The case of the disappearing email

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mrjimmy

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The case of the disappearing email
« on: September 13, 2017, 10:31:51 AM »
Hey all,

I recently acquired a new/old Macbook Pro running Yosemite. It replaced my ancient Macbook running SL. After all my file xfers, I noticed that any mail that was downloaded to the laptop would completely disappear once I downloaded it on my iMac. The mail pref on the iMac (SL also) is set to remove mail from the server, but it never removed mail from my old Macbook also...

This begs the question: when is downloaded not really downloaded?

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mrjimmy

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2017, 02:28:39 PM »
Anyone experience this before?

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MeAtMac DotCalm

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 02:56:33 PM »
I sometime go into mail and in iCloud mail an email is there for a half second, enough time to see who the Message is from and see it disappear. To where I never can figure out. Usually it is "spam" type mail so mostly I do not care. Sorry not to be of more assistance.

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mrjimmy

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2017, 02:08:34 PM »
Thanks for the reply.

The trouble is, no iCloud. It's simply 2 machines pulling emails off the ISP's server.

The 'home' machine, the iMac, has the preferences set to remove the email from the server. This way, when I receive email at work on the laptop, a second backup copy will also download at home. It's always worked flawlessly until I bought the new laptop. Now, when a email downloads first to the laptop and then to the iMac @ home, it simply disappears from both the server AND from the inbox of the laptop.

Whew...

Trashed the mail prefs, rebuilt the mailboxes - nuthin'...

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Gerk

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 09:11:38 AM »
If you're using POP email then things would work as they formerly did, meaning that once you've downloaded an email to the computer it would stay there even after it was deleted from the server, but .... most ISPs don't support POP by default any longer and on any new email setup wizard (which you likely did on the new machine) it would use IMAP email which works as you've described.  If a mail is deleted from the server it will also be deleted from any IMAP email clients that are connected to it.

I suspect this is what's happening, is that the new email app is using an IMAP connection.  The easiest fix is to setup both machines to use IMAP and don't delete any emails from the server that you want to keep.  The other fix would be to make local mail folders on one machine and drag messages to them if you want to keep them long term.

Hope this helps.

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mrjimmy

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 06:41:35 PM »
Thanks Gerk, that seems to be the problem!

Old iMac is POP and the laptop is iMAP. What about a third option of the laptop using POP? Seems as though my ISP still supports it as my home machine has been using it all along.

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Gerk

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2017, 10:30:28 PM »
You could try that but I'm not sure the latest version of mail is going to be happy working with POP.  If anything switch them both to IMAP and leave emails you want to keep on the server ...

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Groovetube

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2017, 10:44:54 PM »
Most isp still support POP (at least all the majors I know of) but IMAP is the one by default more often now.

I saw this thread and that crossed my my mind but I thought naw, too simple ha ha. But a really easy thing to miss!

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Max

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 07:52:01 AM »
I gave up using Mail several years ago  - coordinating it between machines started to become more trouble than it was worth. I just go to my Gmail account through Chrome. So long as you don't delete stuff but simply archive it, everything is retrievable. A few months ago I started paying Google a few bucks a year for a much larger storage ceiling - 100 Gb. Took me about 16 years of using the same addy to bump up against Google's free tier ceiling (15 Gb) so I can't complain. I'm at 16% capacity right now. Every time I end a show, a month or two later I go through its related mail, consign most of it to the trash and then empty it. My storage needs shrink that much again. So much of my mail traffic when I'm working is large output files and reference photos, so it does amount to quite a bit and it will swell over time if you don't address it.

But I have to say I don't regret having made the move away from Mail. I no longer store any mail on my own machines - it's not so much a benefit of space-savings (it is, but hey, storage is cheap) as it is a relief from tedious data management/synchronization between home and work Macs.

Works for me anyway.
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Gerk

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 09:06:28 AM »
Just have to point out that with IMAP that's exactly how it works ... you don't have to fight to synchronize anything and all mail stays on the server, so you could easily use Mail (or any other mail app on your computers) and they will stay in sync, right down to which messages are read or not.  I run my own mail server and have for many years and have all of my mail archives on it since I have no data cap there ;)

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Max

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 03:01:53 PM »
Well, consider me edumahcated then, Gerk! Never mind, Mr. Jimmy.
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mrjimmy

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 06:51:57 PM »
Education for everyone!

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Gerk

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 08:10:08 PM »
One other thing to add, which happened a LOT with POP based email is that if multiple clients tried to access at the very same time it would cause errors or other issues, sometimes if it happened enough it would lock you out of accounts, etc, because POP does what's called locking with the mailbox when a client is using it.  This prevents the possibility of corruption if two things try to make changes at the same time, but it also causes that unwanted side effect that if two access at the very same time one of them is going to get refused.  When it gets refused it will most often pop up with a dialog that tells you that your password is incorrect (!!) and as I said previously if that happens enough times consecutively in some mail clients it will disable your account.  I have done a lot of service calls over the years to resolve that exact issue, and due to the way POP is designed there's no solution, it was really only ever meant to have a single client connecting to it and downloading mail.

TL;DR -- IMAP is what you should always use in this day and age.  It's much more reliable and it's meant for multi-client access (even simultaneously is fine, it has it's own way of queueing commands to protect against double writing anything).

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Sharktooth

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 09:50:00 PM »
  I usually use POP mail, but I could never get Gmail to work properly with POP.    The solution for Gmail was switching to IMAP, where it works well.

  I still have most of my email accounts set up with POP, but a couple are also set up with IMAP.    IMAP works well, but I like the fact that POP gives you a long term backup if it's stored on multiple computers.   I'm still a little uncomfortable that if you accidentally delete an email in IMAP it will be deleted everywhere.   To be honest, I've never had that happen, but it bothers me nonetheless.

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Gerk

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Re: The case of the disappearing email
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 09:54:14 PM »
Almost any email client (even web based ones) use a "trash can" approach to deleting emails, so you have to go through at least a few steps to "accidentally" delete an email.  You would have to trash the email, then go to the trash, and then empty the trash.  In some cases (like Google) it's much more complicated to actually delete an email.  To me it's not a concern.  Gmail doesn't support POP -- nor does any of the current large email providers.  It's a very old and honestly should-have-been-retired-decades-ago technology.