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Can I keep all folders syncronized (sent, drafts etc.), but store older emails offline only? (inbetween IMAP and POP)

  • 1 reply
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by AgnesRM

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I want to use IMAP so I can keep my trash, sent and draft emails synchronized between all devices But I also want to clear all my emails older than 21 days from the server and all my devices with the exception of one Desktop device, where I want to keep an unlimited local copy of all past emails: received, sent, trash and drafts.

Sounds like what I want is something in the middle between IMAP and POP

Pop can keep local copies while deleting for the server but can't sync send, draft and trash IMAP can sync all folders but can't (or at least doesn't by default) delete from the server while keeping a local copy

I have tried setting up both IMAP and POP, but POP simply can't pull emails which were sent by other devices so I figure I have to use IMAP and somehow configure it so that I can clear emails form the server while keeping an offline copy.

Can Thunderbird be configured to use IMAP but also for example copy each email from each folder to a local folder where it will not be deleted? If that can not be done, how can I officially request such feature to be added to Thunderbird?

Just for context: The reason I want to set it up this way is because I want to synchronize my emails to the email client on my phone, but I regard my phone as somewhat insecure: I could lose it or it could get stolen. I want to sync my emails to it, but not keep them longer than 21 days. I also want to consider the server as somewhat insecure, as I know that in some circumstances someone could reset the password of my mailbox by fooling the provider (or it could be subpoenaed) The email client on my desktop is secure, it is installed within an encrypted environment.

All Replies (2)

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Other options I looked at: 1. A plugin names Shedual Filters is no longer up to date 2. A plugin named AutoArchive only moves everything to one folder rather than keeping sent emails in a Sent folder. 3. Thurderbird's build in message filters only apply to the account as whole, and can't send things from separate folders to respective other folders (sent to local>sent, draft to local>draft, etc.) 4. Describes how to automatically apply filters on subfolders, but still doesn't solve the issue of keeping folders separated (sent to local>sent, draft to local>draft, etc.)


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Hi I see nobody responded yet - volunteers are kept pretty busy with saving people's lost profiles. To your issue - I wonder whether you looked into using the Local Folders structure on TB? It is an area where you can save emails locally, either as copy or move, to a part of TB that is only saved on the local computer. Create folders with whatever name you wish. Once you set up the folders you want in the Local Folders section, filters can move messages there for you. With IMAP, just check that the whole message is saved, not just the 'headers'. Start with a few, manually test copying first, then moving a few unimportant emails. Check the whole message is saved - open and read the content. When you move on to using filters to copy large numbers of messages into local folders, take it slow, copy first and delete once you are sure the whole email is safely stored. Once you have it working, filters should be able to keep moving emails in smaller batches. Once you start storing stuff in there, begin making safe copies of the whole Profile folder as a backup.


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