Feature Suggestion: Modification to Auto-Clean Process #1
Idea shared by Nathan Harrington - December 17, 2014 at 6:05 PM
Planned
At present, the Auto-Clean mechanism appears to base its message deletion decision on the date the message was sent/received (i.e. the message date).  This works well for Inbox, Sent Items, and Junk E-mail; folders in which messages are usually placed at the time they are sent/received.  The Deleted Items folder, however, is a different scenario.

Messages could be, and often are, deleted (moved to Deleted Items) long after they were originally sent/received.  With the current Auto-Clean mechanism, these messages are essentially auto-cleaned immediately (the next time the process runs), rather than waiting the specified period of time as one might expect.  For example, if I'm cleaning out my Inbox and delete a message that I received 6 months ago, that message would be auto-cleaned from the Deleted Items folder later that night, rather than waiting the period of time specified in the Auto-Clean setup.  This behavior renders the Deleted Items folder significantly less useful for recovering messages that were deleted by accident, as there is little time for someone to discover the issue and recover the message prior to it being auto-cleaned.

I would like to propose that the Auto-Clean mechanism base its deletion decision on the date the message was placed in the folder being cleaned.  For the Inbox, Sent Items, and Junk E-mail folders, this isn't likely to result in any signficant change in behavior, aside from the scenario where a message was moved from Inbox to another folder, then at some later date moved back to the Inbox.  For the Deleted Items folder, however, this change would mean the messages would be auto-cleaned X days after they had been deleted (moved to the Deleted Items folder), rather than X days after they were originally sent/received.  This would give people a reasonable amount of time to discover their error and recover the message that had been accidentally deleted.

The ultimate goal (in our case) is to be able to setup Auto-Clean on the Deleted Items folder so that users don't have to remember to periodically empty this folder to prevent their mailbox from getting full.  This was never an issue with POP, but with more and more people converting to IMAP, we are continually running into issues with the Deleted Items folder filling up users' mailboxes.  We have sent several communications to users that they need to perform this additional step, but it remains an on-going issue.  While some mail applications have the ability to perform the purge function themselves, different applications default to different time periods, some default to not being enabled, and some don't provide that capability at all.

We would like to enable Auto-Clean on the Deleted Items folder to help minimize this issue for our users, but with the Auto-Clean behavior as it is now, it's not really an option for us, nor does it seem very intuitive.
 

18 Replies

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5
Nathan, well said.  This should be considered a flaw that needs to be fixed.
 
If someone deletes a message from last year, it would be natural to assume that they could find it later in Deleted Items.  With the current behavior, it could be gone within hours.
 
Gmail and other mail systems purge messages 30 days after they are placed in the Trash folder, regardless of message date.
 
SmarterTools Team:  Is there a datestamp of when the message is placed in Deleted Items that can be used for purging?  If so, let's change the Auto-Clean behavior to use this date.  If not, I'm sure there are other ways to do it.
 
Thanks,
Kevin
3
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Thanks for your ideas and comments. This has been added to the developer discussion for a future version. Updates will be posted here when available. 

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

3
Hi
 
This is really a feature we are missing with 20.000 users on a single domain auto-clean up is a must have feature. Cleaning up deleted mails based on when the mail was received and not when it was deleted does not make much sense. It is very hard to explain users that the mail they deleted yesterday is gone, but the mail they deleted two weeks ago is still there.
 
I really hope you will come up with a solution for this very soon.
5
Hello,
 
Just checking to see when we can expect a fix for this. Obviously it's pretty important based on the number of votes.
 
If there's a technical limitation (like the date deleted is not stored anywhere), let us know and maybe someone in the community can come up with a creative solution.
 
Thanks,
Kevin
4
Happy New Year!  Just wondering if the auto-clean for Deleted Items will be fixed in one of the two new versions for 2016.
 
Here's a possible solution: When a message is deleted, store it in the GRP file with today's date (not the date of the message). Then for the auto-clean, just delete the GRP files that are 30 days old (or whatever time limit you have set).
 
Thanks!
2
I would also like to re-suggest that SmarterTools provide us with a way to handle cleanup of other Deleted Items folders such as "Trash", "Deleted Messages" , etc.  Just because the email client vendors cant agree on what to call the folder, they all have the exact same purpose and we need to be able to clean them up accordingly.
 
