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I have IMAP folders on a dovecot server containing a high number of emails (>10.000). I want to apply an existing sieve script to the mails in these folders. I know I can feed the mails from the Maildir storage into dovecot's lmtp and remove the file afterwards but I want to preserve the mail status as much as possible.

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Try creating new folder, move all messages to that folder and then move them back to the previous place where the sieve filter is defined - sieve rules should then be applied.

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That will not work as sieve is used by the local mail delivery agent (in my case dovecot lmda) and not the IMAP server. –  ordnungswidrig Mar 5 '12 at 8:43
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