As you seem to be aware, it's behaving exactly as designed.
Not much that can be done about it other than create local folders on your desktop machine (as in, not part of the IMAP store, which means you'll need to set that machine up to use IMAP as well) and move messages to there periodically to get them out of the IMAP store. So long as you back up your desktop machine on a regular basis, you'll have a fallback if you need them.
So.. now I'm stuck with tons of mail on my iPhone that would love to delete, but if I do, it will delete it on the server and therefore all other devices which is bad in my case.
"Delete" means "delete" with IMAP. That's the way it is designed. If you want to clear your InBox, create another mail folder on the server and move emails into it as you read them. Then your InBox will be clear but the messages will still available to other devices.
@wjosten: the problem is obvious. I'm new to IMAP and thus didn't know it remains in the Trash. I also couldn't know and don't, know what happens to mail that you move to a folder. Does that make the email local on just that device? I was under the impression that even in a folder the email is server centric so removing an email in a folder will remove it from server and all devices. Bad in my case.
I use my iPhone just as a window to my email but want the management, storage, filing to be done on my iMac at work.
What I was looking for was direction more than sarcasm, such as it may be that I simply have to rethink email from an IMAP perspective. People who use IMAP love it over POP which is not lost on me.
So maybe the best is to start using my devices more like full computers and have all my mail available whether in the inbox or a folder on all devices, especially since this doesn't take up drive space on my iPhone, as the mail resides on the server.
Yup. I'm starting to see the wisdom of IMAP over POP slowly.
Last question, I think, so if I move an email from my inbox to a folder, does that localize it? Or is the moved email still server based so if I later delete it, even from a folder, that email is gone, or at least moved to the Trash.
If I'm starting to "get it," is there a way to bring an email down to your computer or a device and live there independent of the server?
All mail actions with IMAP accounts occur on the server, so whatever action you take appears "in sync" across all devices/computers that access that account.
If you move an email from your InBox into another folder (mailbox), it will appear in that folder on all other devices. If you subsequently delete that email from that folder it will also be deleted on all other devices.
Basically, if you remember that you are interacting directly with the mail on the server, you'll be ok. Forget the local and server concept of POP3.
IMAP email clients will "cache" (create a temporary copy) of emails locally to speed up or allow offline access, but as soon as you have an internet connection again, it will "re-sync".
As far as IMAP is concerned there is one set of mail folders on the server. If you read a message it should be read everywhere. If you move a message to a new folder, all clients should find that message in the new folder. And you should only need to delete spam once.
What I'm not so clear about, never having had a chance to test it, is what happens if you try to download mail from the account via POP3 after it has been manipulated with IMAP. My guess is that you will get all messages (without the folder structure) but perhaps you only get the contents of the Inbox folder, or maybe it is down to the ISP's implementation.
It depends on what mail reader you are using on your iMac. With most IMAP clients you can create folders on the server or folders that are "local". If you move a message from the Inbox to a local folder it will be deleted from the server.
Also, on the iPhone only the Inbox is synced automatically with the server. So if you move messages to another Server folder on your iMac they will disappear from your Inbox on your phone, but will not appear in the folder the message was moved to unless you open that folder on the iPhone. Optionally, you can select folders that ARE synced automatically on the iPHone in the mail account settings.
I thought I was getting your point but then you lost me. First you say that
"With IMAP, you can create any folders you want on the server, move any mail you want to any of these folders, and the mail will be in sync on every device you use to access mail."
Then you say:
"The only folders that would not be in sync or be visible on all devices are folders created locally on your computer."
So.. are you meaning: that if I'm getting my mail via browser since we're linked in with Gmail, and if I create a folder that way, THEN I've created a server based folder and all mail put into that folder(s) will be available on all devices that access the IMAP account.
But.. using my email client, Apple Mail in my case, and create a folder and drag even my IMAP mail into that folder, that in this case, NOW I've created a local folder that can't be accessed by my other devices.
Am I getting warmer, or colder
In Mail, if you create a new mailbox(assuming your account is IMAP), you'll be presented with the option of creating this on the server(Gmail) or locally on your computer(on your Mac). If created on the server, this new mailbox(folder) will be visible on all devices accessing Gmail. If created on your Mac, it will only be visible on the Mac the mailbox(folder) was created on.
I think I'm getting it. To be clear let me say my wish for how I'd like things to work.
Ideally, I'd like my work computer to be the center for my IMAP mail and then use my iPad, iPhone and home computer as "windows" into these IMAP emails and if I delete any they will still be available on my work iMac.
The point being that I get A LOT of these IMAP work emails so my personal devices are getting really full with lots of email that I really don't want there, but I do want/need the ability to check my work email to see if there is anything I need to deal with or do and then have the ability to delete them from my devices and home computer.
It's sound like I need to set up folders so I can move these emails out of my inbox when on my devices or home computer instead of deleting them to keep my inbox clean. And then if I do it this way, my work emails will still be available to me on my work computer in the folder I have placed them. And then in this way use folders to find my emails and work on things from the folders instead of from the inbox.
Am I getting closer to a way to use IMAP versus POP?
I just created a folder under my email that shows in the left column of my Apple Mail client on my Mac Pro home computer and dragged a work email into it as a test to see if the folder and email in it now will show on my work computer when I go in to work tomorrow.
I guess I can also check my devices and see if the folder was created there too, or if the folder was just a local folder on my Mac Pro.
I just checked my iPhone and the folder is THERE! as is the email I dragged inside it. That is kind of cool. Now I'm trying to move a work email in my inbox while on my iPhone into this new folder. COOL it worked! I just checked in my Mail client on my Mac Pro and it's there.
So.. I see that I just need to work differently than I have all these years using POP. I can see a bit more now why people like IMAP so much. Do it once and it effects all other devices and computers. I used to do everything a number of times one for each device. I could get very used to this
Can you change a POP account to IMAP? Or do you have to delete the POP account and recreate it as a IMAP account? But doing this will I lose all my saved emails, or because they're in local folders on my Mac Pro, they'll still be there?