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  • POP3 Versus IMAP

    Posted on Casey H Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
    Viewing 12 reply threads
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      • #2324857
        Casey H
        AskWoody Plus

        Greetings All-

        I’m feeling especially stupid today.  At one time, my email life was simple.  I only had one PC, and I handled all my mails either with MS Outlook or Thunderbird.  Today, besides my PC, I have a laptop and a cell phone.  My PC has Office 2016, so I’m using Outlook 2016 on it.  My laptop with WIN 10 Pro is set up for Live Mail.  My phone is an android, using the default mail program, whatever that is.  I have four email addresses: msn.com, which is MS Exchange; centurylink.net, which is pop3; comcast.net, which is pop3; and gmail.com, which is IMAP.

        What I want is for my PC to be the master.  If I delete something from my phone or laptop, I don’t want it gone from my PC.  IMAP seems obvious.  If I delete a gmail message from my phone, I can watch it disappear from my PC’s inbox.  The two pop3 accounts seem different.  If I delete something on my phone from CLink, it doesn’t seem affected on my PC.  If I delete something from comcast, it also gets deleted on my PC.  I have both accounts set up to “keep a copy on the server.”  I only access my msn.com messages from my PC, so I don’t know how Exchange handles deletions.

        I know that POP3 is old and typically not recommended, but I like controlling my files directly; having them on my hard drive where I can back them up is comforting. I haven’t been backing up the IMAP ost files, as I understand that’s pointless.

        Right now, any gmail (IMAP) message I receive that I want to keep, I drag into a stored folder that’s in the main Outlook date file (pst).  If I’m also monitoring gmail on the web, the message in the inbox goes away.  With any pop3 message, I can use a rule to automatically move the message to the right spot.  That doesn’t seem to work with an IMAP message.  I get an error that says the server can’t do that.

        Comcast is a new account for me.  It was originally set up as IMAP, but with the referenced difficulties, I switched it to pop3.

        All said, I’d like to use IMAP, but I don’t understand it well enough to be confident in not losing something that I need later on.  I guess I don’t understand pop3 either, because my two accounts that use it behave differently.  As always, the Lounge’s expertise is much appreciated.

        Casey H.

      • #2324868
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        you may find this thread of interest
        please use the askwoody search facility prior to posting topics 🙂


        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2325135
        Casey H
        AskWoody Plus

        Highly informative.  I haven’t quite made it to the end of the thread yet, bit I’m thinking I might turn my Outlook 2016 gmail account back to pop3.  I still haven’t found why my two existing pop3 accounts appear to be handling deletions differently.  I’ll need to go back and look at the details of the settings.

        I guess I don’t understand how the search feature works.  The referenced thread is exactly what I was searching for before I started this one.

        Casey H.

      • #2325165
        Casey H
        AskWoody Plus

        I’ve changed my gmail account back to pop3.  All three of my main accounts (centurylink.net, comcast.net, and gmail.com) are now pop3.  Sending and receiving test messages, I can delete messages on my phone sent to the centurylink account without it affecting its arrival in Outlook 2016.  The other pop3 accounts–not so.  If I delete something from my phone sent to either gmail or comcast, they do not show up in Outlook 2016.  If I move those messages on my phone from the trash back to the inbox, they do show up in Outlook.

        As far as I can tell, I have all three accounts configured the same way.  The centurylink account is currently the default account in Outlook, but I don’t see how that would matter. I’d really like to be able to delete stuff off my phone without it impacting what’s on my PC.

        Casey H.

      • #2325175
        anonymous
        Guest

        Sounds like gmail and comcast are set up as IMAP on your phone

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2325354
          Casey H
          AskWoody Plus

          I’ve looked through my phone settings and can’t find any indications one way or another.

          Casey H.

          • #2325364
            anonymous
            Guest

            My android phone is setup as imap but also has a setting for never delete from server which is in the advanced server settings. My machine is pop. I get every message on my computer even if I delete on my phone first. Sorry, not sure about iphones.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2325344
        JohnW
        AskWoody Lounger

        What I want is for my PC to be the master. If I delete something from my phone or laptop, I don’t want it gone from my PC. IMAP seems obvious. If I delete a gmail message from my phone, I can watch it disappear from my PC’s inbox.

        That’s why I use IMAP, with my PC as the master using an email client, set to sync with my Gmail account.

        I use Gmail webmail on my laptop and the Gmail app on my phone. I don’t delete anything while using those devices.

        But I do all of my Gmail inbox maintenance from my PC client. I can delete whatever I don’t want from there, and all of my devices stay in sync as far as the IMAP inbox is concerned.  If I want to archive anything I can copy it to a local folder on the PC.

        Keeps it simple (for me). 🙂

        • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by JohnW.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2325357
          Casey H
          AskWoody Plus

          I think that’s how I’m set up, too.  At least it was before changing Outlook 2016 back to pop3.  I guess it’s a matter of being patient.  When something pops up on my phone, and it’s not something that I want to read again or share in the immediate future, I like to dump it.  Whereas I keep just about everything on my PC, all sorted into neat little folders, just in case it might be needed 10 years from now.  Stuff on my laptop is similar to the phone, although some things I keep a little longer, like Ask Woody newsletters.  If it’s long-term storage, it doesn’t belong on either; that’s a job for my PC.  Right now my CL account is the only one behaving like I want it to.  I have quite a few CL messages on my laptop that have been deleted from my phone, and tons more that have been deleted from phone and laptop.  I don’t care so much about gmail, but I’d like for comcast to mimic that behavior.

