Challenges with gmail - any insights?


TLDR - 2nd attempt setting up eMC to work with gmail, some things working now, 3 major problems: Slow sync/message downloads, moving messages with rules not updating gmail, marking messages as read not updating gmail. eMC implementation of working with gmail seems broken. No way to force eMC to treat gmail as regular imap, as regular imap implementation worked great in previous test. Any one else see this? Any suggestions/work arounds?

Details -

This is my second attempt at getting eMC to be my mail client. The first one did not go well but I could see the potential so after some other comments contradicting my experience I decided to try again. This time I am setting up one account at a time, starting with gmail, and I set it up from scratch instead of importing settings from Outlook. I figured I’d give eMC the best opportunity to do things right without importing perhaps some details that did not work.

By doing so I now have Rules working properly. Sometimes a little slow, especially for rules that need to inspect the message body, but at least they make steady progress and complete. On the first attempt these exact same rules (I had the rules in XML so I could import them back in from the previous test) would just hang and not complete. Also it does seem to be more responsive and several of my previous issues are working better.

Here’s what is going on.

Google gmail (business) mailbox with about 15 gb of message, not sure the total # of messages but north of 150,000 I’m sure. Fresh install of eMC, single account set up (gmail), using the Gmail options and configured to download everything including attachments.

The dedupe feature is particularly nice, though it did take two attempts. The first one threw an error, but the second time found the same number of duplicates (4400+ thanks to another mail client I was testing that did an archive pass by copying old messages instead of moving them; yay) and moved them to the folder I had selected. I was pleased by that.

Now to my problematic experiences still going on…

Problem 1: Slow download
eMC syncs All Mail and not the individual folders. Google doesn’t do folders like normal imap anyway, using labels for everything and then exposing those as “folders” via imap. Syncing All Mail is a way for eMC to get all the folder information but not have to navigate it like an imap server. BTW, eMC worked great on my similarly sized (larger actually) real imap account, so this is specific to eMC’s gmail implementation.

It took about 36-40 hours to “sync” All Mail, however it did not download all the messages. It has since started downloading messages and has been doing that about 24 hours now and appears to be half way through.

Very slow. This is not hardware, lack of memory, or bandwidth issue, it is eMC specific.

At this point I believe we’re at 72 hours and counting from the approximate time I finished the initial set up of this account and started the first sync.

  1. Rules moving messages to folders not reflected on the server

I receive numerous status messages from various processes. I have created rules to manage these and put them in the appropriate folder. Messages that are archived and don’t need to be looked at right away are marked as read when moved to the destination folder.

The rules appear to work most of the time, though sometimes the Inbox label is not removed. The message will show both Inbox and destination folder as label. When that happens I right click on Inbox and apply rules and then the messages are updated and no longer appear in the inbox. So far the newest incoming messages have been moving and I’ve had to do that twice and not a third time. Yet.

The problem is I also have a phone that monitors this account. The phone is seeing every messages as if it’s in the Inbox. When this exact same scneario was implemented on Mac with the Mac the messages were moved to the folder and did not appear on the phone, webmail, or other imap clients. With eMC only eMC is reflecting these changes, but it’s clearly not sending them back to the server despite messages in Operations window showing it is supposedly updating the server.

  1. Marking folders as read does nothing

I have several folders that have messages in them that are flagged as unread. This is from Outlook, and why I’m not just using Outlook on windows. Outlook would move the message to the folder, but even though it had the Mark as Read action enabled, it wouldn’t actually mark the message read. So in eMC I went to all of these folders and right clicked and then chose Mark All as Read.

None of the folders updated to reflect this change. As near as I can tell the change was not sent to the server either.

Syncing All Mail constantly on a large mailbox is very slow it seems. I’m sure this is why eMC is so slow to notify of message updates. I’ll wait until it finishes downloading all the messages to confirm if this is just while downloads are in progress or if it’s normally slow because of this.

These are major problems for a mail client. I wish there was a way to force eMC to treat gmail as another IMAP server because it’s IMAP integration seemed to work very well on my other accounts. When I attempted this manually it detected it was gmail and switched to gmail mode. I even tried hiding All Mail from IMAP so it wouldn’t try to use it, but it popped up the message that gmail requires access to All Mail despite (a) setting up the account as a generic imap, and (b) the FQDN for the mail server not being one of google’s domains. I suspect if I could force it to be IMAP and not GMAIL eMC would work much better for me.

Any one else see behaviors like these? Any solutions where I might have something set wrong? Or work arounds to make it not so painful to deal with?


Another thread answered part of this. Short version, google throttling is the reason for the slow download. Don’t know why it didn’t seem to affect Mac or Outlook, but that was a few months ago so who knows.

It’s likely also the reason for not syncing to google, as google blocks imap updates if you hit the limits.

Nothing new learned about why Mark All As Read did not work.