So much potential, so much disappointment, what am I missing?

Good morning,

Coming back to Windows after years on the Mac, Outlook is not cutting it. I need a unified Inbox across multiple mailboxes.

eMClient sure seems right up the alley with what I’m looking for. It checks off so many checkboxes of what I need and am looking for, and I was about to plunk down the lifetime upgrade + 2 device fee but then it seems its true colors began to be revealed.

eMClient feels unfinished. Things that should be simple and included in a modern-day email client are either not there or incomplete. Surely I am missing something. Here are my problems:

  1. Problem: Rules to move messages from Inbox to another folder on gmail do not remove the Inbox label, effectively leaving them in the inbox too.
  • Impact: The inbox on my mobile device is filled with messages that should be stored in other folders, NOT the inbox.
  • Cause: As far as I can tell, the rules add the label for the new folder (an annoyance of how gmail does “folders”) but never removes Inbox. This effectively makes the “move” rule a “copy” rule.
  • Workaround: Manually select every message that comes in that has both Inbox and the desired folder labels, right click on the Inbox label, and select remove tag.
  • Comments: This is unworkable. I receive numerous automated messages from various tools and monitoring devices for my work and if they are not filtered to their desired folders, real messages can get lost in the noise. Are there other options to do this? Yes, but I shouldn’t have to. Email filtering, automated rules, etc. works fine. Yes, I have these client side and not on gmail for a reason, though if I stick with eMClient it is clear I won’t be able to keep these client side. :frowning:
  1. Problem: Rule editor will not let you copy an existing rule to build a new rule from it.
  • Impact: If you need to create multiple rules that have similar elements, you are not able to create the first rule and then duplicate it, making it much easier/faster to create multiple similar rules.
  • Cause: This is how the rule editor is designed. Or the rule editor is not finished/incomplete. I do not know which.
  • Workaround: Thanks to someone here suggesting exporting the rules to XML, I was able to export my rules to XML and then edit the XML to create all the extra rules I needed and then import the XML back into eMClient and it worked. Mostly. It did not retain the order of the rules per the XML. Also, tip - importing the rules is additive, not a replacement, so before importing the rules back make sure to remove rules that already exist from the XML.
  • Comments: At least the work around worked. It did what I needed and I got part of the way there. Problem is, see problem #1. Rules don’t actually work for gmail. This includes rules edited by the editor and rules imported.
  1. Problem: Rule editor does not permit selecting multiple rules to do things.
  • Impact: If you need to apply multiple rules manually, you have to do this one at a time. You are not able to select multiple rules and apply (or delete) them. Need to apply 30+ rules? Click each rule, one at a time, click Apply, select Inbox, then click Run, and wait. This leads to the next issue, see problem #4.
  • Cause: Same as problem #2 - the rules functionality feels incomplete.
  • Workaround: None, apply rules one at a time, feeling your frustration growing each time…
  • Comments: None needed. This is just brain-dead not being able to manually select and apply several rules at once.
  1. Problem: Applying rules manually can take a LONG time for each rule with gmail.
  • Impact: I applied one rule manually, I have 30ish more to do after this. I started the first rule several minutes ago, approximately 10-15 minutes ago, it is now up to 3,220 out of 6,495. Not quite to the halfway point. I’m watching the Operations window and I can see it updating All Mail and syncing All Mail periodically. Needless to say I won’t be applying the other rules manually and I am very unhappy about this one. And this leads to problem #5 too.
  • Cause: Not sure, it seems to be the way in which eMClient implements interacting with gmail and always syncing the All Mail folder. If you have thousands of messages it gets bogged down badly. Even after letting it sync and download all the messages for offline use to speed things up. Yes, and attachments too.
  • Workaround: Suffer. I am on a fairly fast connection, 600 down, 20 up, and on an internal network faster than my internet connection. It shouldn’t take this long. Especially, as i mentioned earlier, all the messages are downloaded, including attachments, for offline use and searching. I also waited until the main sync finished and all messages should be downloaded before trying to manually apply the rule. In short, no workaround seems possible. You just suffer.
  • Comments: Unacceptable. See problem #5 too.
  1. Problem: The rules window is MODAL! Seriously?!??
  • Impact: Applying a rule that takes 20+ minutes to run (and counting btw), you get a progress bar over the rules window. Because rules is modal you can not switch back to eMClient to continue reading mail while the rule is applying. The mail app only lets you do one thing at a time - you can either use the mail client or edit/manually apply rules, but not both. Further, when editing rules, you are not able to change to different messages or views in order to better see the criteria you need to enter into the rule. Say you want to confirm some string, you have to close the rule editor, open the message, then open the rule editor again. Moving to another message? Close the rule editor, open the next message, then open the rule editor again.
  • Cause: It had to be designed this way. This was not accidental or unintentional.
  • Workaround: No mail for you! at least not while you are editing rules or applying rules manually.
  • Comments: Do I really need to say anything?

