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IMAP trash emptying on its own

10200 Views 60 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2008 1:22 PM by Simon Pick RSS
  • meshgroup Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My company has experienced the same lost items issue as others in this thread. FWIW, our writeup of the issue is included below. We settled on the same workaround as most - a separate Deleted Items folder for the iPhone mail app to use.


    Issue with iPhones and lost Deleted Items on Exchange server mailboxes

    We recently encountered a problem where items in a user’s Exchange server-based Deleted Items folder were disappearing. One minute there would be a few hundred items in the folder and the next minute less than 20. We were able to use the Outlook “Recover Deleted Items” tool to retrieve the items. However, anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours later, they would disappear again.

    We quickly figured out that this was happening on only two of our accounts – one a PC user with Outlook 2003 and the other a Mac user with Entourage 2004. Without any commonalities in the client software, we started looking at the Exchange server, but were unable to find any problems there. We finally discovered that both accounts were being accessed by the user’s iPhone in addition to their desktop email client.

    The iPhones were configured to access the Exchange server using IMAP. In the mailbox settings on the iPhone, under Advanced/Mailbox Behaviors, “Deleted Mailbox” was pointed to the user’s Deleted Items folder on the Exchange server. “Remove Deleted Items” was set to Never.

    It appears that with this configuration, deleting a message on the iPhone caused the Deleted Items folder on the server to be nearly emptied (it always left a few recent items, somewhere between 5 and 40).

    Changing “Remove Deleted Items” to a setting other than Never had no effect on the problem.

    As a partial workaround, we created a new Exchange server folder called “Deleted From iPhone” and pointed the iPhone Mailbox Behaviors “Deleted Mailbox” to that folder. After this, items stopped disappearing from the Deleted Items folder. With further testing, we confirmed that items in the “Deleted From iPhone” folder are now disappearing. For now, we’re telling users not to delete messages from the iPhone unless they are absolutely sure they won’t need them.

    Version info: Exchange 2003 on Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2. Both iPhone are running v1.1.2 of that OS. These iPhones came with 1.1.2 out of the box.
    G5, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Steve Madsen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That's a great write-up.

    I don't know that it will help, but I encourage everyone that is having this problem to file a bug with Apple's public bug reporter. At worst, your bugs will be marked as duplicates of mine. At best, Apple support will realize this is a serious issue affecting many people, and expedite a fix.

    Personally, I find it quite aggravating that I have to avoid deleting messages from my iPhone, as it just means a time consuming clean-up task when I get back to my desk, having to decide if I wanted to delete an already-read message still sitting in my inbox.

    http://bugreporter.apple.com
    PowerMac G5 (rev. B, dual 2.0), Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • Graham - Sonos Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just found something that may put me in a different category from everyone else.. or maybe not.

    I happened to log into the web client for my email provider today, and found that all the emails in the trash that Mail.app 3.0 and the iPhone haven't been showing me, which i thought there deleted, are in fact still in my mailbox. I can see them in the web app. Dont know why Mail isn't showing them, but they aren't actually deleted.

    -graham
  • MacPaint Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2008 9:00 AM (in response to claydough)
    has anyone installed 1.1.3?

    they made some changes to the way deleted items are handled on Gmail, so I am wondering if they also fixed our issue.


    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=307238
  • Steve Madsen Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2008 11:37 AM (in response to MacPaint)
    I installed 1.1.3 on Wednesday and the problem is still there. I am using the special iPhone-only Trash folder workaround and copied a message dated Dec. 17 to that folder. Within 24 hours, it was gone. I verified on the IMAP server that the message was indeed erased and not just marked in such a way that it didn't show up.
    PowerMac G5 (rev. B, dual 2.0), Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • Peter Schnitzler Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2008 4:51 AM (in response to Steve Madsen)
    I am also having the same troubles. This happend first after the installation of Leopard where I lost my complete trash folder except of the last week.

