IMAP Blues

Posted by Dennis December 7th, 2011

If you’ve ever set up an email program you probably know about the types of email protocols.  The old-style one that most people have used is called POP3.  But there are some newer, more powerful ones called IMAP and MAPI.  Those of us who have small businesses (or support them) have always been jealous of big company EXCHANGE SERVERS.  These are very cool because they use the MAPI protocol, and do slick things like automatic sync with all devices, etc.  I had MAPI envy, so I wanted to try the alternative called IMAP.  Outlook can use it, and my mail server supports it, so why not?  LET ME TELL YOU WHY NOT!  Outlook does a TERRIBLE job with IMAP accounts.  Especially if you have a mixed bag.  There are a long list of issues, like not defaulting to IMAP sender, no rules applied to IMAP email, and on and on.  I DO NOT recommend using IMAP on Outlook.  Seems like Microsoft was trying to force the use of their (MAPI) protocol.  If you need the mail on multiple devices, try using POP3 and setting the mail to stay on the server for 1 day.  OR use web mail.  Or buy an Exchange service (Link2Exchange is a good example).

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