Goodbye K-9 Mail

I loved K-9 Mail for years. I tried, but I can’t take the complete change like this. It’s not the K-9 Mail I knew in so many ways. It’s Open Mail for me. Sorry.


OpenMail is just a fork of a very old version of K-9 (see this post and following comments)

I noticed that too.
Still, besides a downgrade to 5.6 what other choice do we have? (this solution too will become outdated)…

I will try FairEmail at some point.

Downgrade to 5.6 probably better as version of 5.6 was September 2018.

Try V5.801 or maybe 5.802 - Getting better with the option to auto-expand a nominated folder. Getting back to the behavior of 5.6. The account overview seems to be about to make a return soon too.

Note rhat Fair Email is not completely free. If you will colors to distinguish the different accounts, you have to pay.

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@jef There is no problem for me to pay for software I really like, but it should be one time payment. With android normally it is like that.

There is also on F-droid an app called “Simple Email”. It is a fork of Fair Email, completely free, with colours for the accounts, but with less options. One problem for me : mails are necessarily grouped in conversations.

@Tom_Aldridge @andrixnet @spicy

You can always try FairEmail if K9 no longer suits you. That is till under active development.

Main features

  • Fully featured
  • 100 % open source
  • Privacy oriented
  • Unlimited accounts
  • Unlimited email addresses
  • Unified inbox (optionally accounts or folders)
  • Conversation threading
  • Two way synchronization
  • Offline storage and operations
  • Battery friendly
  • Low data usage
  • Small (~20 MB)
  • Material design (including dark/black theme)
  • Maintained and supported

This app is deliberately minimalistic by design, so you can concentrate on reading and writing messages.

This app starts a foreground service with a low priority status bar notification to make sure you’ll never miss new emails.

Privacy features

  • Encryption/decryption supported (OpenPGP and S/MIME)
  • Reformat messages to prevent phishing
  • Confirm showing images to prevent tracking
  • Confirm opening links to prevent tracking and phishing
  • Attempt to recognize and disable tracking images
  • Warning if messages could not be authenticated


  • Quick setup
  • Easy navigation
  • No bells and whistles
  • No distracting “eye candy”


  • No data storage on third party servers
  • Using open standards (IMAP, SMTP, OpenPGP, S/MIME, etc)
  • Safe message view (styling, scripting and unsafe HTML removed)
  • Confirm opening links, images and attachments
  • No special permissions required
  • No advertisements
  • No analytics and no tracking (error reporting is opt-in)
  • No Google backup
  • FairEmail is an original work, not a fork or a clone

I cannot get the program to work efficiently. To take a photo and email it takes about an hour. I have been a computer professional for 30 years. I use *nix, Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, or anything else! K-9 Mail is unquestionably in the bottom 10 of apps I have used.
I value the idea of an open app that stresses privacy. I don’t value radical, unnecessary changes without sound purpose; change for the sake of itself.
When program controls become cryptic, such as gestures, which could be absolutely anything, and there is no manual included in the app, it sucks!
When ‘I’ write an application, the end user is at the base of the GUI design.
Don’t get me wrong. K-9 is a great program. But the GUI development is nonsensical! To send an email, I have to send it, then go to the outbox folder (from which send does not send), transfer the message to the drafts folder, and then send it again. Gmail is so much easier!
Before the recent changes, even though K-9 is less than intuitive, I could get done what I needed. I just don’t know if I can take any more of this.
It makes no sense to implement changes without documenting them! I wouldn’t bother typing this out on my tablet if I thought there was no hope. I appreciate the amount of effort that goes into K-9. But the conspicuous absence of a ‘user feedback’ forum tends to indicate the developers aren’t concerned.

Same here. Hate new version. Cannot find things. cannot use it easily. Minor updates throw away my preferences. And eventually Google will kill this dog anyway. Goodbye from a pissed-off dog lover.


And the new developer doesn’t listen to the users. The only thing he knows is adding a flashy useless slidebar…
The app that used very efficient is now a heap of junk.

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Just came by to mention that I’ve installed Fair Mail. It was initially a bit scary but once you get set up and running it gave me exactly what I needed.

I have been subconsciously avoiding checking emails the past few weeks because of the frustration of having to deal with K9’s update. If I’m going to be frustrated then I might as well do it learning to use a different app that offers what I’m expecting, not what it expects of me.

Most recently the app was updated, but the update lost a significant amount of functionality that was in the previous version. The previous version allowed me to see all emails at a glance, and only open the emails that had new messages In contrast, the latest update did away with that screen, and only offers one of the two options:

  1. Unifed view which puts messages from all emails into big pile, or
  2. Can only look at one email at a time without the ability to set the default viewing email.

What this means is that I have to check each and every single email individually to see if new messages have arrived, and it takes a lot more of my time. In summary, K-9 is no longer worth using, and has lost most of its charm, and functionality. I will begin looking for a different app to hold me over.

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Do you mean setting the default account to be displayed? You can do that in the account settings.

You mean accounts again, right? On the account overview screen in the side bar, you can refresh all accounts at once and see the number of unread emails per account.


The new interface is really unusual, intuitive when you have a lot of accounts. I like the old version of K9 for his interface where you had an overview of all the accounts in one page and the facility to open only new message or all messages of an account.
I’ll go to look if an other mail reader exists with this functionality.

I gave the developers about 2 months to respond to all of the requests to return the list of accounts as the homepage and to move the delete button to the bottom for one handed operation. Sadly all requests have been ignored so it’s time to say goodbye to K-9 after many years of use.

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