Suggestion for a FAQ

Nicolas Sebrecht nicolas.s-dev at
Thu Jan 23 19:04:35 GMT 2014

On Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 09:35:24AM -0500, Hrabe, Jan wrote:
> Hello,
> I have been using offlineimap to backup my wife's gmail account.
> After upgrading her MacBook Pro to Maverick recently, Apple's built-in
> mail client wiped out all her gmail messages, including the All Mail
> and Trash folders.  This is a known problem reported by some users but
> so far denied by Apple.
> The trouble was that even though offlineimap is often recommended as a
> mail backup solution, it turned out to be very difficult to find out
> how to use it to restore the mail in the simplest possible manner.  In
> the end, I removed the content of its metadata directory and added
> readonly=True to the local repository stanza in the config file.  This
> worked and the Gmail account mail is now restored.
> My suggestion to the developers is to make this easier for the users:
> either include an option specifically for restoration, or include the
> procedure in the FAQ.  The functionality clearly exists already.

Thank you for the feedback. I don't know how hard it is for people to
figure out how to restore emails but patches are always welcome. ,-)

Here is how I suggest to do restoration of mails:

#1. Copy the correct local maildir to maildir.old (or get ot from
    backup archives).

#2. Remove cache files.

#3. Start a first sync by running OfflineIMAP (more or less empty
    depending on the IMAP server state).

#4. Copy all mails to restore to the freshly local maildir created by
    OfflineIMAP at previous step.

#5. Run OfflineIMAP again.

This way, it is possible to maximize download over upload in some cases.

Nicolas Sebrecht

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