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Outlook 2013 IMAP special folders

    Question

  • Outlook 2013 removed the ability to manually configure the sent items, deleted items etc. folders of an IMAP server. Instead, it relies on the XLIST IMAP extension.

    I spent an entire afternoon to find a mail hosting provider in Switzerland which supports XLIST: I was not successful. Not even my current hoster - which uses Exchange 2010 servers - supports XLIST.

    Would you please consider putting back the option to manually configure the IMAP special folders? It doesn't look like the current "automatic" solution can be used much at this time.

    Thanks! Martin

    Friday, February 08, 2013 3:21 PM

Answers

  • Thank you very much for the comprehensive answer! The Server that I am dealing with obviously does not Support this (the full list is larger, of course; I am only showing three Special Folders):

    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" Entw&APw-rfe
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "Gel&APY-schte Elemente"
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "Gesendete Elemente"

    I have two follow-up questions:

    1. Would Exchange 2010 support this extension? If so, is there some documentation that I could send to my provider so that they could properly configure the mail account?
    2. With Outlook 2013, they explicitly talk about "XLIST", which seems deprecated. What exactly is it now that Outlook 2013 supports?

    Thanks again and best regards, Martin

    • Marked as answer by Tinue Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:51 AM
    Saturday, February 09, 2013 4:30 PM
  • You're welcome.

    Regarding your questions:

    1. Exchange 2010 and its supported (and unsupported and deviations from) IMAP standards are described on MS-STANXIMAP (MSDN). As far as I can tell, neither XLIST nor the enhanced (=extension of the standard) version of LIST is supported. Please keep in mind that this wouldn't matter very much, since most would connect to an Exchange 2010 server using either ActiveSync or MAPI/RPC. The following scenarios would definitely work: (A) your provider allows connections using ActiveSync (often referred to as "mobile" connection/access) and you're using Outlook 2013, (B) your provider allows connections using MAPI/RPC and you're using Outlook 2010.
    2. Outlook 2013 supports the extension specified in RFC 6154 and implements it using the XLIST command (as per MS-STANOIMAP), as documented in MS-STANOIMAP part 2.2.38; however, the LIST command in the same document doesn't mention the extension, so I'd assume it (Outlook 2013) doesn't necessarily support this feature using LIST as specified per RFC6154 (but only using explicitly XLIST.)

    Usually, any newer IMAP server supporting RFC6154 "LIST" ("XLIST") supports both the older XLIST as well as the newer LIST syntax. If it doesn't, a patch implementing this feature shouldn't be longer than a few (10 maybe?) lines of code and a few kind words to the developer team to get it into the next release of the server in question.

    • Edited by Ben E. S Saturday, February 09, 2013 10:52 PM (formatting)
    • Marked as answer by Tinue Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:51 AM
    Saturday, February 09, 2013 10:50 PM
  • Again, many thanks! My Provider charges a lot more if I use the same Mailbox via Exchange protocol, so that's not really an option for me.

    Anyway, after many hours of trial and error I found a workaround:

    1. Unsubscribe all IMAP Folders. I had to do this partially via Telnet, because Outlook won't unsubscribe Folders that it considers "Special".
    2. Login via Outlook Web Access. In "Options", I switched OWA to English and let it rename the Special Folders. I then switched back to German without renaming the Special Folders.
    3. Delete the Outlook Profile (via control panel, "E-Mail 32 bit"). Start Outlook and create a new Profile from scratch. The Special Folders will not be recognized.
    4. Subscribe to the (English) Special Folders
    5. Delete the Outlook Profile once again
    6. Create a new Profile again from scratch: This time Outlook will recognize the Special Folders.

    All this works without XLIST Support, apparently based on pattern matching.

    Many regards, Martin

    P.S. Sorry for the many capital letters: IE 10 thinks this text is german and auto-corrects the words that it recognizes. I have yet to find a way to disable this...

    • Marked as answer by Tinue Sunday, February 10, 2013 11:04 AM
    Sunday, February 10, 2013 11:04 AM

All replies

  • If your host uses Exchange why are you using IMAP?

    If you log into your account online, can you set the folders to use for deleted, sent etc? http://www.slipstick.com/how-to-outlook/configuring-special-imap-folders-outlook-2013/



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Outlook Tips
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Friday, February 08, 2013 8:44 PM
  • If your host uses Exchange why are you using IMAP?

