Topic: email

Lion Mail Deletes IMAP Emails without Notice (Gmail Important Label)

Today I ran across this issue. You open Mail on your Mac running Lion with any IMAP email accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, Thirdparty server) and Mac Mail randomly deletes the email messages after it fetches new mail. You can verify this issue by shutting down your Mail app and viewing that messages in fact exist on the IMAP server. Then you open Mail and the emails are deleted as soon as the check activity is complete. There are no filters or rules running behind the scenes.

A ton of people on this thread on the Apple website are discussing and running into the same issue.

There are apparently 2 ways to fix this issue:

The first one is to simply disable “Use IDLE command if the server supports it” from the Advanced settings for your Account, as shown above.

The second fix is to wipe out all your emails and accounts and start all over. This method is pretty risky and I don’t think you should try it unless you really know what you’re doing. To do this, quit Mail, then using Terminal, move all the files in ~/Library/Mail/V2/ out into another location. Then Open Mail and recreate all your accounts.

Side note regarding Gmail and Priority Inbox
Personally I ran into this disappearing mail issue with Lion when I realized that Gmail was assigning some emails the Important Label without me knowing it. These emails were also skipping the Inbox. So basically, anything the Google deemed “Important” was never being show to me in Mail. How ironic right? The fix was to go into the Inbox settings in Gmail and Set these options:

Inbox Type: Classic (The Priority Inbox drives me insane personally)
Importance Markers: Show Markers (I tried using the No Markers option but it was causing the emails not to appear in my Mac Mail Inbox)
Filtered Mail: Override Filters (Again this option is here to leave messages in your inbox)
And finally in Lion Mail make sure to disable the IDLE option for the account.

Having done all this, I still don’t fully trust that Gmail is not putting things in the Important folder, so I have turned on the Show in IMAP feature for that label in Gmail Settings and check that folder once in a while in Mail.

I am using Mail Version 5.1 (1251/1251.1) for your reference.

Let me know if you are having similar issues with either Gmail Importance mail disappearing or Lion Mail deleting emails automatically.

Spam Filtering using Gmail Dispoable Email Addresses

By adding a ‘+description’ between your address and the @, you create a disposable Gmail address. For example, foobar@gmail can become foobar+inviteforxyz@gmail.com.

Then you can filter your email based on the information after the plus sign, and send those emails to a folder or the trash. You only get 20 of them from Gmail so use them wisely.

Using your Mobile Phone Number for Text Messages

Sometimes you might want email reminders sent to you via text messages. This can be good when you are setting up emergency alerts for various things. Here are the email addresses for the 6 most popular cellular phone carriers:

T-Mobile: phonenumber@tmomail.net
Virgin Mobile: phonenumber@vmobl.com
Cingular: phonenumber@cingularme.com
Sprint: phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
Verizon: phonenumber@vtext.com
Nextel: phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com

where phonenumber = your 10 digit phone number

Sender Policy Framework and DNS

Recently I was made aware by some friends that emails I was sending to their Gmail accounts were never delivered. After days of freaking out and trying to find the problem I think I have finally fixed the problem. So it turns out that I had to publish my SPF entries.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework, aka Sender Permitted From) is an email protocol used by many ISPs and aparently now by Gmail that basically tries to identify spoofed addresses. It is used as part of a series of other tests to sort out spam. Basically it adds a Return-Path: header to outgoing emails. This is then read by the receiving servers to identify whether the sender is really who she says he is.

There is a very easy to use SPF Wizard which creates a one line record that you add to your DNS zone. For example an SPF record might look like: example.com IN TXT "v=spf1 ~all"

For more detailed information on SPF I would recommend reading about how SPF Helps Legitimate E-Mail Get through Spam Filters and also the FAQ section on SPF at POBox.