eM Client needs better archiving support

eMClient is a great app overall, but it has one glaring shortcoming: support for archiving is very bad. 

First, archiving doesn’t work at all on Outlook.com addresses. This is a needless omission since on every other email app I’ve tried on my computer and phone, emails to an outlook.com address can be archived as simply as for gmail. Those apps that don’t support archiving out of the box provide a way to map the proper archive folder. EM Client has a way to map other folders, including Junk mail, but not Archive. Why? Many people use manual archiving as a way to keep their inbox clear and ensure that all mail has been dealt with. Please add support for archiving outlook.com email.

Secondly, Archive is bafflingly absent from the unified “smart folders” list. I simply cannot understand why this is the case because, again, archiving is used very often by people to manage their email. Even Junk Mail is given the unified smart folder treatment, but not Archive. This doesn’t make sense to me, but it seems like a very simple change that could be made.

— Please add support for archiving Outlook.com mail
— Please add Archive to the unified smart folder section.


From the eM Client Help File (F1) archiving is defined as moving messages older than selected threshold to an archive folder stored locally. This reduces amount of storage required on the server and at the same time helps you to keep your folders clean.

I tested this with Outlook.com, setup as both IMAP and Exchange, and it works as it should.

Might it be that eM Client’s idea of archiving and yours is slightly different?

I believe you are referring to Automatic Archiving.

I am talking about manually archiving a message after it has been read in order to clear up space in my inbox and assist with triaging email. EMClient does support this for Gmail, but NOT for Outlook/Hotmail addresses.

Other email clients I’ve used include Thunderbird, Mailbird, Postbox, and the web clients for both Outlook.com and Gmail. Each and every one of these supports one-click Archiving and in many cases the ability to remap the Archive folder if the default one isn’t preferred.

EmClient fails on all accounts here, providing no one-click manual archive option for Outlook/Hotmail addresses (though again, it does for Gmail) and no ability to map the Archive folder. But you CAN re-map the Drafts, Sent, and Junk and Trash folders. Why on earth omit Archive from this list?!

And the poor support for Archiving goes beyond the lack of folder mapping for Outlook/Hotmail. Thankfully there is a nice unified folder view. It includes Inbox, Sent, Drafts, etc. But no Archive!! There is even an option to view a unified folder for all my Trash and Spam email, but not Archive?! It makes no sense. Again the other email clients mentioned above support this out of the box, suggesting that there is no technical impediment here, just a bizarre and persistent oversight.


Yes, it seems eM Client’s concept of archiving (can be done manually as well) is a little different to what you are used to. The main difference being that eM Client moves the messages off the server, whereas other client’s move them to separate folders on the server.

The GMail implementation in eM Client is a little different, but standard eM Client archiving also works with that provider.

“Different than what I’m used to” really means different than pretty much every other email client out there!

Archiving is literally just moving to a different folder (or removing the Inbox label in the case of Gmail). Currently I have to manually drag my Outlook messages to my Archive folder. It works, but it’s slow and inconvenient. Mapping the Archive folder would eliminate the mess and allow one-click archiving for my Outlook as well as Gmail accounts.

As mentioned, Mailbird, Postbox and Thunderbird all support this — I can select messages from multiple accounts, hit “Archive” and they all go the appropriate Archive folder. They all have their other disadvantages though. Mailbird gives little to no control over search, Postbox doesn’t have a built in calendar, and Thunderbird has a couple issues. So I’m still with emCLient for now…

Other email clients that you may not have used also have different ways of archiving. or don’t do it at all. Outlook’s concept is very similar to eM Client. KMail’s function creates a compressed file of the current folder. Claws and Mutt did not offer archiving last I checked. Not sure about The Bat!, but I seem to remember that it wasn’t available or still being considered as an option.

Of course some users just need to do things a certain way either out of habit, or necessity. Fortunately there are other options including Mailbird, Postbox and Thunderbird. Thunderbird probably comes closest to including features from all other email clients, but it is just plain ugly.

As far as a desktop client goes when accessing Gmail or Outlook email, there is only one way of archiving, and that’s the way that follows the webmail protocol. For Outlook, that involves nothing more than moving a message from Inbox to Archive folder. Anything other than that might be called “archiving” on the email client, but if it’s not compatible with the web than it’s of little interest to those who use Gmail or Outlook.com regardless of if and how it saves storage space on the local computer or what name it uses to refer to what it’s doing.

We agree about one thing though: Thunderbird is ugly!

Most every email client has it’s own way of implementing what is collectively know as archiving.

This depends on the protocol that the client is using to connect to the server, and the type of client used. If you are using POP3, which can only be used on a desktop client, there is no way to archive to a subfolder on the server. And there are many GMail POP3 users. In a webmail interface, there are no local folders, so archiving has to be done to a subfolder of the server. These are two ways of accessing the same email account, but there is no way to implement archiving the same in both. It is unreasonable to say that there is only one way of archiving.

What I mean is that if you are using Gmail our Outlook.com as your primary email, what is most important is that the desktop email client “archives” in a way that is consistent with the webmail so that mail syncs properly across devices. I’ll take your word that people are still using Gmail with POP3, though I would assume they are a very distinct minority, certainly outside of the corporate world (which I am). Most people want their desktop client and webmail to remain in sync. For Outlook.com email addresses, if a desktop email client does not “archive” by moving the message into the Archive folder, then it will not be properly “archived” in the web interface and won’t sync properly on my smartphone (for the record, all the apps I’ve tried on my phone archive Outlook.com email with one click “out of the box”). So if you access your email via web browser, via smartphone, and via desktop, there really is only one way do do it. EmClient could do this with once click as nearly every other app does and how it manages Gmail archiving, but doesn’t yet do so. Since it’s a simple thing to do, I’m hopeful that they implement support for this in the not-too-distant future. (And, referring back to my original comment, adding a unified Archive in the Unified Folder section alongside unified Trash and Junk folders!).