For context, the machine I’m on is a Dell XPS 17, 6 core i7 processor, 64 gig ram, and SSD drives. The internet connection is 600 down and 20 up (not as fast as I’d like, or as fast as fiber, but it gets the job done). The local network is either gig eth wired or 5 gig wireless with 800 - 1200 typical performance, both faster than the internet connection. Also, the messages have all been downloaded. I also waited until I confirmed the sync operation had finished downloading everything before manually applying rules. The slowness is not the machine, the drives, the internet connection, or having to apply rules to remote messages because they weren’t downloaded – all things I’ve seen blamed for other people reporting slow rule application performance.

It has now been about 18 minutes since I wrote the part about rule speed. The progress bar has moved to 3,440. It’s advanced from 3,220, or 220 units, assuming messages, in almost 20 minutes. That speed, 18 minutes for 220 messages, averages out to 12.2 messages per minute. At this rate, this one rule will take another 4 hours and 10 minutes (roughly) to finish. I won’t be able to let it finish because I actually need to use the mail client, and in order to do that I have to cancel the rule in order to close the modal rule window and be able to use the mail client again.

If anyone knows what is going on here, and can offer suggestions on how to correct these issues, or even workarounds that would take the pain away, I’d love to hear it. Sadly, I fear my weekend will be partially spent trying to get another email client set up and all the mail downloaded into it, as I have to have email working smoothly for work. Please prove me wrong. There are other things about eMClient that I really like, and I’d rather not keep trying other programs if these pain points can be managed.

I also haven’t started trying to use the calendar yet. Not sure what I’ll find there, given what I’ve found here…


1 Like

My personal opinion as also an unfortunately ex mac user, you won’t get no even near the quality of software that Mac OS X has, believe me, I also try to find alternatives as simple and effective as iMovie, Mail, or Keynote for example, but on Windows what you have does not even touch it. On Windows you won’t have universal drag and drop, universal dictionary and spell checker, you won’t have a nice preview of search like Mac OS X Spotlight, search won’t even be as fast, you definitely won’t have a quality backup like Time Machine, and lot of this problem is because Windows as an Operating System won’t allow that flexibility, and as such Windows OS software in general have really low standards. If you can’t go back to Mac, the only other advice I can give you is to find the top alternatives software, you can check web site for that. Good luck

Thanks. Appreciate the suggestions. I’m well aware of the most of what you mentioned, and actually agree with several things you mentioned.

The part of this transition that caught me by surprise were the changes to Outlook. I used Outlook on Mac on one machine, and I use Outlook on Android, so I was not prepared for what I found with Outlook on Windows, thus the hunt for a better Windows client.

You’re right, Apple’s mail app on Mac is definitely top shelf in many regards. It has a few issues from time to time.

In my case I am deliberately leaving the Mac because I’m not happy with where Apple has taken it over the last few years. Primarily stability related. macOS frequently needs to be rebooted (at least once a week) or crashes (at least twice a month). It’s become extremely bloated (the kernel grows to over 4 gb of ram on a 16 gb box, often triggering swapping). I could go on.

I began evaluating Windows 10 stability over a year ago. It, combined with the WSL, is proving more stable than what I’ve seen with macOS and I still have the ease of dropping into a unix shell for my day to day needs.

Pretty apps, dragon drops, etc. are secondary for my needs. As for Time Machine - keep critical files on a ZFS file share or Dropbox, and there are other backup options just not as tightly integrated as time machine. Also, there are tools to give better search options than the default on Windows. The rest aren’t really that important. At least once I get email figured out. :smiley:

Appreciate your taking the time to reply.

