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Author Topic: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders  (Read 773 times)

Weaver

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iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« on: July 09, 2020, 09:08:11 PM »

In my Mail (the Apple standard email app) on my iPad there are many unwanted folders in the folder tree named 2018 and 2020 and subfolders 01 02 03 ie 2020/01 2020/02 etc. I simply cannot delete them and they’re cluttering up my view of the folder tree.

I use Andrews and Arnold’s email which provides an IMAP4 service and also a webmail view of mail. I went into AA webmail and deleted all the unwanted IMAP folders and as far as the webmail view is concerned they are now gone; I went out of webmail and back in and there is no sign of them.

However going back to my ipad, the ratted folders are still there! I tried rebooting the ipad and that didn’t help. I have no idea what is going on. I can’t work out how to delete the folders on the ipad. Can anyone help?
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g3uiss

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2020, 09:52:21 PM »

Delete the account and add back again should sort it
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2020, 10:03:21 PM »

From a quick google, I suspect there might be a conflict in terminology.   What you (and I) would call a folder might be referred to as a ‘mailbox’.

From the mail App ‘front’ screen,
Tap ‘edit’, top right on the left pane, above all the mailboxes & folders.
Scroll down and tap the offending folder, it then invites me to ‘remove mailbox’. I’m guessing it might remove the folder.

Try it at your peril.  I have not tried it as I have nothing that’s not precious, with which to experiment. 
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Weaver

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2020, 10:27:33 PM »

I tried the ‘remove mailbox’ thing - did absolutely nothing. I end up with folders containing no emails.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2020, 10:44:27 PM »

Hmm, I just plucked up the courage to ‘sort of’ try it myself.

I first created a test folder, using ‘edit’ and ‘new mailbox’.  I then deleted it as suggested, and it vanished.

Might make a difference that my test folder was a virgin, had never had any content.  I’m reluctant to experiment further on an extremely precious email account. :'(

Delete the account and add back again should sort it

I agree, that should work.   Not an ideal a solution if it had to be done regularly, it really should be editable, or sync with what’s on the server. But as a one-off fix, it might rank highly as the path of least bother.
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Weaver

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2020, 11:36:11 PM »

I can certainly try killing the account and adding it back in. It isn’t the end if the world if I lose email in this particular case.

My wife now tells me that she has had the same problem too, but we dare not try anything risky experimenting with her email because hers is really precious.

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Westie

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2020, 10:09:08 AM »

I agree with g3uiss. Delete the account on the iPad, reboot it, then add the account back in. In my opinion, your emails should still be on the AA IMAP server, as they are not downloaded to the iPad, merely synced.

But I am stuck with iOS 10.3.3, so cannot guarantee that things are the same with a current OS.  :-\

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jelv

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2020, 11:19:44 AM »

Is there an option to unsubscribe from the folders - that's how I could do it in the Windows version of Thunderbird. That should make them disappear from the device, then delete the folders on the server using webmail.

At a guess I'd say the folders were created when you had archiving turned on.
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Weaver

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2020, 06:23:00 PM »

@jelv I have successfully deleted the unwanted folders in webmail. That didn’t sort out my view in the Mail app on the ipad though.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2020, 07:59:06 PM »

Feeling braver, I tried a more elaborate experiment.

On my iMac using the native Apple mail App, I created a new folder and copied a junk message to it.  On my iPad, I could see the new folder and message, as we'd expect.

Back to the iMac, I deleted the new folder.   On the iPad, the folder was still there momentarily but vanished as soon as I closed and reopened the mail App, forcing a refresh.  I'm guessing you already tried that, or other means of forcing a refresh?

I'm now harbouring a suspicion that it may be your mail host, A&A, that is keeping some reference to your zombie folders.  My own mail, that seems to work sensibly, is hosted by Google Apps or whatever it is called nowadays.  Basically identical to gmail.

I'd suggest maybe try deleting and recreating the account, as originally suggested by g3uiss.  If the new account recreates the zombie folders, seems to me that it would prove the A&A server has told the iPad they exist?
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Weaver

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folde
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2020, 12:44:59 AM »

The thing is, I can’t see any reference to the zombie folders in AA’s webmail.

I can take risks with my email, but I can’t take any kind of risk with my wife’s massive load of precious email.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2020, 01:02:16 AM »

I don’t think there is any risk involved in deleting an IMAP account on an individual device.   After all, some folks would sell on old iPhones and iPads after wiping, which amounts to the same thing.
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Weaver

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2020, 01:27:36 AM »

Agreed.

I’ve just had a thought. Janet has a new iPad Pro and her stuff was all migrated from her iPad 6 automatically and that includes her email. I wonder what happens about email on the old iPad. And now I come to think about it maybe she’s downloading everything from the imap server twice now, once on to each machine? I’m wondering if there may be a problem due to undetected mail folders lurking in the ipad 6 … errm., or something.
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d2d4j

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2020, 08:31:48 AM »

Hi

Any device setup using imap and connected to internet would sync to imap server (but usually only sync headers or upto a set size - so should not download attachments unless manually told to do so)

From descriptions posted, I am thinking your devices are told not to sync new folders created on device back to imap folder

Deleting and adding back would correct issue - but first check webmail as this is what will sync back

If your still unsure and need a backup first, you need to export your email to have a backup

However, if you check settings, account settings on device, what is your delete emails set too

Trash bin or archive

If archive, then the archive is on device not on imap server

All apple mobiles have an archive folder which you can see just below the above line for what happens to deleted email on the mobile

Many thanks

John
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jelv

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Re: iOS Mail app - unwanted folders
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 11:13:16 AM »

And now I come to think about it maybe she’s downloading everything from the imap server twice now, once on to each machine?

That is the point of IMAP! If the account still exists on both machines and they are subscribed to the folders they will be downloading at least the headers; bodies and attachments will depend on settings in the clients.

My wife's email is set up on four devices: her PC and Android phone, my PC and Android phone. It's on mine because she didn't have her PC on that often and she's only recently got the smartphone. Everything is fully synchronised across all four within seconds, new emails, sent emails, emails moved to folders and deletes.
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