Do categories sync between multiple computers?

Do category labels sync between computers? I currently use Thunderbird on multiple PCs and would like to access the same IMAP email account on all of them. My workflow requires me to label emails with one of various categories so that I can track progress and purpose. Thunderbird syncs categories (tags) easily and automatically. I installed Em Client on two computers to test the features, and the categories don’t seem to sync. I did the “copy categories.dat” trick I saw in an old forum post, but it only copied the list of available categories and did not apply the category labels onto emails in my inbox that I labeled on the other computer. I saw some 4-6 year old posts on this but nothing recent. Am I doing something incorrectly, or is this just not a feature of Em Client? If not, I do not think I can use it… I do not want to have to backup and restore my inbox between computers all the time to maintain category labels on synced email.

No, you are not doing anything wrong, the facility is just not there. The IceWarp version has some option to sync settings, but I don’t know if that includes categories.

Gah… its a shockingly ridiculous decision on their part and goes against the entire point of IMAP, especially considering there are open source clients that do it seamlessly. Its like the client does absolutely everything except the one thing I need it to do the most. Its a shame. I’m not going to pay fifty bucks for a client to run on multiple computers when it clearly was built with no intention to do so.

Would it break the system if I put the entire database directory into Dropbox? I wouldn’t be able to download entire messages anymore, but would there be any other problems?

You cannot store the database in cloud storage. When the database is in use, a single file is essentially open that contains all the data and so that will not sync with DropBox. Depending on the size, it could also cause other issues. At home on my rural connection, I probably would not be able to sync my database with the cloud if it ran all night. ;-(

You could save a backup to the cloud though.

I have a kinda large inbox (11,000 messages, around 8 gigs in the database directory when I set it to download messages). I am currently trying the backup option and it is taking forever. Is the backup faster when I remove the full message download option? Or does it re-download all content from the IMAP server each time it does a backup?

Also, how is the backup restore handled? Basically, I would need to make a backup each time I close Em Client on one computer and then restore the backup each time I open it on a different computer. How would it handle email I received in the interim? Would it delete my local database, load the backup, and then add the new email? I want to make sure nothing is deleted from the IMAP server when I do this.

I appreciate your time and help, by the way… just wanted to know exactly what I am facing before dropping the cash on a 5 PC license. If you have any kind of inside line to the developers I hope you can slip this one in there, because I am guessing that a big portion of their users have multiple computers and would like to be able to use a major feature of the program. Thunderbird has had this capability for many years.

The backup is fast but useless if you disable the offline option. So many are using the default setting not to download for offline use, and regularly doing useless backups.

When it is disabled, all that exists in eM Client is the message header, and that is what is backed up. Then if the original message is removed from the server (say your phone deletes a whole folder) and you restore the backup, all you have is the header, and the content is lost forever.  

If you had enabled offline use before you did the backup, and then you want to restore, you need to first disconnect from the Internet, then do the restore. Before reconnecting to the Internet again you need to move the IMAP folder content to Local Folders, because as soon as the client connects with the server, whatever is in eM Client will be replaced by what is on the server. Only once the account has synced with the server, can you move the messages from Local Folders back to the IMAP folders. That is the only way it will upload them again to the server.

The backup is a snapshot of the database, saved in a zip file. The restore completely replaces the existing database with whatever is in that backup file. If the email account is setup as IMAP, the restore essentially has no effect on IMAP folders because as soon as the client connects to the server, whatever is locally on the computer is replaced by what is on the server.

This feature for syncing categories is requested elsewhere on this forum, so let’s see what the developers come up with. :wink:

Hi Gary,
Actually, the backup and restore method seems to work alright. I have disabled the offline message option, so all it backs up is the headers and it goes fairly fast. I set the backup directory as a cloudshared directory in Onedrive on all my computers. Basically every time I close eM Client I click the backup command, and when I start it up on the other computer I hit the restore command. When I restore it immediately closes eM client and reopens it… it captures the category labels from the cloud-shared restore and then downloads new messages from the server. I was actually surprised it works as cleanly as it does, though it is still disappointing that I have to do the backup and restore steps every time I use the program. With the offline messages disabled it only takes a few seconds though and I will just get in the habit until they get it properly incorporated as a feature.

My only concern is whether licenses are maintained for when I get the paid version. Can I backup from one computer and restore to a different one with a different license with no problem?

Excellent news that you have an interim working solution. :wink:

The license data is not included in the backup, so it will not be affected.