redownloaded many gigs of mail

Nicolas Sebrecht nicolas.s-dev at
Tue May 15 12:48:20 BST 2018

On Tue, May 15, 2018 at 05:37:53AM +0200, Sandra Snan wrote:
> Nicolas Sebrecht <nicolas.s-dev at> writes:
> > Usually, local deletions are propagated on the remote server so if you
> > remove emails locally they are deleted on the server too.
> Can I just move them to another folder using mkdir and mv in my local
> shell?
> I guess I need to read up on how the local mail directories work.

Changes like removing emails in the local maildir are propagated back to
the server. Offlineimap is a 2 way sync tool.

If you want a cumulative backup you need to _copy_ the emails outside
the mailbox or set the remote section as read-only. However, read-only
would ignore other changes like changing the flags (e.g. the read
status).  There is the sync_deletes configuration option, too.

It's not easy to explain what you could do because it's not clear what
you intend. You might like to read the offlineimap.conf file in details:

Nicolas Sebrecht

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