Mutt automatically remove 'N' flag from e-mail after it was opened. I don't want to mark this flag again after I saw content of mail. It would be better to override Mutt 'mark as read' behavior only when I enter specific command or particular rule applied i.e. content has been seen over 10s.

How to disable Mutt automatic 'N' flag removal ? Is it possible to apply rules to trigger 'mark as read' ?

  • Hi, did you manage to resolve this? I'd like to disable that too :)
    – Guido
    May 2, 2014 at 16:59
  • I didn't. When I want to keep e-mail unread to do something with it in future I simply change its state to new by typing 'N' after reading it. May 2, 2014 at 23:13

2 Answers 2


The imap_peek option might be what you're looking for.

  • Unfortunately this is not what I'm looking for. Disabling this option cause mutt not to sync in real time, synchronization with IMAP server is performed on folder change or sync-mailbox. May 25, 2013 at 22:45

I'm looking for a good solution to this as well.

Here is one (imperfect) solution that I tried:

macro index <return> "<previous-unread><next-unread><enter><set-flag>N"  "go to unread message and mark as new"
macro pager j "<next-unread><set-flag>N" "j- marking emails as new"
macro pager k "<previous-unread><set-flag>N" "k- marking emails as new"

This kinda works if you don't care about trampling over the old flag. (eg: if you are already using unset mark_old anyways)

Another thing that is possible is to set read_only in muttrc- but obviously there are huge limitations here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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