Local Folders etc explanations wanted

I suppose these questions have been asked many times before but I have been unable to locate answers so I apologise for my ignorance.

I have recently downloaded and commenced using eM Client. My email provider is GMX and to the best of my knowledge is set up to use IMAP.

I have a set of folders under my email address which are in use. I also have an inbox, sent box, etc under ‘Local Folders’. It seems these local folders will contain only those emails which I choose to transfer from my email address folders. Is this correct? If so, what purpose do local folders serve if they only contain what I hold in folders under my email address.

I would be grateful for confirmation that all new emails automatically go onto my hard disc so that I can access them when off line. I have also downloaded some old emails received prior to downloading eM Client and would be grateful for confirmation that these will also be available when working off line.

One more question. Could it be confirmed that all my emails, both sent and received, are held on my email providers server and therefore need not be backed up onto another personal device as they will always be available for downloading onto another computer if my laptop breaks down.

Regards to all.

When you use IMAP protocol for an e-mail account, that means your e-mail program is ‘synchronising’ with your mail provider. Mails are kept in your mail server, unless you perform an action of deletion. Local folder means the mails are being stored locally on your PC, using POP3 protocol, mails are ‘downloaded’ from the server and does not keep any copies on the server. Whether to use IMAP or POP3 is a personal preference. You can read more about both on wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet… / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_Off…

As explained above. If you only have IMAP account setup, by default, no e-mail will go to the local folder. Unless you setup a mail rule to do so. As for what purpose does a local folder serve, again it self explanatory, it to store the mail completely locally, does not require sync. As there’re much more POP3 only mail server, local folder are mandatory, it also may serve as back-up for IMAP.

You can configure an IMAP mail account to be downloaded and stored in eM, instead of syncing every time. Option can be found in: Tools -> Account -> ‘Your IMAP account’ -> IMAP -> Offline. Alternatively, you can right click on any of your IMAP folder -> Properties -> Offline, and choose only selected folder to download the e-mail. When you click on a mail, if it does not show a rotational circle (busy syncing), that means that specific mail has being downloaded.

I think I am beginning to see some daylight. My IMAP mail is downloaded and stored in eM. It looks to me therefore that makeing backups of IMAP mail is probably unnecessary unless one needs to take out insurance against ones free email provider going bust like banks.

I wish the terms such as ‘synchronising’ or ‘syncing’ were not used. I am not sure of their meaning in the context of emails.One can synchronise two alternating current generators but how does an email program synchronise with a mail provider?.

Many thanks for your very helpful reply.

IMAP is usually used, for example, access your e-mail in different location and/or device. Technically POP3 can also achieve this, but all mail from POP3 will display as new mail, and items such as sent or draft will not reflect on another location. This is the biggest advantage of IMAP. Let say you access your e-mail 3 ways: At work, on your phone and over the web-interface (when other two method is not available). All 3 ways would synchronise each other, mails that has been read/unread, mails has being deleted, send or draft would also be accessible in either 3 way of access you mail.

Backing up of e-mail is always recommend, IMAP are not excluded, even if you download them. Picture this scenario. You are at work, mail program is constant open (because you are at work). Your wife gave you a call, she’s stuck can’t pick up the kid for some reason, you’ll have to do it. So you take some time off work to pick up the kid. You threw you brief case at the back seat along with your phone inside. You picked up your kid, the kid sit at the back, somehow he got your phone. And with it easy touch smartphone these days, you kid accidenetly opened your mail program and deleted all your e-mail (oh, the horror). You think, that okay, mail has being downloaded on the office PC. Bang, wrong. IMAP sync’s everything, every action. Including deletion. As even if your mail program is not running, as soon as you open the e-mail client, it would start to sync with the sever. The only hope for this scenario is, the PC does not have access to internet, so e-mail won’t be synchronised.

There, that should break the daylight of synchronise to you, and good example why local folder is different from IMAP and do still need back-up.

This is true about IMAP, but does fully explain the POP3 scenario. In POP3 settings, you have the option to leave email on the target server, have them removed immediately or removed from the server after “x” days.

Yes that is true, for you it does not work?


I have just changed to eM from Outlook Express, as OE finishes on the demise of XP.

I have imported some large “local folders” from OE, and now find that they are all being duplicated on the gmail server. Presumably this is because eM uses IMAP instead of POP.

I would prefer to keep my local folders “local”. Is there any way of stopping them being uploaded?

Many thanks.