Gmail, Duplicate Messages, All Mail and deletion problem

Geoffrey Ferrari at
Mon May 13 15:54:15 BST 2013

Dear Rainer,

Many thanks for your message.

I can confirm that *normally* all it takes to delete an email from Gmail's All Mail folder via offlineimap is either to delete it (in which case Gmail will delete it) or move it to the Bin/Trash folder (in which case Gmail will also move it to the Bin/Trash).

For some reason, this method didn't work for me with duplicate messages (messages with the same Message-ID header), so I ended up deleting those messages manually. For all normal messages, however, the above method works just fine.

I did discover that there is an important setting Gmail's preferences. In the settings for Forwarding and POP/IMAP there are two sections regarding deletion behaviour: "When I mark a message in IMAP as deleted (Auto-Expunge)" and "When a message is marked as deleted and expunged from the last visible IMAP folder". I have left those settings at their default values with Auto-Expunge on, but if others are having difficulty with deletion they might want to try other settings.



"Rainer M. Krug" <Rainer at> writes:

> Geoffrey Ferrari < at> writes:
>> Dear Tomasz,
>> Many thanks for the quick reply - it raises an important question for me
>> though.
>> At the moment, the only mailboxes I keep locally are All Mail and Bin
>> (Trash). Your answer seems to suggest that there is no way to delete emails
>> with this setup. Is that right? If so, that's really annoying and I'll have
> No - why don't you *copy* the messages in the bin folder? GMAIL will
> take care of the actual deletion then at the next sync. If I remember
> correctly, that's what I did.
>> to rethink my whole approach to using offlineimap with Gmail. (I realise
>> it's probably Gmail's fault though.)
>> Thanks again,
>> Geoff
>> On 7 May 2013 15:25, Tomasz ┼╗ok <tomasz.zok at> wrote:
>>> Dear Geoff,
>>> On 05/07/13 at 03:12pm, Geoffrey Ferrari wrote:
>>> > 1) What is the correct way to delete messages from the All Mail folder?
>>> > Should I just delete the local file in the All Mail folder? Move the
>>> local
>>> > file to the Bin folder? Leave the original local file in All but copy it
>>> to
>>> > the Bin folder? Something else?
>>> Quote from
>>>     Do not save deleted messages to your [Gmail]/All Mail folder as some
>>>     clients will try to empty this folder and ultimately fail.
>>> IIRC, When you use OfflineIMAP and delete from local folder synced to
>>> [Gmail]/All Mail, this is the equivalent of the situation described by
>>> -> it does not work due to how Gmail treats All Mail.
>>> You should delete the message in [Gmail]/INBOX, then after synchronization
>>> it
>>> will be propagated and the message will disappear in [Gmail]/All Mail as
>>> well.
>>> Regards,
>>> Tomasz
> <#secure method=pgpmime mode=sign>
> -- 
> Rainer M. Krug, PhD (Conservation Ecology, SUN), MSc (Conservation Biology, UCT), Dipl. Phys. (Germany)
> Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology
> Stellenbosch University
> South Africa
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