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puzzlefixer

Duplicate emails

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The email client on my laptop is Windows Live 2012. My ISP is Comcast. Quite often, emails download from the Comcast server TWICE. I.e., I get a long litany of duplicate emails.

Why?

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Not only does Comcast offer IMAP, they encourage you to use it vs. POP. They even give you step-by-step instructions for setting up an IMAP account for Windows Live Mail 2011 (I have WLM 2012, but assume there's little difference between 2011 and 2012). What they DON'T say is what impact this will have on the emails already downloaded or those on their server. I note that the incoming and outgoing ports are different than for POP, so will CHANGING AN EXISTING ACCOUNT FROM POP TO IMAP WIPE OUT EVERYTHING, or will it have no affect on emails/access to emails already received?

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As I mentioned in my previous post, IMAP is the preferred protocol. I've used it for years and I prefer it too.

With POP, you download emails with a new/unread header, which can lead to duplicates.

With IMAP, it synchronizes with the server. Say Gmail for example. If I delete an email in Outlook, it will also delete it from the Gmail server.

This is me being overly cautious with data: While I have never used Comcast's email services extensively as I prefer Gmail, I would recommend that you back up all of your emails that you downloaded via POP. The reason for this is that in case Comcast only kept emails on their servers for a limited time in the past, you wouldn't want to lose those emails.

However, if that is not a concern, then I would delete all the emails in the client for a clean slate, followed by letting them all redownload via IMAP. This will help to get rid of duplicates and any other potential issues.

Additionally, I'd recommend using Thunderbird as Windows Live Mail is very dated. There is a Mail program built into Windows 10 that you can use, or use Thunderbird there too.

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Although I wasn't sure what would happen to my emails if I went to IMAP, I set up an IMAP account anyhow. It immediately downloaded all the emails on the Comcast server. . . which was NOT nice! A major reason I don't use Comcast's web mail (i.e., doing email directly from their server) is that they provide no way to delete large blocks of emails. You have to check the checkbox on each email you want to delete (or check the "check-all" checkbox and UNdelete all the ones you want to keep). With an email client, you can mark a block of emails the same way you mark blocks of text in Windows: Shift/click, then hit the Delete key. Anyway, to my horror, the IMAP account downloaded ALL the emails in my account on Comcast's server. . . which went back to 2014! I tried to delete all but the last 3 months (which has been my habit for the last 25 years), and to my shagrin, the IMAP account DOWNLOADED THEM AGAIN. A search of Comcast's instructions on IMAP account clearly says that EMAILS DELETED FROM YOUR EMAIL CLIENT WILL NOT BE DELETED FROM THE SERVER and there is no setting to counter this property. This is TOTALLY different than POP3 which provides a setting that deletes emails on the server whenI deleted in the client. So. . . I removed the IMAP account, reinstalled my old POP3 account, and deleted all but the last 3 months of emails.

As for T-Bird. I tried that off and on for a year. Never liked it, so finally uninstalled it about 5 months ago. Except for the occasional double email downloads, I'm really very happy with WLM.

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That's very odd that they have IMAP work in such a way. Sorry you had those issues.

Perhaps it's time for a Gmail account?

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It's not "they" who have IMAP working that way. . . it's the way IMAP works by default. Here's a copy of how IMAP works from a website I found:

The main advantage of IMAP over POP3 is the ability to keep the original e-mail stored on the mail server and the ability to access the same account from multiple locations. Unlike POP3 where e-mail is downloaded to the computer or device checking for mail and completely removed from the mail server, IMAP simply downloads a copy of the e-mail.

This statement hides one aspect if IMAP and is COMPLETELY wrong about POP3. The fact that IMAP accounts allow access to ALL the emails on the server becomes a problem if your ISP does not provide a convenient way to quickly select and delete blocks of emails. Comcast's webmail is one that provides no way to do that, and also provides no option to delete emails older than X days. If you don't make any deletions there, you CANNOT delete them from your email client. If you do and are using an IMAP account, they will simply re-download.  

Contrary to what this article says, emails downloaded to my email client are not. . .NOT. . . removed from the mail server. The only way they get removed from the server is if I delete them from Windows Live Mail AND utilized the option in WLM  to delete emails on the server when deleted from the WLM. If you don't use that option, ALL THE EMAILS DOWNLOADED TO THE EMAIL CLIENT REMAIN ON THE SERVER.

I often see jokes on TV re "I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true." This is a perfect example of why what you read in the web ain't necessarily so. 

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5 hours ago, puzzlefixer said:

A search of Comcast's instructions on IMAP account clearly says that EMAILS DELETED FROM YOUR EMAIL CLIENT WILL NOT BE DELETED FROM THE SERVER and there is no setting to counter this property.

This point of reference, which means that this is not normal IMAP behaviour. Those emails should be deleted/moved to trash and auto deleted within a set period of time.

It is correct that with IMAP emails you receive are also stored on the email server. When you delete an email it gets deleted from both the client and server (moved to Trash and deleted within x days).

Even per the Wikipedia article about IMAP

Quote

E-mail clients using IMAP generally leave messages on the server until the user explicitly deletes them.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Message_Access_Protocol

If I do a test email via Outlook 2016, then delete it in Outlook, the message is moved to the Trash bin in Outlook and on the server, which later is automatically deleted.

I've not had any IMAP issues with Outlook 2016 or Thunderbird. This includes IMAP for Lunarsoft, Gmail, and Hotmail accounts.

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It sounds like it does. Not really a surprise when it comes to Comcast.

Have you considered a Gmail account? Even if it's to test and see if it works in a similar nature with your email client?

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I've not considered a Gmail account recently, although I actually have a Gmail address. Didn't particularly like it several years ago. May have changed since then, so might look into it later. But frankly everything I've tried over the last 5 years pales when compared to the flexibility and control one gets with Windows Live Mail. 

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If you wish to keep using Windows Live Mail, here's a guide.

Though I know it is dated (needs updates, patches, etc), I would recommend trying Thunderbird again or looking into another email client. If you're on Windows 10 there is the built in Mail client. Thunderbird will also auto configure settings for Gmail for you, along with other services.

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