    So I will try now the workaround..
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.1)
  • ScottSF Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 28, 2008 5:39 AM (in response to Peter Schnitzler)
    Hi, all,

    Add my name to the list. I, too, am experiencing this problem. I have the latest 1.1.3 update installed, and use 10.5 and Mail on my Mac (not that it matters). I use FastMail as my email provider, and my Trash had never auto-purged until I hooked up iPhone.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5), iPhone 8GB
  • mcgrant Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 12, 2008 10:43 PM (in response to claydough)
    I'm having this exact problem with both .Mac and SpamArrest IMAP. Thank goodness for Time Machine or I would have lost all my old mail from about 6 weeks back.

    In fact, I just tried an experiment: I copied an old message into my trash, and then went to my iPhone Mail settings. I changed "Remove deleted messages" from "After a month" to "Never". (I had just moved it to "After a month" thanks to this thread; it had been "Never" until today.)

    Well, when opened up iPhone's Mail application, I found it completely purged my ENTIRE trash folder. Not just the test message that was more than a week old---EVERYTHING. Again, thank goodness for Time Machine.
    MBP 2.4GHz 4GB, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Complainer Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2008 12:46 PM (in response to claydough)
    I don't have time to read all the posts in this thread, but an iPhone with an Exchange connector set to "never" delete will delete EVERYTHING in the deleted items folder if that is set as the iPhone's trash recepticle when the iPhone's Exchange connector synchronizes for the first time after powering up the iPhone. The items are purged, not just from the iPhone, but from the user's mailbox on the server.

    As far as I know, anyone can reproduce the problem by . . .

    1. Set iPhone Exchange connector to "never" delete with the "deleted items" folder as the place for deleted items.

    2. Put some items in your deleted items folder. It doesn't matter whether you use the iPhone, MS Outlook or any other Exchange client.

    3. Power-cycle the iPhone. At this point the items are still in the Deleted Items folder.

    4. From the iPhone, open the mail function and let the Exchange mailbox synchronize.

    5. Now the deleted items folder is empty. It doesn't matter if you check it fromi the iPhone or from MS Outlook or any other Exchange client. The items are gone, kaput, disappeared, destroyed, zapped. Everything in the deleted items folder.
    Generic, Windows XP Pro
  • Nathan C Level 5 Level 5 (6,260 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2008 12:50 PM (in response to Complainer)
    Complainer,

    I have my iPhone set up with an IMAP account, and never delete. I have messages going back to November 5, 2007. The IMAP account is not an Exchange server, could it be something to do with how Exchange has implemented IMAP?

    Hope this helps,

    Nathan C.
    iMac G5 17" (work), Mac OS X (10.5.2), iMac 20" Aluminum and Home built Win XP machine
  • MacPaint Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 20, 2008 12:54 PM (in response to Nathan C)
    This is not an Exchange-specific problem. Others have the same problem and don't use Exchange - myself included.
  • Complainer Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 1, 2008 4:29 PM (in response to claydough)
    Does anyone know if iPhone update 1.1.4 corrects this problem?

    <Edited by Moderator>
    Generic, Windows XP Pro
  • Simon Pick Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 2, 2008 12:42 AM (in response to Complainer)
    Sadly not.

    I have this same problem on a Kerio mail server, it behaves the same annoying way both in Exchange and in IMAP configurations.
    iMac 2.1 2GB 250GB, Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • Nathan C Level 5 Level 5 (6,260 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 5, 2008 9:54 AM (in response to MacPaint)
    MacPaint,

    Is it all messages that are being removed, or just some messages older than a certain date?

    Thank you,

    Nathan C.
    iMac G5 17" (work), Mac OS X (10.5.2), iMac 20" Aluminum and Home built Win XP machine
  • Complainer Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 5, 2008 11:44 AM (in response to Nathan C)
    It's all messages.

    Context: This thread applies to the Deleted Items folder when the iPhone Exchange connector is set to never delete. When the iPhone synchronizes with the Exchange server over the Internet for the first time after a power-on cold start, it will delete everything in the deleted items folder both in the iPhone and on the server.
    Generic, Windows XP Pro

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