IMAP should open an IDLE connection to each folder

As I run my own mail server (SmarterMail v10), I can confirm that eM Client only activates/maintains IMAP IDLE on the “Inbox” folder only. This presents a problem to me, as I do my filtering/sorting on the server-side, so when a sync occurs in eM Client, the sub-folder that gets the new message (simple ‘mover’ rule that is server-side), no notifications arrive, the Unread smart folder does not show the new message, and the folder tree shows an ellipsis (…) instead of an Unread count (which is at least some kind of distinction).

I’m not sure if this is by design, as it doesn’t ‘break’ IMAP functionality, but certainly hinders it for those of us who set filters/rules that are server-side. I use AquaMail on my Android device, and it opens an IMAP IDLE connection for each folder (often creates a lot, since I have a lot of folders, but) it is very reliable, since it notifies me for new messages that have been moved to a subfolder by my server rules.

Just looking to discuss this, and see if it might be possible to implement. Again, I can confirm this because I can see current connections while on the server.

Thanks in advance!

I have discussed it with our developers and they told me that it is not possible due the connections limit.

Thanks for checking George, much appreciated. I understand that it’s not something you’d want to include by default, as GMail would most likely hit connection limits, confusing users. However, for those of us who administer our own mail servers, it would be a great option to have (tucked away in an ‘imap advanced’ area maybe?).

I understand it may not be a desired feature addition due to the issues that would arise with GMail / Hotmail / Yahoo / etc., but it would be great if you could keep this thread updated in case it is reconsidered.

Thanks again to you and the dev team for the great work and support!

Slight addition that I’ve thought of here - What might be better is the option to enable a new PUSH/IDLE connection for selected folders.

To clear up what I was saying before about AquaMail, it only establishes a connection to folders that I enable “IMAP PUSH” on, not _all_ folders as I was eluding to in the OP.

‘it is not possible due the connections limit’ - but Android mailer K-9 have this feature. You can choose any IMAP folder to receive messages instantly, just like Inbox.

When George says something isn’t possible, he sometimes actually means that it’s not possible without their developers changing eM Client. I think he means that they won’t consider implementing it.

This sounds reasonable - we will consider adding of the option but like I said before, in most of the cases it is not possible for all subfolders.

That would be great! At least for some folders, that user would be able to choose.

Yes, please! I also do a lot of filtering server-side in Gmail. Allowing me to choose which Gmail lables are “actively” synced would be great. Thanks!

Too bad eM client isn’t able to treat subfolders the same as Inbox (realtime updates).

You can set the individual folders to be checked in the properties. This has worked for me.

If this option is checked. All unread mail from this folder appears in the Unread smart folder on every synch. It’s a workaround, but it seems to work.

I am evaluating eM Client to see if it can meet my requirements, but the lack of real time sync & notifications for messages arriving to IMAP folders directly are a big let down.

Hi, can I ask you what exact feature you have on your mind?


  1. Being able to use IMAP IDLE on multiple folders (even if their number is limited to 5 or 10).
  2. Getting sound/popup notifications on new mail arriving to folders different than inbox (great if it was configurable to which ones).

Based on what I see eM Client does not support either.

Same here, I am running my own mail server and I am really missing this feature. I make extensive use of Sieve to sort mails into folders or even create new folders on the fly.
Making this a user-configurable setting would certainly improve my productivity.

Hi, eM Client monitors Inbox plus currently selected folder, IDLE IMAP folders is really not planned at this moment.


I’d like to see this as well. I use Gmail and filter messages server-side. It would be nice to get a notification on new mail not in the Inbox.

Hi, thank you for the suggestion however this feature is still not planned.
I hope this is not a big issue for you and you can manage to use the current settings.

Thank you,

Is there a possible compromise solution here? It looks like eM Client does sync all folder periodically, or at least check for updates (I get “…” next to folders with unread messages eventually). Could we have an option to send a new mail notification when new messages are found in a folder during sync?

Hi, unfortunately neither is possible at the moment, we’ll keep this suggestion on mind though and hopefully we could implement the feature to future releases.

I hope you understand, sorry if this is causing you any difficulties with using the application,