I've set up a few email accounts in a hostgator shared hosting account. The emails are accessed through gmail's IMAP service. The accounts are now over their quota and I want to free some space by deleting emails. Will emails deleted from the server get deleted from the user's gmail account? If so, what's a good solution?

  • If you re sure it's IMAP: Yes, they will be deleted – Mehdi Nov 30 '12 at 18:31
  • I am a bit confused. I am not aware of any feature within Gmail to access an separate IMAP account. When I look at my gmail settings all I see is an option for POP3. – Zoredache Nov 30 '12 at 18:53
  • @Zoredache, Gmail not only provides IMAP but Google strongly recommend it be used instead of POP3. – John Gardeniers Dec 2 '12 at 11:02
  • @JohnGardeniers, I know it provides IMAP. But AFAIK, it can't operate as an IMAP client to pull mail from other accounts. Perhaps I am miss-reading his question, but it sounded like he was using gmail as a client for his hostgator account? – Zoredache Dec 2 '12 at 19:35
  • @Zoredache, either or both of us could be misreading this question. – John Gardeniers Dec 2 '12 at 23:04

On IMAP, mails remain on server. Any client essentially behaves as a remote display. So, yes, when you delete mail from IMAP, it will get deleted from server, destroying the mail completely. From your question, if I dont get it wrong, you dont want this to happen. Options that come to mind are:

  • You can have your clients have move those mails to a local folder in a mail client such as Thunderbird. This will create a local copy of the mail and remove it from server, freeing up space.

  • You can instead use a mail client and connect using POP3, which will download mails to their local computers, removing them from server.

  • You can purchase more space from GMail.

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