I have an IMAP email account active on both my home and work computers (both Macs). The problem I am having is that when the emails are downloaded onto both computers from the server, if I delete an email or move it to a folder, on one Mac, it then disappears completely from the Inbox on the other one! The two computers are not linked in any way, and the email account is set up exactly the same on both computers using the same username and password. I can’t see any setting that gives an indication that it will delete an email if it is moved from the Inbox of another computer. Also, other colleagues who have the same email account set up on their computers, don’t lose any emails from their Inboxes when I move them from mine. They, however, are using Windows PCs not Macs. Any thoughts or help would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  • This is confusing sometimes you say moved othertimes deleted. Would you please edit this to be consistent - then we might be able to answer - if you mean deleted then the first answer is correct – mmmmmm Sep 12 '17 at 14:45
  • Hi Mark. Whatever I do on one computer, whether it's to move an email to another folder OR delete it from the Inbox, that email is then deleted completely from my other computer. Hope this clarifies! – Brookesy Sep 13 '17 at 13:56
  • You're a little shady on the details here. If you delete the email on one Mac, of course that email comes out of the inbox of the second Mac, but does it go into that Mac's trash? And if you move an email into a folder on one Mac, does it go into that folder on the other Mac? Which wouldn't happen if the folder is local but would if it's on the server. If that's how it behaves, it's exactly how it's supposed to behave. If not, something strange is going on. – l008com Mar 22 '18 at 9:31

I'm sorry but you're getting it wrong. This is the expected behavior of IMAP. IMAP is to keep all devices synced with the server. That means, if you delete an email on one computer, it eventually disappears from all the others. If you mark something as read on one computer, it eventually gets marked as read on all of the others. I hope this clears things up.

  • Hi Elliott. If that is the expected behaviour of IMAP then how do you explain that the emails ONLY disappear from Apple Mail on my Macs when I move them and not from the email systems of my two other colleagues who have the same email account set up on their Windows PCs, using the same login details?! If this was the expected behaviour of an IMAP account then surely when any one of us moves or deletes any email to that account it would affect that email on one of the other computers - but it doesn't? – Brookesy Sep 13 '17 at 13:58
  • I woulkd question how the PCs are set up the Macs seem to be correct – mmmmmm Sep 14 '17 at 10:36

I would suggest that your colleagues are likely setup to use POP3, and not IMAP. POP3 does not synchronize, IMAP does.

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