I have created an email account for a production team like this: the-team@example-team.com. Every team-member has set it up as an account on their smartphone using IMAP.

My problem is that when new mail arrives to the account and one of the team-members read it, it will be marked as read for the other members as well. So the other members phones will download the new email but won't display any notifications because it's already marked as read on the server.

I realize that email and IMAP is designed with a single-user-per-account mindset. But are there any work-arounds for this?

Thank you!


Dovecot IMAP server can provide per user Seen flag in shared folders:

Dovecot Maildir: Per-user \Seen flag

With Maildir a dovecot-shared file controls if the \Seen flags are shared or private. The file must be created separately inside each Maildir, although if the file already exists in the Maildir root it's automatically copied for newly created mailboxes. If dovecot-shared file doesn't exist in Maildir, the \Seen flags are shared. If it exists, the \Seen flag state is stored only in the user's index files. By making each user have their own private index files, you can make the \Seen flag private for the users. [...]
If you want to change what flags are shared when dovecot-shared file exists, currently you'll have to modify the source code: src/lib-storage/index/maildir/maildir-storage.c maildir_open() has mbox->ibox.box.private_flags_mask = MAIL_SEEN; Change the MAIL_SEEN to any flag combination you want. See src/lib-mail/mail-types.h for list of valid flags.


In your email server, whatever it is, try creating "group" that receives emails sent to given account, then broadcasts those mails to each team member.

  • Thank you for answering! Yes, but when replying these emails wont they appear as sent from the team-members account? – Daggepagge Jun 22 '13 at 12:39
  • 1
    Not if you set the SMTP Authentication as the group mail settings. – kobaltz Jun 22 '13 at 12:42
  • I see, it is working allright, but in these individual accounts (that now gets all the mail forwarded from the main team-alias) it is of course not possible to see is someone else in the team already answered an email. – Daggepagge Jun 22 '13 at 13:08
  • @Daggepagge Have everyone bcc their replies to the team – Paul Jun 22 '13 at 13:14
  • Thank you all for helping! Yes, that is posible but this is where it's starting to become a bit messy, and also a bit demanding on the team-members. – Daggepagge Jun 22 '13 at 13:32

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