E-mail doesn't sync across devices
September 27, 2014 3:02 PM   Subscribe

I'm helping a friend who has started up a new business. We're having trouble getting their e-mail to syncronise across three different devices: a desktop running Windows 7, a laptop running Windows 8 and an Android-based phone, all using IMAP. What are we doing wrong?

The devices are:
  1. Unbranded desktop - Windows 7, Outlook 2013
  2. Toshiba laptop - Windows 8, Outlook 2013
  3. Samsung Galaxy II phone (model GT-19100T) - Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich MR1, default mail application.
The symptoms are:
  1. when sending from desktop, messages are not visible from laptop, but are visible from phone
  2. when sending from laptop, messages are visible from desktop and phone also
  3. when sending from phone, messages are not visible on desktop or laptop
  4. incoming messages are visible on all devices.
Using SSL/TSL settings for mail as per hosting provider instructions:
  1. incoming - IMAP port 993
  2. outgoing - SMTP port 465.
We have tried re-entering all the mail server details and confirmed that all three devices are using the same settings. Any help appreciated!
posted by dg to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
In Outlook is it downloading to the local client and deleting in server?
posted by k8t at 5:04 PM on September 27, 2014

Android's stock email client has the sent email folder name hardcoded to "Sent". Before Outlook 2013, it defaulted to using the folder name "Sent Items," and you were allowed to change it. Now it asks the server for the Sent folder and stores it wherever the server says if the server supports that feature. If the server doesn't, it only stores them locally. So yeah, awful all around.
posted by zsazsa at 10:14 PM on September 27, 2014

Who is the email provider?

You might the configuring your email clients as IMAP but are you sure the account is actually IMAP or Exchange?

If you are using a Gmail / Google doc's account. Things work differently because Google uses a modified version of IMAP (did you enable it?)

Since your friend wants to use Outlook as a mail client, he might be much better of to switch to MS 365 Exchange server. This will also allow him to sync his contacts and calendars...
posted by Mac-Expert at 1:59 AM on September 28, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. Not able to check right now whether messages are being saved on the server but not downloaded - will do this ASAP.

I did suggest using Google Apps, but she is already paying for Office and didn't want to pay more for something she, effectively and in theory, already has.

The e-mail is on a hosted domain, not via an actual e-mail provider. Definitely not Exchange and we are using the IMAP settings given by the hosting provider. Does MS 365 Exchange allow synchronisation with non-MS devices? It seems to focus on Windows phones.
posted by dg at 5:11 PM on September 28, 2014

Gmail and Outlook works as a IMAP.
Make sure the IMAP it turned on in her account.
Follow the instructions provided by Microsoft

Gmail is NOT true IMAP. Google adds Tags to email (and you can do multiple tags...) witch needs to be translated into the "folders" (directories) we are used to. This translation poses problems for most email clients..

If email remains out of sync you need to verify the various check boxes in the "Labels" settings of her Gmail account.

Also keep in mind that Microsoft recommends a max of 1GB of email for Outlook. My experience is that 10Gb tops. Unfortunately many (gmail) users collect way more data in their email account than that...
posted by Mac-Expert at 12:25 AM on September 29, 2014

Response by poster: Gmail isn't an issue here - this is a completely stand-alone hosted domain, using Outlook on two devices and the default mail app on the Android device.
posted by dg at 3:49 AM on September 29, 2014

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