Pop3: Option to Leave Emails on Server

Use case: Desktop email client is the historical email repository, so desktop email client should be the only application that archives or deletes email on the server. Desktop should contain every email received. K-9mail is used when away from the desktop for new email while away from the desktop (not for having a complete set of email on the phone). The problem I’m encountering is email is accessed by k9mail, the message is gone from the server, and no longer available to the desktop client, and the desktop client no longer is a complete record of all emails.

I would like it if K9mail would pull from POP3 server but leave the mail on the server. Gmail configuration allows POP3 to have deletion, archival, etc “when messages are accessed”. I would like K9mail to access the messages, but not take any action on the server.

This had been working earlier, for many years. When I was away from home, I’d get new mail on my phone, and when I got back to the desktop machine and pulled email, all the email would go to the desktop client, and I had Gmail configured to trash when pulled by the desktop email client. Thus, no need for a lot of space provided by Google. But something happened and now the mail gets removed by the first email client to get to the email message. That’s ok if it’s the desktop. Not ok if it’s the K-9 client.

I looked at IMAP, but that seems to require that Google hold on to all of my email. I don’t want or need Google to hold on to all of my email. I want my local desktop machine to hold all my email.

If you look at this page [ Read Gmail messages on other email clients using POP - Gmail Help ] it instructs the user of various client programs how to configure the client to leave the emails on the server. I’m wondering how to do the equivalent in K-9 mail.

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I’m confused, tell us more. Of K9, you want POP3 but to leave mail on the server. But you don’t want IMAP, because it leaves mail on the server.

And you’ll later get your server held mail on your desktop?

if so, I’d think you could K9 via IMAP for your email, then using your desktop mail client, download it off and keep it local.

Perhaps if you are deleting mail on K9 via IMAP, I believe the default is to delete it on the server. Change that Deleting Email setting in the Fetching Mail options for that account if you want to leave it on the server for later handling on your desktop.

Thanks for the approach to try. I think it worked.

I left my desktop email client as pop3, and configured google to delete when pulled.

Then, instead of the old way (K-9 also pop3, configured to “leave messages on server”), I tried the new way you suggested:

  • Delete the account on K-9
  • Re-add the account on K-9, but choose IMAP
  • Under “Fetching Mail”,
    • uncheck Sync server deletions
    • uncheck mark as read when deleted
    • when I delete a message: do not delete on server
    • erase deleted messages on server: manually