I recently setup my gmail account with IMAP on my email account.

Unfortunately, I now have a stubborn white folder called [Gmail] that contains all of gmail's folders. I can't get rid of them, or hide them. When mail arrives, it also appears in Gmail's folders. Syncing is a little slow, so it can take a while for messages to be marked as read. Additionally, junk emails do not appear in the junk folder, they appear in the spam folder - which is all the way down my folder list, inside the white gmail folder ... so many more clicks to check that I'm not missing something.

Question One How can I tweak the display of gmail folders in mail.app?

Also, with a second (non-gmail) imap account that I have setup, when I send a message, it appears as unread. Is this due to the way my server (hMailServer) is setup, or just a quirk in mail.app?

Question Two How can I stop messages in my sent folders from showing up as unread? They're read, I just wrote them!

3 Answers 3


If you have Google Labs enabled, you can try out the advanced IMAP controls feature. Among other things, it allows you to define which labels/folders you want to sync.

This might help you with Question One.

Note also, that part of the reason that this is confusing is that Google designed Gmail from the ground up and it's built around labels -- each message can zero, one or many. IMAP is built on hierarchical folder -- each message is in one.

When Google added IMAP support to Gmail, they had to find a way to graft labels onto IMAP's folder protocol. This article in Gmail help has a nice table showing how IMAP actions map to actions you would perform in the Gmail web interface.

  • The lab trick is great. Nice one :-) Jul 17, 2009 at 3:24
  • Hurrah! I still have the crazy silver Gmail folder, but I can deal with that, because it doesn't do anything. Thanks a bunch! Jul 17, 2009 at 4:27

Read this..Patiently and you'll love it! http://db.tidbits.com/article/10253

  • very detailed, quite nice!
    – cregox
    Feb 27, 2010 at 14:57

See some more details on Gmail settings at Greyed out emails in Mail.app. (Be sure to understand how the Gmail Trash works, and how to set up its SMTP server.)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .