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User Guide - IMAP

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Each eApps supplied virtual private server comes with the University of Washington IMAP/POP3 mail server. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is a method of accessing electronic messages kept on a remote mail server. The IMAP protocol differs from the traditional POP3 protocol by eliminating the need to download messages to your local computer. This is beneficial because you can have access to all of your messages regardless of what computer you're currently accessing the Internet from. IMAP also allows you to organize your messages on the server in a directory structure which is is available to you regardless of which computer you are accessing the Internet from.

Configuring your E-mail client

Most E-mail clients (Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc.) are easy to configure for IMAP. This section will focus on configuration through Mozilla Thunderbird as it is free and available on most modern computing platforms. Links on how to configure other E-mail clients can be found in the resources section. Launch Thunderbird. Under the Tools menu, click on account settings. Click the Add Account button. Select Email Account and hit next. Set the following options: Click next. Set the type of incoming server to IMAP and the name of the Incoming Server as Click next. Set the Incoming User Name to your full valid E-mail address ( Set your Account Name to your email address and click next. Click Finish to Continue. On the Server Settings item underneath the account name in the left menu, set the server name to On the Outgoing Server item at the bottom of the left menu, set the following:
  • Server Name: (where is your fully qualified domain name)
  • Port 25
  • Use name and password: No (not required because your mail server requires POP authentication before SMTP)
Click ok to go back to the main Thunderbird window. You should now be able to access your E-mail using the IMAP protocol.

Webmail Access

eApps supports IMAP webmail access usingĀ  Squirrelmail. You can install it from the Add Application area on the System tab of your Control Panel. Once it is installed, you can access webmail by pointing your browser to and entering the username (just the first part of the address, not the @your-domain part) and password for your mailbox.

  1. Use POP or IMAP, not both - The UW-IMAP/POP3 implementation is able to coexist only in a mutually exclusive manner. It is reccomended that you only use one protocol or the other on a per mailbox basis. For example, if wishes to use IMAP he should only use IMAP to access his E-mails, However if wishes to use POP3 that will work fine, so long as he has no intention of using IMAP as well. The reason for this is that in order to work together the two protcols need to share E-mail files, so if an E-mail client downloads a user's E-mail over pop3 and clears them from the server, those messages will no longer be accessable through IMAP.
  2. Directory Structure - IMAP has a very strict directory structure that resembles the file system on any coomputer. The directory typically contains folders, subfolders within those folders, and messages within those subfolders. Any given folder can only contain either files OR folders but not both, so keep this in mind when you are developing your IMAP directory structure.
  3. Creating Folders - To create a folder for the purpose of having subfolders, you must put a trailing slash (/) after the folder name. If you leave the slash off, you will not be able to create subfolders.
  4. Note for Apple Mail Users - Some customers have had problems with Apple's Mail in that it would show all folders (including hidden) in the home directory on the server. Go to Advanced preferences for the account and set the IMAP Path Prefix to "mail" (without quotes). This will also allow you to see same folder space between Apple's Mail and the webmail default setup.

Configuring Microsoft Outlook
Configuring Microsoft Outlook Express

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