtp'd mail to the sent folder... Don't treat me like an idiot.

@MJN wrote:

As far as I am aware, Yahoo have always supported IMAP and hence always supported folder storage of mail - certainly I used to use it when I had a Yahoo account and I'm sure that must've been over 10 years ago now. If you've been using their service via POP3 then, no, you won't have had that functionality. That's not Yahoo's fault though - use IMAP (or webmail, but that is likely using IMAP at the backend) and you'll be fine. It's a moot point though - this is a thread about IMAP, not Yahoo.

You're noit gfrasping the very basic concept of what I have said.

Yahoo's SMTP server did not save sent mail to the users sent folder. You even quoted me quite clearly talking about sending mail through their SMTP server and you still did not grasp it. I was not talking about their IMAP offering at all.

You then say this is a thread about IMAP. No, it isn't. This is a thread about the OP sending mail through SMTP and it clogging up their sent folder. The thread changed direction with him then trying to clarify what IMAP is and how it differs from pop3.

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