I “left” Mac OS X as personal daily use on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, because of my Macbook being 32 bits only, and that was the last 32 bits OS Apple supported, until today never found really good Windows alternatives for lot of software, I still have that Macbook working as server hub for Samba Shares and Apache Web Server with VirtualBox with Wordpress on it, Snow Leopard was a great OS, fast, lightweight and very stable, my contact with Apple Mac OS X following systems I also got the impression of it getting bloated and too much closed ecosystem, not like Snow Leopard used to be, but never in my mind realized Apple was getting as bloated as you mentioned. I am also using WSL for SQL databases, Linux lately have evolve really nice Gnome 40 is quite nice, but as a Desktop ecosystem it needs to mature at least for my needs, but I don’t foresee Operating Systems as traditional Desktops for much longer with exception for the ones that need them to do very technical work, programming, databases, etc. Also thanks for your reply, you mentioned ZFS, that something I wish Windows would support deeply integrated, the idea of data checksum and atomic snapshots are amazing!



Exactly. Snow Leopard was probably one of their best.

ZFS has been pretty impressive. Back in 2008 or 2009 I built an OpenSolaris ZFS file server for the office network where I worked. It replaced Windows Server file servers. It was great. Thanks to the built in CIFS server tied to ZFS, automatic periodic snapshots, and some other tweaks I made, everyone’s files were snapshot every 5 to 15 minutes. If they deleted a file, or made changes they didn’t mean to, they could right click on the file from their Windows desktop, go to Previous Versions, and every snapshot was listed and they could recover their own files. Cut down help desk calls for lost files or backup recovery requests dramatically.

Wonder if that would still work… I haven’t tried it in ages. It’s not native Windows support for ZFS but it sure could be useful to have.

I’ve been using ZFS since it rolled out in June of 2006 I think it was, in Solaris 10. Pity Oracle bought Sun and basically scuttled everything Sun was doing at the time. If they had not, you might see a lot more OpenSolaris based systems.

Ah well. I’m still hoping there’s work arounds for these issues with eMClient. Other than these pain points, so far the client seems pretty good.

Best to you.

Well, I’ve started downloading other mail clients to try them out.

I’m not uninstalling eMClient, yet. Going to see how these other two turn out first.

I can say eMClient was having problems because of how it always syncs gmail’s All Mail folder. At least for me. I have tens of thousands of messages and over 10 gb of email archives. I disabled All Mail from imap in gmail settings, but then eMClient said it couldn’t work without All Mail being there.

We’ll see how it goes.

I personally have used eM Client on Mac and Windows and both work great for me and prefer eM Client than Mac Mail or Outlook anyday.

Yes initially it can take time to sync All Mail with (any Gmail client) especially with large mailboxes as i had aprox 12GB of mail to sync years ago. But it didn’t bother me synching while using the program.

I personally like to have Gmail All Mail folder showing all the time as if i eg: forget which folder / label I dragged an email to, i can always go to All Mail in eM Client, and click on the email which then shows the folder / label where the email was filed (at the top right). Very handy.

If you don’t want to see All Mail then you can just “Hide” by right clicking on All Mail and click “Hide”.

If you need more specialized rules than the rules built-into eM Client (which i personally think work fine for me anyway), suggest to see what your ISP Mailbox filters / rules are available. Some ISP’s offer alot more specialized filters / rules filtering options.


Thanks for the reply, but I suspect you didn’t read my full experience.

The issue with All Mail is that it keeps resyncing and downloading, which takes a LONG time. For comparison, other clients I used were able to sync and download all messages and all message folders within 12 to 18 hours (it finished over night, so I don’t know exactly how long). eMClient took over 24 hours to evidently not finish the same task given it’s constant hours resyncing the same folder over and over again.

I used eMClient for 3 or 4 days before posting this list above. I tried to use it longer but the gmail folder problem was too severe.

The issue with Rules are three-fold - (1) a MODAL WINDOW! Good grief. That’s not the worst, the worst is that (2) rules that are clearly set to MOVE a message to another folder is effectively COPYing it instead. At least for gmail. I can see where the message is put to the desired target folder, but the Inbox label is still associated with the message. This means the messages are never removed from the Inbox for my phone. I get numerous notification emails that I filter and store in dedicated folders for use when the need arise. Sometimes hundreds of these messages. So when they do not get moved out of the Inbox it makes spotting regular emails almost impossible if away from the computer.

