IMAP: deleting and subscribing/unsubscribing


New Email
Hi all, I'm a bit confused about IMAP and need a bit of guidance to understand it. The reason I'm asking this question is I don't want to start unsubscribing folders and emails and lose important folders and emails.

The scene:
I have a client that had a few issues with emails, after a bit of digging I found out that their host/webmail was changed "upgraded".

I'm not sure what, exactly they have done because I didn't really know the email set up or hosting prior to the upgrade because another person was dealing with it, suffice it to say, it created problems for the client with regard to getting their emails. They weren't informed of the change until I started digging and phoning people. As a consequence of the upgrade the email settings for Outlook were changed but it looked like a straight forward job of just changing a few security settings and their respective ports We tried adding the additional security settings but couldn't get it to work on POP. So I backed up their .pst files for each email address and then we tried adding the same emails using the IMAP protocol this worked fine and once I had moved the clients custom folders over everything seems to work great.

They use Outlook 2013 and have a catch-all email address i.e. anyname@their domain

The question:
1. If I log into the webmail (Roundcube) and delete an email or folder will it delete it from Outlook on the PC

2. In Roundcube under the Folder tab, if I uncheck Subscribed at the side of a folder will it remove any emails from Outlook, or will it just not sync any emails from that folder to Outlook.

3. In Roundcube under the Folder tab, if I uncheck Subscribed at the side of a folder and I add an email to the unsubscribed folder will it add it to the folder on the server.


EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
Hi darkan9el,

By "upgrade" it sounds like your clients email hosting provider migrated their email to a new server and/or changed the IMAP server that is used for getting their email.

Either way, if not handled correctly, the server change -will- result in a very confused Microsoft Outlook.

If your client has all of their email stored on the server, and only gets it with IMAP, and none of it is stored locally on the computer, the best action is to delete the profile in Microsoft Outlook and then recreate their connection settings.

Only changing the settings within an existing profile won't fix the problem. This is because each IMAP server has it's own way of tracking subscribed folders, message UID's, etc and if that wasn't done correctly the best thing to do is "start over".

If Roundcube is using IMAP deleting an email there should result in it also "deleting" from Microsoft Outlook.

Changing IMAP subscription settings doesn't delete email it only affects which folders may be seen by a mail program.

Your client should not lose any email, but it's still a good idea to backup their current PST file just in case so you can reattach it to Outlook later if needed for any reason.

:welcome: to Email Questions!


New Email
Thanks for the reply popowich, your reply gives me more confidence. I've copied all of the pst files just in case. As a matter of interest do you know of any software to view or extract folders from pst files?


IMAP Tools
If you do a Google search you'll find a number of them. I don't have much experience with them but they mostly consist of a graphical interface for examining PST files and exporting messages from them. It's a manual process.

Alternately you can export your folders and messages from the IMAP server itself for safe-keeping and possible reloading. This can be scripted for automatic backups if you like.

See the following links:

The first one writes individual copies of messages that are in your account on the IMAP server while the second one puts them into industry-standard Mbox files. The latter, by the way, can be imported into Outlook PST files.