View Full Version : Emails not showing in Mail using IMAP/POP with poor bandwidth

12th May 2013, 05:46 PM
Hello, I am in a very remote location and having to rely on a satellite where we our connection is very slow. I am using Mail to handle my email on my laptop but also have a Gmail account in case I want to access my mail 'externally' - from an internet cafe etc.

I am using Gmail as my primary address (i.e. name@gmail.com) and am using it via IMAP. I have an old email account which is simply forwarded on to my Gmail address and that is hooked up via POP. (I don't really know much about any of this!!)

In 'civilisation' where the bandwidth is good, I have had no problems. But currently my mail is only displaying in some of the folders. Then when I look next time it will display a different selection of folders. Typically I can look at three folders and they will show their contents but go to a fourth and it is empty. Sometimes this may be ten but then as I say next time I log in, the emails in those folders will not have 'stuck' and the folder may be empty.

I have deliberately not played around with my settings as these had served me well where bandwidth is okay.

I am happy enough to show the settings I have as I imagine that is critical.

Furthermore, when I open Mail it defaults to my old (i.e. POP) account which I don't remember it doing previously.

Any thoughts?


12th May 2013, 08:40 PM
The IMAP protocol caches email onto your laptop. It uses a variety of background mechanisms to notice new email and to keep the contents of various mail folders up to date.

If you haven't accessed a particular folder in a while, your email program will attempt to update the contents when you go into it. Potentially, it'll do this before showing you any of the email because it can't be sure that the email it knows about is right.

In poor bandwidth situations, it may take a long time to update the cached information for any particular mail folder.

Ultimately, you may find that there's nothing to be done to improve the situation. Poor bandwidth means you'll run into issues like this. It's a fact of life for many people living in the outback where Internet connectivity can be pretty crappy.

You can try using a web browser and reading your gmail online - at least then it's only trying to send you web page data which may have lower bandwidth requirements.