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Hypothetical IMAP Question

Problem Solver

Hypothetical IMAP Question

I"ve been using Outlook 2010 on my computer, accessing my Comcast email on a POP3 account.  I had set up Outlook to delete my emails off the Comcast server after retrieval.    

 

The computer crashed but fortunately I had saved the outlook.pst file so it was easy to restore Outlook and my mail on my new computer.  After restoring everything I was surprised to see all my old email was ALSO back on the Comcast server.  After researching I discovered that when I configured my new Outlook software, Comcast automatically configured it using the IMAP protocol.

 

My question is since IMAP stores all my email now on the Comcast server and not my computer anymore, If something happened to the Comcast server, wouldn't my emails be lost since IMAP syncs the emails from all my devices.   Wouldn't that delete my emails from Outlook also.  Would my local outlook.pst file still have my emails, or would IMAP delete my mail from that file also??

 

Just wondering.  Thanks for any information!

 

 

Email Expert

Re: Hypothetical IMAP Question

This is a question I have had for some time.  The problem is that there is no easy way to test for it.  IMAP syncs things you do yourself like deleting, marking something as read or unread, moving emails to another folder and so on.  I tried to research this a while back because a poster came into the forum who was getting ready to  cease service with Comcast, and wanted to know if the emails in their desktop client would vanish when the account was closed.  Although it's a moot issue now (Comcast now lets former customers keep their email account), I never came to a firm conclusion on the issue.  So I am going to escalate this to see if we can get a solid answer to your question.  Hopefully a Comcast employee will chime in here.

 

 




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Problem Solver

Re: Hypothetical IMAP Question

Thanks for your reply, Latoque!

 

So I've been thinking, if I save a copy of my outlook.pst on a seperate thumb drive, theoretically I should be OK if something happens with the Comcast server.  Anyway, if you DO get an answer from a Comcast employee, it would be great if you posted it here.

 

 

Problem Solver

Re: Hypothetical IMAP Question

Today I received a phone call from an informed and friendly Comcast representative who said that  "Yes, if:

 

1) Using IMAP, and

2) If the Comcast email server crashed

 

it could easily wipe out all emails on a user's Microsoft Outlook email client.   He said the way to positively prevent that is to reconfigure Outlook back to POP.   He gave me a link which explains how to do that:

 

https://customer.xfinity.com/help-and-support/internet/email-client-programs-with-xfinity-email/

 

I think I'll risk it and stay with IMAP.  I don't have any life or death emails saved, and the convenience of seeing all my email on different platforms, computers, phones, etc.is certainly an advantage.  I just wanted forum members here to realize that if you use an email app such as Outlook, losing emails saved on your computer using IMAP is a possibility

 

 

 

Email Expert

Re: Hypothetical IMAP Question

I'm still not convinced that this is the case.  But one thing you could do is make sure your Outlook is being backed up to an external hard drive.  Then in the event of a catstrophe you could restore to the latest backup------yes?  I'm not that familiar with Outlook.  I use Mac Mail on my iMac, and I back up to an external drive using a utility in OS X made for doing backups.

 

I started an experiment once but messed it up before I got my answer----------I wanted to know if my emails would vanish from Mail if I deleted the account from the server deliberately.  This is not the same as having a server hiccup.  So I created a secondary account in Comcast with IMAP, used it for a few days, moved some junk emails into a folder I created, and then deleted the account from Comcast.  I had it enabled in Mail too.  Now when you delete a user ID like that in Comcast, it is suspended for 90 days, and then is put back into the pool of available IDs for any customer who claims it.  But during that 3 month period, the account is still running in the background------Mail kept it signed in and I was able to use it normally that way.  I just couldn't access it or see it any more through the webmail UI.  But I did something to mess it up and never got to the end of the 90 days.  I have done internet searches on the question but have so far come up empty.

 

I'll have to try the experiment again sometime.




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