    If you log into your account online, can you set the folders to use for deleted, sent etc?

    My Provider charges at least 10 times more for a "Hosted Exchange" account compared to a web/email hosting based on standard internet protocols. I don't understand the price policy behind this, but it seems pretty common. My guess is that they can offer as many IMAP accounts as they like for a fixed license fee to Microsoft, but have to pay per use for clients using the Exchange protocol.

    The special folders are all there, they are just not recognized as such. The Server does not Support the XLIST Extension, so Outlook can't ask for the Special Folders:

    4 capability
    * CAPABILITY IMAP4 IMAP4rev1 AUTH=NTLM AUTH=GSSAPI AUTH=PLAIN STARTTLS UIDPLUS CHILDREN IDLE NAMESPACE LITERAL+

    Thanks! Martin

    Friday, February 08, 2013 9:11 PM
  • If pricing is a problem I'm surprised they don't use a Linux server for imap - that would be even cheaper for them. And should support xlist.

    Oh well, that won't help you. :( 



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Outlook Tips
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Friday, February 08, 2013 9:36 PM
  • For pure E-Mail they might use Linux, I don't know. For the combined Web / Mail offering one can choose. However, also the Linux based mail Server does not Support XLIST. I checked many more hosters, and not one supports XLIST.

    That's actually my point: XLIST may be there for some of the very large offerings (gmail, I suppose), but for the majority of the mail hosters it's not available.

    Thanks, Martin

    Saturday, February 09, 2013 8:40 AM
  • Please mind that many recent versions of common IMAP servers on Linux (e.g. Dovecot, Cyrus Imapd) do support XLIST and LIST extensions.

    Here's a example list of possible special folder entries - as described there, XLIST is deprecated in favour of LIST, which might not be announced through CAPABILITY or ENABLE (in case those things mean something to you and you know a thing or two about the IMAP protocol.)

    If you can find out whether or not your hoster uses a recent IMAP server (like Dovecot 2.1, Cyrus Imapd 2.4, or higher versions of those servers), they are indeed capable of configuring the required "special folders" for Outlook 2013. Try asking the administrator to do so, if possible.

    I hope this helps.

    • Proposed as answer by Ben E. S Saturday, February 09, 2013 3:22 PM
    Saturday, February 09, 2013 3:22 PM
  • Thank you very much for the comprehensive answer! The Server that I am dealing with obviously does not Support this (the full list is larger, of course; I am only showing three Special Folders):

    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" Entw&APw-rfe
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "Gel&APY-schte Elemente"
    * LIST (\HasNoChildren) "/" "Gesendete Elemente"

    I have two follow-up questions:

    1. Would Exchange 2010 support this extension? If so, is there some documentation that I could send to my provider so that they could properly configure the mail account?
    2. With Outlook 2013, they explicitly talk about "XLIST", which seems deprecated. What exactly is it now that Outlook 2013 supports?

    Thanks again and best regards, Martin

    • Marked as answer by Tinue Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:51 AM
    Saturday, February 09, 2013 4:30 PM
  • You're welcome.

    Regarding your questions:

    1. Exchange 2010 and its supported (and unsupported and deviations from) IMAP standards are described on MS-STANXIMAP (MSDN). As far as I can tell, neither XLIST nor the enhanced (=extension of the standard) version of LIST is supported. Please keep in mind that this wouldn't matter very much, since most would connect to an Exchange 2010 server using either ActiveSync or MAPI/RPC. The following scenarios would definitely work: (A) your provider allows connections using ActiveSync (often referred to as "mobile" connection/access) and you're using Outlook 2013, (B) your provider allows connections using MAPI/RPC and you're using Outlook 2010.
    2. Outlook 2013 supports the extension specified in RFC 6154 and implements it using the XLIST command (as per MS-STANOIMAP), as documented in MS-STANOIMAP part 2.2.38; however, the LIST command in the same document doesn't mention the extension, so I'd assume it (Outlook 2013) doesn't necessarily support this feature using LIST as specified per RFC6154 (but only using explicitly XLIST.)

