Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mail.app and IMAP niggles

Our web site at www.ekive.com has been hosted at GoDaddy for the last few months. Yesterday that changed. For some months now we have been suffering email bounces. Frustrating, intermittent email bounces. If there is one thing that niggles me it is unreliable email. I finally decided to just move our account away from GoDaddy. I selected bluehost.com and have to say so far I am impressed. sign up was quick. The control panel to manage your account is easy to navigate and the range of services are comprehensive. Mail started flowing and so far seems to be more reliable. My colleagues can once again receive emails from people with Yahoo accounts. bluehost offers not just pop but also IMAP support for email. The lack of IMAP support was one of the big frustrations with our previous hosting provider. Setting up IMAP in Apple's Mail.app was quite straight forward but I found myself getting some weird errors. At first I couldn't save a draft copy of any message and worse - my sent messages were not being saved in the sent folder on the server - despite having made that setting in Mail.app preferences. The Whatdoiknow blog was helpful in pointing me in the right direction. A comment from Eric Chambers really pointed the way - Thanks Eric!
Try selecting the IMAP folder you want to use for sent mail or deleted items then select Mailbox->Use This Mailbox For->Sent (or Trash). Posted by: Eric Chambers at September 29, 2005 11:50 AM
So I highlighted each problematic sub folder: Drafts, Sent, Junk and Trash in turn and used the Mail.app command Mailbox...Use This Mailbox For... and chose the matching mailbox. This seemed to fix the drafts folder. I was able to save a draft message successfully to the server. However, copying a sent message to the server didn't appear to work. This is my solution: I loaded SquirrelMail to access my mail online at bluehost.com. I created a draft message and sent it using SquirrelMail after making sure SquirrelMail was set to save sent messages in the Sent folder. This worked and I had a sent message in the Sent folder. I then went back to Mail.app and synchronized the sent message folder. The sent message appeared. After making sure Mail.app was configured to save the Sent messages to the Sent folder on the server, I sent a message and it successfully got saved to the server. So I believe you need to make sure a message exists in the appropriate folders for Mail.app to correctly setup the folder configuration. If anyone finds a better way to resolve this problem please join the conversation and leave a comment below.


  1. Anonymous9:17 AM

    Thanks for posting this. I was going crazy trying to figure out why my messages were no longer being saved in Mail.app.

    In my case, it was because my host switched their mail server, and it must have rearranged the mailboxes in my IMAP account.

    Your strategy worked like a charm for me.


  2. No problem. I am glad the workaround solved your problem.

  3. Anonymous2:56 AM

    Thanks for the post.

    In my case, I have just had to use the "mailbox - use ..." to solve the issue with the sent mails that were not stored on the server (My hosting is at Mediatemple).

    Some researches on the web confirmed that your solution was the right one to set up a proper IMAP account.

  4. Dude, thanks for this advice. I've just moved on to a mac after using a PC for 13 years. The whole thing has been a massive learning curve - but finding advice like this has just saved me a lot of frustration. Thanks.

  5. Micky,

    Glad you got your problem solved.