Is it possible for POP3 to move an email to a folder on the server, rather than just delete it after downloading?


I very much doubt it is possible, as I presume it's quite specific to the setup of the email server, and that the POP3 specification simply wouldn't cover that.

I am using Outlook 2003 which is using SMTP / POP3 to communicate with a mailbox hosted on 1and1.co.uk.

POP3 is setup to NOT delete downloaded emails from the server - as I like having the "security" of knowing emails are still there, even if I accidentally delete them in Outlook.

What would be great is if after an email has been downloaded, it could automatically be MOVED into the trash folder in the 1and1 mailbox.

I have also looked at the settings within the 1and1 mailbox to see if there is anything obvious - but there isn't. There are filter which can be used for incoming emails, but nothing on what to do for emails that have been downloaded to the client.

  • 1
    You are right, pop3 does not support folders in any sense. Why not use IMAP if that is what you want? – Paul Mar 21 '14 at 12:35
  • To be completely honest @Paul, I know next to nothing about IMAP. Outlook is currently configured to do POP3 to both 1and1 (my work account) and Gmail (my personal account). My understanding of IMAP is that firstly it will take a couple of years to sync correctly, and then the folder structure I have on Outlook for all my clients will get messed up! – freefaller Mar 21 '14 at 12:38

No. POP is a collection and deletion only protocol. Even the fact it leaves mail on the server is a bit of a client side hack.

If you want any more advanced mail control, I'd strongly recommend looking at IMAP, which allows you to keep mail on the server and locally and allows synced moving from folder to folder.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks - is it easy to manage IMAP when I'm using Outlook with two different email accounts (1and1 for work, Gmail for personal)? – freefaller Mar 21 '14 at 12:40
  • Should be straightforward, Outlook will see them as separate accounts and separate them out as such. – ArgumentBargument Mar 21 '14 at 12:42
  • OK, in that case I will do some investigation into IMAP when I get a moment - thanks for your help – freefaller Mar 21 '14 at 12:42

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