Re: [Evolution] Initial run moved many emails from IMAP folders to Junk

On 8/18/21 1:34 AM, Pete Biggs wrote:

It is more helpful if you tell us the version of Evolution you are
using.  For some queries the desktop you are using is also important.

Thank you for your reply Pete!

I'm running: evolution 3.38.4 on a Fluxbox 1.3.7 desktop

My mail server has a self issued cert, and I had some trouble getting
evolution to connect at all. This required continuing to re-enter the
IMAP and SMTP passwords on initial account creation.

The self signed certificate should only need to be accepted once per
account; that shouldn't require you to enter the password multiple
times.  They aren't connected as far as I know.

The passwords are stored in gnome-keyring so that needs to be running
in order to not be re-prompted for passwords.

That's very helpful. Obviously, evolution is meant to run as part of gnome, and I'm on a Fluxbox desktop 
here. Are there any other support utilities that should be running?

Once evolution started to sync my existing mail store to the local
computer, I noticed a very troubling thing: many many emails were
showing up in the Junk folder. In my existing thunderbird client
configuration, I don't use the Junk folder at all. Mail deemed SPAM
is moved directly to the Trash folder, which I review before

How do you deem the mail to be SPAM?

I saw the emails in the Junk folder, not in evolution, but in thunderbird running on a different machine.

All the messages in the Junk folder had the SPAM flag set.

There are other email clients running on the same IMAP account: K-9 on android, thunderbird on an old machine 
(won't be replaced), thunderbird locally (hope to replace).

When I first started and configured the IMAP account on evolution locally, it had quite a bit of downloading 
to do. It was during this initial IMAP download that certain mail was flagged as SPAM and appeared in the 
Junk folder of all the running clients.

No other mail clients are configured to use the "Junk" folder at all. Only thunderbird on the old machine has 
SPAM detection enabled, and it moves any mail designated as SPAM to the Trash folder, not to Junk. This 
machine also does other mail filtering, such as putting this message in an "evolution" folder. I intend to 
eventually replace this with server side sieve and SPAM detection, but that is another project.

Quite a number of these emails are from deeply nested IMAP folders
where I squirrel away many tens of thousands of historic emails from
the last several decades.

Now, several hundred of these IMAP folder emails are deposited into
the JUNK folder.

If you have not changed the configuration at all, then the Junk folder
is virtual - i.e. it shows the messages that have been marked as Junk,
the messages themselves are still in their original folders, you just
can't see them (View -> Show Junk messages). You can mark the messages
as "Not Junk" and they will reappear and not be shown in the Junk

You should be aware that Trash is also a virtual folder by default. The
Trash folder shows the messages that are marked as deleted. Again, by
default those deleted messages are hidden (View -> Show deleted
messages). Since the Trash is virtual, there is no concept of "Move to

This can be configured on an a per account basis - i.e. the Junk and
Trash can be real folders.

How will evolution interact with other clients on the same IMAP account? How will any other client recognize 
a "virtual" folder?

Is there some way to set these options on a newly configured evolution before it starts creating virtual 
copies of things?

What are these "virtual copies"? When I search I see "saved search" "virtual folders" for thunderbird, and 
"shared virtual folders" for courier-imap (courier is the IMAP server here), and "virtual directories" for 
dovecot. Are any of these related to evolution's "virtual folders"?

This doesn't seem like initial behavior that is intended to keep new
users happy 8-(

My reading of the online docs prior to first execution indicated that
Evolution used external programs to perform spam detection, and that
it wouldn't be enabled by default.

Yes, but if the messages are marked as junk by something else then they
will appear in the virtual Junk folder.

All of the messages seen in Junk where pre-existing in filtered IMAP folders, not marked as SPAM.

These weren't incoming messages, but messages filtered into folders long ago.

What should I do to prevent Evolution from trashing my mail archives?

Edit -> Preferences -> Mail Preferences -> Junk

Then untick the "Check incoming messages for junk" to turn off Spam


Thanks so much for your help and insight!

John A
San Diego CA

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