For a long time I had Apple Mail connected to my gmail account without without the "All Mail" folder.

After adding a second account I noticed that mails sent to myself skip the inbox because I had an "All Mail" folder. So now the question rises:

Will I break something by disabling the "All Mail" IMAP folder (within Gmail settings)?

On my iOS devices I noticed that my mail had "Delete", but after an update it had "Archive", and after updating again "Delete". I though the pattern was that odd minor releases delete mail, and even minor releases archive mail... but now I am getting concerned and want to get my settings right.

Now more seriously. I thought that mail clients did not need to know how Gmail deletes mail since any IMAP delete request just deleted mail from one folder, but never from the server. So in theory, I expected to be OK without the "All Mail" folder.

  • I've the same question, however this is a GMail-thingy as I have this in Outlook 2010 on Windows.
    – Rob
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


In the GMAIL settings, it says show or not the All Mail folder in IMAP:

enter image description here

So, it is your choice to show the All Mail folder on your computer or not.

There is nothing to break by choosing which folders will show on your computer from mama google's web email.

The All Mail folder is a feature of the Gmail, not your email program. So if you do not want to see it locally then disable it. Also All mail is just a bucket where a duplicate from all other folders reside for easy search. It is not real folder, just a collection of emails from other folders.

  • I am not sure how that proves that preventing IMAP access to that folder will not break my IMAP client. I assume "hide" means it will not appear as a folder, and I am concerned about my IMAP client wanting to archive moving messages into a no longer existing/visible folder. Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 14:27
  • 1
    How do you BREAK the IMAP client?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 17:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .