iPhone IMAP Tip

Hopefully this will help some future searchers. After the last iPhone update all the folders in my cPanel / Courier IMAP account started showing up in the Mail app, but I could not select them or move mail to them. I’d get an error like “mailbox does not exist” even though some part of the iPhone knew it did because it could see them. I Googled around and found that if you go to Settings > Mail > you@example.com > Advanced you could set an IMAP prefix to get everything working.

So I did, but nothing changed. However I deleted the account, reset it (hold down the top button), added the account back, set the prefix, reset again, and then all the folders started working. The advice I found worked, but there was some setting stuck somewhere that needed to be flushed out. Being able to file messages and read other folders from my iPhone is amazing. I was on the fence about the utility of the iPhone before, now I’m completely sold. It’s actually more fun than doing it in Thunderbird.

4 thoughts on “iPhone IMAP Tip

  1. I agree Matt, but I have been having a weird problem that I know a lot of people have with their gmail accounts especially. It says I have new messages, but they are actually ones loading that are past the (show 50, or whatever it is set to). Then it goes away when I check on it again. There are a couple of tiny bugs like this I see still with the mail app, but overall I tell people the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. Thanks again for the tip!

  2. That’s really interesting. It must depend on how your host has IMAP set up, because I didn’t have to do this trick (it picked up the prefix from my Mail.app settings).

    I totally agree though – filing email on the iphone is more fun than on my MacBook Pro.

  3. Wow, thanks for the tip. I love my iPhone. I love the e-mail support on it and of course nothing compares to it for Internet functionality from a phone. I haven’t even loaded a song to the iPod functions of it and I’ve had it for a month.

  4. A late addendum, for those of us finally switching to IMAP from POP3: The common prefix that is used is simply “INBOX”. Apple’s Knowledgebase article is HT1393.