    Usually, any newer IMAP server supporting RFC6154 "LIST" ("XLIST") supports both the older XLIST as well as the newer LIST syntax. If it doesn't, a patch implementing this feature shouldn't be longer than a few (10 maybe?) lines of code and a few kind words to the developer team to get it into the next release of the server in question.

    • Edited by Ben E. S Saturday, February 09, 2013 10:52 PM (formatting)
    • Marked as answer by Tinue Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:51 AM
    Saturday, February 09, 2013 10:50 PM
  • Again, many thanks! My Provider charges a lot more if I use the same Mailbox via Exchange protocol, so that's not really an option for me.

    Anyway, after many hours of trial and error I found a workaround:

    1. Unsubscribe all IMAP Folders. I had to do this partially via Telnet, because Outlook won't unsubscribe Folders that it considers "Special".
    2. Login via Outlook Web Access. In "Options", I switched OWA to English and let it rename the Special Folders. I then switched back to German without renaming the Special Folders.
    3. Delete the Outlook Profile (via control panel, "E-Mail 32 bit"). Start Outlook and create a new Profile from scratch. The Special Folders will not be recognized.
    4. Subscribe to the (English) Special Folders
    5. Delete the Outlook Profile once again
    6. Create a new Profile again from scratch: This time Outlook will recognize the Special Folders.

    All this works without XLIST Support, apparently based on pattern matching.

    Many regards, Martin

    P.S. Sorry for the many capital letters: IE 10 thinks this text is german and auto-corrects the words that it recognizes. I have yet to find a way to disable this...

    • Marked as answer by Tinue Sunday, February 10, 2013 11:04 AM
    Sunday, February 10, 2013 11:04 AM
  • Hallo Martin,

    wenn Du einen günstigen Exchange-Anbieter suchst: auf der Suche nach was gutem war ich auch lange Zeit. Wenn es Dir wirklich so wichtig ist, kann ich Dir gerne 2 Adressen von Anbietern schicken die ich mir einmal rausgesucht habe (für 9 bzw 10 Euro im Monat)... wie das für mich noch relevant war. - Benjamin

    --

    Hi Martin!

    Should you change your mind regarding your need of an Exchange server, don't hesitate to contact me.

    Sincerely,
    Benjamin


    • Edited by Ben E. S Monday, November 25, 2013 3:25 PM edited for privacy reasons.
    Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:21 PM
  • Thanks, Benjamin for your offer.

    I won't need it because I learned from my hoster that I can selectively activate Hosted Exchange for a single mailbox only. This way I can keep cost under control. I activated HEX for my main mail account, and everything works fine now. As a plus I now have push mail on my mobile devices, and can share my calendar / address book without any additional cloud services required.

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 8:58 AM
  • come on Microsoft.

    this can only be a joke. to provide some complicated workardounds for taking away a really important Setting which was available in former Versions !!! ...

    which improvement for IMAP should that be? i will warn all my customers tu upgrade to 2013!!!

    Please fix this ASAP

    Thursday, August 08, 2013 9:28 AM
  • Just installed Outlook 2013. I have about 4 Email Imap adresses with 3 computers. Office 1 (Desktop), Office 2 (Laptop) and Privat Computer. Some IMAP Adresses are from partners. Additionally exchange Accounts cost definitly more money, that's why, and IMAP works quite well.

    Now, because of Outlook 2013(!), all IMAP Accounts are storing their send, delete, drafts mails(in german language) LOCALLY on the computer (?!?) - because it ist no more possible to adjust the IMAP Folders for the accounts. (It was a standard function till Outlook 2010!!! and worked quite well)

    I really can not believe that Mircosoft has removed this option! The work and handling is getting worse with Outlook 2013. It is so disappointing to pay for such an service. Since 11/2012 - No Solution? 

    I am no more sure that MS will change this. Bad, very bad and dissappinting.

    Now searching for a new solution for handling my daily work- faster - withoud stupid handling of mails in local folders. (The new state of the art?).

    Greetings,

    Erwin

    Saturday, October 26, 2013 8:47 AM
  • Can you choose the folders to use for sent, deleted etc using the server's web access? If Outlook can determine the server folder to use, it will use it.

    http://www.slipstick.com/how-to-outlook/configuring-special-imap-folders-outlook-2013/



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Outlook Tips
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Saturday, October 26, 2013 3:55 PM