          Casey

      • #2325412
        Casey H
        AskWoody Plus

        I think I finally figured things out.  Thanks again anonymous.  I found the phone settings in the email app, and comcast was indeed set up as IMAP (as was gmail).  CLink was pop3.  Trying to change comcast to pop3 led me to discover that IMAP is the default install, and you have to click on “manual” on the first screen in order to do otherwise.  Interestingly enough, the setup was quite laborious in Outlook 2016 on my PC.  I had to get all the particular pop3 settings from the comcast website to make it work–plus a little trial and error on one of the security settings.  My phone auto-filled all of the correct entries.  I haven’t tested the deletion protocols yet, but I suspect they’ll be as I want them.  I think I’ll leave gmail as IMAP.  That means I’ll go pack to my PC and change it back to IMAP again.  Ufda!

        Casey H.

      • #2325503
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Storing your mail on your phone is a bad idea unless you have oodles of space and a big data allowance. You are better off consolidating your mail in one quality online site and using their mail app on the phone to access the mail.

        cheers, Paul

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2326127
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Storing your mail on your phone is a bad idea unless you have oodles of space and a big data allowance.

          In some parts of the world, unmetered data is the norm. Also, I only buy phones with a sdcard slot, if I can help it.

          One of my SIMs has semi-metered data… it’s 1 EUR per calendar day during which the data service is turned on in the phone, not by amount transferred. Decently fast LTE too last time I tried it – paid for 5 data days back in November, none in December.

      • #2326114
        Casey H
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks Paul–as always.  If I understand my situation correctly, I believe I’m now set up that way.  Comcast & Clink are now set up as pop3 on my PC, my laptop, and my phone.  Normally I see inbound traffic first on my phone.  If it’s a message I’d like to keep for awhile, I can do so.  If not, I delete it on my phone right away.  I can later decide on my PC whether or not to keep it long term or delete it there as well.  I keep virtually no emails on my laptop other than these newsletters, Zoom links that I’ll be using my laptop for, or perhaps something I want to re-read.

        Casey

      • #2326175
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        If not, I delete it on my phone right away.  I can later decide on my PC whether or not to keep it

        It does not seem you are using an app. Deleting mail in the app deletes it from the server and you would not be able to get it on the PC later. Are you sure the mail was not already downloaded to the PC?

        cheers, Paul

        • #2326328
          Casey H
          AskWoody Plus

          I think I’m using apps.  Standard WIN 10 mail app on the laptop and standard android mail app on my phone.

          Casey

          • #2326352
            Paul T
            AskWoody MVP

            You are not using the mail provider’s app.

            cheers, Paul

            • #2326403
              Casey H
              AskWoody Plus

              Do you mean that I’m not getting my mail from the email page on the Centurylink or Comcast websites?  If so that would be true.  I go there sometimes, but only on rare occasions such when I’m expecting an email, and it hasn’t shown up yet via my normal means.

              Casey

              • #2326412
                Paul T
                AskWoody MVP

                My suggestion was to use the app provided by your email provider. If you are using the local mail app then you have to manage storage and POP/IMAP.

                cheers, Paul

              • #2326523
                Casey H
                AskWoody Plus

                I think I see now, Paul.  I’d be downloading the CLink & Comcast app from the android Play Store and use it.  I hadn’t thought of that.

                Casey

      • #2326189
        anonymous
        Guest

        Just set your phone and laptop to never delete from the server. Set Outlook to leave copy of messages on the server for X days (default is 14). That way everything will show up on all devices but Outlook will be the master and handle clearing the server.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2326327
        Casey H
        AskWoody Plus

        My phone is set up to never delete from the server, but I don’t see that setting in the Mail App on my laptop.  I’m using the mail app that comes with WIN 10 on my laptop and the mail app that came with my Samsung J7 Star phone.  Tests so far tell me I can delete stuff from my phone.  I haven’t tested the laptop as thoroughly, but I thought I was good to go there, too.  I know I’m OK on the CL account because I’ve had it for a long time and have frequently discarded mails from the laptop without affecting my PC.  I’m not 100% sure of the comcast account, but I thought it was OK.  More tests are in order.

        Casey

      • #2336189
        DooDahMan
        AskWoody Plus

        For years I’ve used Outlook 2016 via POP3 with Comcast. I was able to direct mail onto my local PC and into a PST file that can easily be copied to and external HDD. Recently I noticed that Comcast recommends replacing POP3 with iMAPI for a number of reasons and benefits. I’ve deleted my local POP3 accounts in Outlook and replaced them with iMAPI accounts. All was good except I can no longer deliver incoming mail to the PST file; Outlook insists on using a OST file hidden deep in the …\Users\AppData folder. I have made the PST my default data file but Outlook does not allow me to select it for my mail account.

        Am I missing something or is iMAPI not compatible with Outlook 2016 PST files?

        • #2336201
          DooDahMan
          AskWoody Plus

          Yeah, to maintain a single PST file with emails from multiple email accounts combined when retrieved from Outlook isn’t doable in the iMAP environment. Sorry Comcast, I’m headed back to POP3.

           

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