Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have Thunderbird 9.0.1 and iOS MobileMail.app (iPhone 4S) connected to the same IMAP account on a Dovecot server.

When I delete emails from Thunderbird, they no longer show up on the iPhone. So far so good.

When I delete emails from the iPhone, the emails still show up in Thunderbird. I've tried waiting up to an hour after I've deleted the emails from my iPhone, but the emails I deleted still show up in Thunderbird. I've tried clicking the "Get Mail" button, but deleted emails still show up in Thunderbird. The only remedy I've found so far is to quit and restart Thunderbird, which is inconvenient.

Up until just recently, I used Apple's desktop Mail.app, and emails deleted on the iPhone disappeared immediately from desktop Mail.app.

What's wrong?

share|improve this question
1  
I have the same problem with iphone and thunderbird on windows. nhutto's answer doesn't fit because doesn't explain why quitting thunderbird on mac/pc and restarting it resolves the problem. Any other ideas on how to fix this? Seems like a bug in the desktop app - not correctly picking up the deletions. –  user119341 Feb 20 '12 at 23:53

3 Answers 3

check the setting on your iphone my bet is it does not remove from the imap server just on its self so you have a better archive on the server. I would look into all of the setting on the iphone app and also check on your server to see if it has a default action for delete.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks. iOS MobileMail.app seems to be flagging the messages as deleted (according to the IMAP protocol), but Thunderbird doesn't seem to be acknowledging this until after I restart. Apple desktop Mail.app, as well as PINE/Alpine, both interpret the iOS MobileMail.app's email deletions as I expected. –  smokris Jan 6 '12 at 3:00

Some background in http://kb.mozillazine.org/Deleting_messages_in_IMAP_accounts.

It is perfectly appropriate for a deleted message in a IMAP account to be visible in webmail or other email clients. Deleting a message just sets a flag, and it's up to the GUI what it should do when there is a message with that flag set. However, once Thunderbird compacts (expunges) that folder, the deleted message shouldn't be visible any more from webmail or any email client because it has been physically deleted.

You can set Dovecot to notify clients like Thunderbird that there have been changes to the folder. I found a description of the solution here: http://www.dovecot.org/list/dovecot/2011-August/060812.html

They say that the CONDSTORE capability is the problem. You should remove CONDSTORE (and also QRESYNC, since it implies CONDSTORE).

Directions:

$ telnet localhost 143
telnet> a login user pass
telnet> b capability

ctrl-] q to get out of telnet session

Take the string you got, remove CONDSTORE and QRESYNC, set "imap_capability" to this value in /etc/dovecot/dovecot.conf.

Mine ended up being this:

imap_capability = CAPABILITY IMAP4rev1 LITERAL+ SASL-IR LOGIN-REFERRALS ID ENABLE IDLE SORT SORT=DISPLAY THREAD=REFERENCES THREAD=REFS MULTIAPPEND UNSELECT CHILDREN NAMESPACE UIDPLUS LIST-EXTENDED I18NLEVEL=1 ESEARCH ESORT SEARCHRES WITHIN CONTEXT=SEARCH LIST-STATUS
share|improve this answer
1  
Right. But the problem is that I have Thunderbird configured to hide deleted messages, yet messages flaged as deleted by other IMAP clients still show up in Thunderbird. –  smokris May 10 '12 at 20:44

This has bugged me for a year but one google search sorted it. I could kick myself!

The dovecot config change has fixed my issue, which is exactly as described by the OP, except mine is iPhone5.

On my Dovecot (v2.0.9) I just had to alter /etc/dovecot/conf.d/20-imap.conf as suggested, then "service dovecot restart" and the infuriating deleted-but-not issue is gone forever :)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.