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My school is forcing me into IMAP - can I use it without any sync?

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  • Last reply by Stans

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My school IT dept. has just disabled POP for all users, in their Outlook based system. I've only ever used POP, and I've organized all my mail locally in TB for decades, across dozens of email addresses. I avoid IMAP because I don't want my folder structure replicated in the cloud, and I don't want any of my data left on the server for more than 90 days. I also always use "place replies in the folder of the message being replied to", so I don't want anything messing with my Sent folder, or any other default folders. And I don't want any server side app with the ability to delete mail or make any changes to my local system. I hate webmail, and avoid using it completely, except for emergencies, so that's not a good option for me.

Now I have to set up IMAP for my school email, if I want to keep using TB for it, which I do. The existing account has been in TB on POP for 8 months already, and I don't want to split up my current activity from my history. I've never even set up IMAP before. How can I get IMAP set up to get as close as possible to the POP experience I prefer, in all the ways listed above? Has anyone come up with any clever strategies or workarounds? Are there any current features of IMAP that can minimize the impacts of all the downsides that made me decide to never adopt it from the beginning?

Thanks for any help with this.

My school IT dept. has just disabled POP for all users, in their Outlook based system. I've only ever used POP, and I've organized all my mail locally in TB for decades, across dozens of email addresses. I avoid IMAP because I don't want my folder structure replicated in the cloud, and I don't want any of my data left on the server for more than 90 days. I also always use "place replies in the folder of the message being replied to", so I don't want anything messing with my Sent folder, or any other default folders. And I don't want any server side app with the ability to delete mail or make any changes to my local system. I hate webmail, and avoid using it completely, except for emergencies, so that's not a good option for me. Now I have to set up IMAP for my school email, if I want to keep using TB for it, which I do. The existing account has been in TB on POP for 8 months already, and I don't want to split up my current activity from my history. I've never even set up IMAP before. How can I get IMAP set up to get as close as possible to the POP experience I prefer, in all the ways listed above? Has anyone come up with any clever strategies or workarounds? Are there any current features of IMAP that can minimize the impacts of all the downsides that made me decide to never adopt it from the beginning? Thanks for any help with this.

Chosen solution

David4321 said

My proposed solution is to set up a parallel account (a second TB account instance with same address) using IMAP. Then filer all incoming mail from that IMAP inbox to my existing POP inbox, and sort or reply from there as normal. This seems possible, because sending via POP does not appear to be compromised, just receiving. Do you see any problems with that config?

No problems at all.

Presenting problem: I cannot set this email up using IMAP in TB. Server rejects this address and password combination, the same combo that does work for logging into Outlook based webmail. Does Microsoft now have some kind of a verification process, or a separate app password for clients, like some other services now do? What else could be the problem?

Your school may have enabled 2-step verification and made it mandatory for all accounts. You would need an app password for use with Thunderbird. All changes to your school email's system should have been communicated so that you know what is needed. If that's not the case, you will have to contact the relevant personnel for further help/clarification.

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You can't make IMAP operate like POP. It's designed for two-way sync with a mail server and is exactly what makes it different from POP. You can continue to use your local folder structure by moving messages from their original IMAP folder (e.g Inbox) to a local folder of your choice. You can use a filter to do it automatically or move them manually. Local folders are not synced with the server, it's only IMAP folders that get synced.

In Account Settings > Synchronisation & Storage, you can select the option to delete messages more than 90 days old. This will delete both locally cached copied and server (original) copies, but will not touch any of your locally filed messages.

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Thanks, sigh.

I'm having trouble setting this email up using IMAP.

My proposed solution is to set up a parallel account (a second TB account instance with same address) using IMAP. Then filer all incoming mail from that IMAP inbox to my existing POP inbox, and sort or reply from there as normal. This seems possible, because sending via POP does not appear to be compromised, just receiving. Do you see any problems with that config?

Presenting problem: I cannot set this email up using IMAP in TB. Server rejects this address and password combination, the same combo that does work for logging into Outlook based webmail. Does Microsoft now have some kind of a verification process, or a separate app password for clients, like some other services now do? What else could be the problem?

Thanks

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Chosen Solution

David4321 said

My proposed solution is to set up a parallel account (a second TB account instance with same address) using IMAP. Then filer all incoming mail from that IMAP inbox to my existing POP inbox, and sort or reply from there as normal. This seems possible, because sending via POP does not appear to be compromised, just receiving. Do you see any problems with that config?

No problems at all.

Presenting problem: I cannot set this email up using IMAP in TB. Server rejects this address and password combination, the same combo that does work for logging into Outlook based webmail. Does Microsoft now have some kind of a verification process, or a separate app password for clients, like some other services now do? What else could be the problem?

Your school may have enabled 2-step verification and made it mandatory for all accounts. You would need an app password for use with Thunderbird. All changes to your school email's system should have been communicated so that you know what is needed. If that's not the case, you will have to contact the relevant personnel for further help/clarification.