Sorry if this is a stupid question but never really dived into POP and IMAP before..

I have a client who's a lawyer, she checks emails on her laptop, phone and computer.. however sometimes she gets emails on her phone but it doesnt go through to laptop or computer.. shes setup on POP3 is this the reason? I heard if you setup IMAP it will still go through all 3 sources.

Ie. if i setup IMAP on her laptop, phone and computer no matter what source she checks it on ie. phone, she will still get the email on her laptop and computer.. is this correct?



Yes. You are correct.

IMAP is best when having multiple devices. With POP3 you only retrieve e-mails from the server, but with IMAP, your e-mail client can actually write stuffs on the server, such as sent mails, so they are accessible on all your devices, everywhere.

Basically, everything is synchronized and you can start to write the draft of an e-mail on one device and finish on an other. I am using IMAP and do it all the time.

See IMAP on wikipedia.

Also see What is IMAP and what are its specific advantages over POP3? They say:

Some specific advantages of IMAP over POP include:

  • Robust folders for storing received and sent messages
  • Freedom for user to download attachments at will
  • Provision for determining message structure without downloading entire message.
  • Selective fetching of individual MIME body parts.
  • Server-based searching and selection to minimize data transfer.
  • Ability to append messages to a remote folder.
  • Ability to set standard and user-defined message status flags.
  • Support for simultaneous update and update discovery in shared folders.
  • New mail notification.
  • Ability to manipulate remote folders other than INBOX.
  • Remote folder management (list/create/delete/rename).
  • Support for folder hierarchies.
  • Suitable for accessing non-email data; e.g., NetNews, documents.

In IMAP, when a client program performs any operation on a mailbox, the server will automatically include in its response notification of any new messages that have arrived since the last notification. IMAP's ability to manipulate remote folders other than INBOX is fundamental to online and disconnected operation. This means being able to save messages from one folder to a different one, being able to access archived messages subsequently, and allowing for multiple incoming message folders.

  • would I change all devices to IMAP? ie. phone, laptop and computer?
    – Callum
    Mar 18 '13 at 20:23
  • @Callum Yes, you need to reconfigure all devices to use IMAP. Is she using a MAC, a PC or linux?
    – Jean
    Mar 18 '13 at 20:23
  • and I will once it lets me haha, It wont let me for another 5 minutes
    – Callum
    Mar 18 '13 at 20:24
  • She is using a PC.
    – Callum
    Mar 18 '13 at 20:31
  • Ok. I have not used a PC in a very long time, but most mail clients are very well documented. Adding an IMAP account should be pretty straightforward.
    – Jean
    Mar 18 '13 at 20:34

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