It’s not that the rules don’t do what I want. The rules are rather rigid, and other clients definitely have more rich rules engine with more flexibility, but the rule options are sufficient for my needs IF they actually worked on gmail.

The final issue is (3) rules performance is slow. I won’t repeat what I already said about it. I’m guessing it’s slow because it’s resyncing the All Mail. When I’ve been able to run a rule manually while it was nto syncing, the rules seemed to run reasonably quick across the 6500 messages it was scanning. But if the resync on All Mail is running, forget it. And since it keeps resyncing All Mail over and over, well - you get the picture.

Like I said originally. eMCLient 8.2 looks great, but when using it, it feels unfinished. And the gmail issues are definitely a show stoppers for me. Sadly my work uses gmail so I have no choice there. My emails are not on gmail, use regular imap, and as far as I can tell eMClient worked just fine with those.

Thanks again for the reply. Appreciate it. I keep hoping someone will provide the AHA item need to fix gmail and then I can really use it. So far, all other things considered, it was pretty good. All the clients I’ve used have issues…

Well - I just am wrapping up using Postbox. Postbox was able to filter the messages properly, when it worked, but my message counts, folder counts, or mailbox sizes were too much for it to handle and it keeps crashing and/or is unable to read/handle its own data/index files. So no joy there.

eMClient so far has been the best option, if it would just move gmail messages properly.

For those that purhcased the eMClient license, do they provide support and actually help fix things? Or do they send you to these forums for paid licenses as well? VIP Support/SLA is mentioned for company. I’m just wondering if they are actually useful or if it ends being like a lot of support - if you aren’t in their script, you’re on your own anyway.

I’m contemplating buying the license and seeing if they can fix the issues I was having… (other than the modal nature of the rules editor, that’s a design issue).

eM Client provides a year of VIP Support with your Pro License, during which time all your tickets will be addressed. :slight_smile:

For problem #3, you can apply multiple rules at once (all or specified).
My problem is that the selection is not rememberd and I need to re-select multiple rules each time.

For other problems, I fully agree. Especially gmail no-tag problem.

@gsy Thanks for the comprehensive posts. I like EMC quite a bit, but then again, my needs are much more modest than yours. I used Outlook for a long time, then went to Thunderbird for a while. I bought EMC mainly because of its ability to find old messages; TB was extremely clunky in that regard.

I haven’t tried out the support channel yet. Hopefully, you’ll have a good experience. I’ve always considered tech support a last resort, mainly due to - as you mentioned - the scripted nature of responses. There are some exceptions though and maybe EMC is one of them.

I had forgot to come update here. Thanks for replying.

In the end I purchased the license for eMClient and am using it every day. Does it still miss rules and not do everything quite right? Yes it does. But it gets more right than it does not, and it does more right for my use case than Outlook and the others that I tried.

After about a week of syncing, yes a WEEK, things seemed to stabilize. During that week it would sync all mail, then it would say it was done. The a day later it would do it again for hours. I just let it go to see what it would do. I never quit the app, so it was resyncing on app start up.

Now it still occasionally goes into a long running sync operation, but it doesn’t seem to impact usability like it did at first. So I can ignore it for the most part.

The rules being modal is still very annoying, and some of the things around the rules, but they do mostly work. When they don’t all I have to do is right click on the gmail Inbox and apply rules again manually (all rules for simplicity sake) and it does it then. The second, manual run, typically cleans up the gmail folder tags if the first does not. I probably only have to do this a time or two a week.

Thanks @Victor.David. eMC is overall a very good mail client. It has some rough edges to smooth off, but overall it seems to be doing quite well.

I also ended up buying the license, mainly so I could have access to support. It gets enough right that it seems to be the better Windows option for my needs. See my previous post a couple of seconds ago for more details on how things have progressed.

I am also a long time Outlook user (when on Windows). I got spoiled by what has been a very good mail client on Mac for the last 10 years, only using Outlook occasionally (even on Mac) during that time. I did not realize how dependent I had become on consolidated inbox, smart folders, and other features in the Mac mail app until I went to Windows full time again.

I’ve only had a couple of minor issues with eMC since then. Overall it’s been working well, rough edges and all. :slight_smile:

The Rules dialog you open from the menu is simply frustrating.