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I wonder if I use some email client like Thunderbird with IMAP protocol, would it consume storage on my hard drive? As I know every time I check my emails, they will be first downloaded to my computer.

Also, I wonder if there is any benefit of using email client like Thunderbird instead of a web email client like Gmail?

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migrated from serverfault.com Aug 28 '11 at 10:13

This question came from our site for professional system and network administrators.

    
For future questions, please note that a Q&A site like Super User likes just one question per post. Thanks! –  Arjan Aug 28 '11 at 10:43
    
This would've been a +1 until I read the last paragraph. Not only is it a double question but your asking for an opinion. –  KronoS Aug 28 '11 at 17:00

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They may choose to cache either just the mailbox/folder index, or they may choose to cache messages and attachments; this varies by client.

The features and capabilities of a web interface is limited, and only the organization that hosts it can modify them. In contrast, if you find that an email client doesn't support a specific feature or capability you have the option of switching to a client that does.

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On the other hand: not many email clients truly understand Gmail's labels. I've only seen the Gmail web interface and the Gmail mobile apps use all features of labels. –  Arjan Aug 28 '11 at 10:45
    
thank you all, this helps me understand better what each email client does. –  tsubasa Aug 28 '11 at 10:52

You can configure what messages Thunderbird caches to disk. The main advantage of real mail application instead webmail is faster and smoother UI, and being able to write emails (to be sent later) without Internet connection.

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