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I discovered that some (few) providers don't copy into the Sent folder those E-mails which are sent from mail clients through SMTP. They only copy them to the sent folder if you send them from their web interface, everything sent directly through SMTP with a client is not copied in any folder.

Is it a standard complying behaviour or is it a bad practice? I notice for instance GMail correctly saves those emails to both [Sent] folder and to [IMAP/Sent].

I suspect this behaviour is only aimed at selling IMAP services (which permit to create folders and copy emails inside them).

Edit : I just want some reference to what's the correct behaviour when a server receives a mail through SMTP. Discard it from its local sent folder or not

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  • The providers I'm referring to are not necessarily free providers, I just want some reference to what's the correct behaviour when a server receives a mail through SMTP. Discard it from its local sent folder or not.
    – user9948
    Nov 28 '13 at 15:05
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    It doesn't matter here if it's free or paid, really... just whether it's relevant to professional systems admin, and whether the admin it's relevant to is you. Nov 28 '13 at 17:15
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By definition of the SMTP RFC all this server does is relay mail. SMTP does not save copies to a sent folder. That's all dependent on the client mail readers.

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  • I link to the RFC would be of great help! May 15 '17 at 12:22
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This behaviour depends on the mail client, not the server itself. There should be an option in your mail client to put a copy of sent e-mails in the "Sent" folder.

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  • The mail client can copy mails in the sent folder using the IMAP protocol, there's no way with SMTP to tell the provider where to copy sent E-Mail. I'm asking about SMTP protol. The setting you refer to in the mail client exploits IMAP so it's out of my question.
    – user9948
    Nov 28 '13 at 14:49
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    @user9948 SMTP has no concept of "folder". Period. Read the RFCs, then read this answer again and you'll understand why Vinz is correct.
    – voretaq7
    Nov 29 '13 at 3:05
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SMTP mail is never copied to a Sent folder automatically. The Sent folder is an IMAP folder and has nothing to do with SMTP. The mail client might save a copy using IMAP, but never the SMTP server.

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