Author Topic: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?  (Read 1845 times)

Offline MRice

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POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« on: December 16, 2015, 10:54 am »
I use Apple's Mail client on my laptop and iPhone to read my Comcast email.
I am a packrat with my email, and I save messages from my laptop inbox to a bunch of subfolders.
But I don't need or want those messages on my iPhone.
I want to save only certain emails in my phone inbox, things like dinner reservation confirmations, recipes I'm going to make away from home, concert ticket notifications, etc.
What's the best way to do that?
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Offline cybrhippy

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2015, 11:15 am »
POP mail is basic email service and basically just allows you to download emails. IMAP is a more advanced mail protocol that adds a lot of the functionality that you want to use.

For me I have a bunch server side rules that filter my email to sub-folders so they don't show up on my phone unless I go look for them. Ideally the only emails that show up in my "Inbox" are emails from friends, reciepts and other important emails.

Since you are using OS X and iPhones, there are lots of options to attempt what you are doing either auto-magically or manually. The simplest way is to just keep your inbox manually cleared out and move messages to a local/archive/"On My Mac" folder(s) that you don't want on your phone.

Other things you might be able to do is to setup smart mailbox's to filter your emails but that will require you having the mail app up and running all the time for the rules to run. Not sure if comcast has any kind of support for setting up server side rules.

Offline ratpack

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2015, 11:22 am »
if you're pinging mail from more than one device, choose imap for both. if not, anything you pop down to your iPhone will delete from the server once it is delivered and will never show up when you check email from your laptop (or vice versa). plus with imap anything you move to a subfolder on your laptop will be removed from your inbox...and subsequently your phone inbox keeping that clear for important stuff you need on the go. as long as your keep your inbox clean with only what you want appearing on both devices, then you will be all set (or create a specific folder on the laptop which you also enable to view on the iPhone for stored messages). unless there is a setting to let you keep things on the server when popping, which i'm not aware exists, imap is your only option.
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Offline Nate (NFN)

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2015, 11:44 am »
Do not POP your email. I am always surprised people still allow POP.

Offline MRice

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2015, 12:14 pm »
Do not POP your email. I am always surprised people still allow POP.
Thanks, guys. Ratpack, you're right. It looks like maybe the best thing would be to have a folder on both laptop and phone for the messages I want to keep visible on my phone.
But in the meantime, I've been investigating and it seems my laptop mail is POP, which I think was the default for Comcast seven years ago when I set it up. Comcast recently sent an email saying IMAP was an option and my iPhone is IMAP. Because the two don't match, some messages have been disappearing from the phone.
So, will I lose messages and folders on my laptop if I switch the settings to IMAP? Will I have to delete the account and will that delete all my folders? I'll run backups before I try anything, but I'd rather not reconstruct my entire mailbox.
"Shrimp are too eager to leave the sandwich."

Offline Dave2PVD

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2015, 12:16 pm »
Still using pop for my 2 main accounts. Email server (GoDaddy) holds a copy for 2 weeks before deleting. Mail received on a mobile device is told to not delete its copy from the email server. Mail on the mobile device is capped at 100 messages/account.

The downside: if I send from a mobile device, the copy does not appear/get stored on my laptop.

Time to get off Outlook I guess.

Offline ratpack

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2015, 12:25 pm »
So, will I lose messages and folders on my laptop if I switch the settings to IMAP? Will I have to delete the account and will that delete all my folders? I'll run backups before I try anything, but I'd rather not reconstruct my entire mailbox.

switching how mail is pinged wouldn't delete anything on your laptop. those files are locally stored so the outlook directory of folders going to those on your hard drive shouldn't force a delete or break, especially if you can just edit the mail account in your settings instead of creating a new one. just a guess though (i only know enough to be dangerous). probably wouldn't hurt to do an archive of those folders just in case.
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Offline cybrhippy

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2015, 03:29 pm »
POP was created before folders where ever a thing so it doesn't understand that concept too well and it really is only designed for downloading emails. So if you send email, you are more than likely just talking to an SMTP service. That is why most email clients give you the option to auto-magically CC/BCC yourself so you save a copy in your inbox. This isn't an issue w/ Outlook since it can talk POP or IMAP.

You can create a new mailbox under the "On My Mac" section in Mail.app and move all the mail you want to keep there. This is basically just saving the mail to your local hard drive and it is no longer "attached" to the original email account. Once that is done you can delete/reconfigure the comcast account to IMAP. If you want, you can also move emails from your "On My Mac" mailbox back to the comcast inbox and it will upload the emails back up to their servers. Then your phone will download them back again.

Long as you are using iOS and OS X Mail.app, your shouldn't have any issues w/ folder mappings for things like "Sent", "Draft", "Trash", etc. If you use a non-Apple mail app you might need to make sure the folder mapping is the same.

Offline MRice

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Re: POP or IMAP for my Xfinity/Comcast email?
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2015, 03:56 pm »
I switched my laptop to IMAP today. I had to delete the account and then create one, but nothing exploded, including the special phone folder I added to keep things available when I travel. Thanks, everybody, for your help.
"Shrimp are too eager to leave the sandwich."