6
ST Team, congrats on the release of SmarterMail 15.0!  Hoping to get this on the list for 15.1:
 
  • Fix Auto-Clean so it uses the deleted date instead of message date when purging messages from Deleted Items.
It's got 17 votes (top 5 on forum) and fits well with v15 as it's not related to the UI.
 
Thanks,
Kevin
 
4
Excited to hear that more resources will be dedicated to SM.
We have been slowed a bit because we have so many resources on the new Interface and introducing the new API driven architecture of our products.  What we have done is pulled a significant number of resources from the re-design and moved them over to SmarterMail to ensure we have current versions of SmarterMail as solid as possible.  Expect minor releases over the next few weeks to address most of the concerns.
--Tim U.
Hoping the bugs/problems with the most votes can be addressed. And this should really be classified as a problem, not an idea because it's a flaw in the operation. Thanks for the consideration.
6
TGIF. Now that the elephant in the community has been marked as completed :), I'm hoping we can turn our attention to this bug which has almost 2x the votes!
 
Auto-Clean should use the date deleted instead of date received when purging messages from Deleted Items.
 
This is how every major email system works. It's even how other things work, like Apple Photos. When you delete a photo on your iPhone, it keeps it for 30 days regardless of the date you took the photo.
 
We turn Auto-Clean off to work around this bug and give users a fair chance of retrieving a message that they accidentally delete, but this causes other issues so we'd like to see it resolved. Thanks for keeping this item under consideration -- what would it take to flip it to being fixed?
4
SM has been thinking about this for almost 2 Years. Any hope?
Kendra Support
http://www.kendra.com
support@kendra.com
425-397-7911
Junk Email filtered ISP
5
Also, would love update.
 
3
For those of you following this thread, check out the discussion with Tim Uzzanti here (scroll down to see the comments under my post): https://portal.smartertools.com/community/a88230/events-with-recurrence-option-are-deleted.aspx
 
Looks like SM understands the problem and is going to work on a fix after ver.16 is released!
1
Is there any chance that ( "Trash" "Deleted Items" "Deleted Messages" ) and ("Sent", "Sent Items", "Sent Messages") could be consolidated into one "trash-type" folder and one "sent-type" folder per user?  
 
That would make all of these cleanup procedures easier to manage for admins and users alike.
 
I previously suggested combining the deleted messages folders in the thread, but it occurs to me that the Sent folder could also benefit from the same logic.
1
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Hi guys,
 
We can definitely see the value in making this modification. Unfortunately, it's one of those features that sounds simple to make, but has side effects. Changing the auto-clean order requires changes to the GRP files to track not just the message date but the date that the item got moved into this folder. Because of the impact that this change could have, it has been backlogged to a future version where it can be fully engineered to ensure that it has no production server impact. The developers have been putting together a plan to do it, but that change will likely not happen in 16.0.
 
Please stay tuned for updates! I'll post them here as I get them. 
 
Thank you,

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

4
Yes, understand that the deletion date doesn't get stored in the GRP file. Here's an idea from an earlier post that might provide a workaround, FWIW:
For the Deleted Items folder only, store messages in the GRP file with the date the message was deleted (not the date of the message). Then for the auto-clean, just delete the GRP files that are 30 days old (or whatever purge timeframe you have set).
6
It's been over a year since the last post, so I'm following up. This fix was supposed to be looked at after v16 was released, but it doesn't look like anything has been done. Just checking to see if it's on the list for v17.
Currently, messages are purged based on received date, not deleted date. So if a user accidentally deletes an old message, it could be immediately purged from Deleted Items. They should stay in Deleted Items for 30 days like they do in Gmail and other email systems.
It is one of the top 10 most-voted-for ideas on the forum. Thanks.
4
Webio Replied
So I just wanted to add my vote up to this discussion. I just had client which removed his whole Inbox and his messages where removed from deleted folders almost right away:
 
[2018.04.17] 11:53:17 [CLIENTEMAIL] Auto clean options did not meet cleaning criteria
[2018.04.17] 11:53:18 [CLIENTEMAIL] Starting auto clean
[2018.04.17] 11:53:20 [CLIENTEMAIL] 949 total affected groups list
[2018.04.17] 11:53:20 [CLIENTEMAIL] Completed auto clean
[2018.04.17] 11:53:20 [CLIENTEMAIL] Removed 5497 email(s) from folder Deleted Items
[2018.04.17] 11:56:26 [CLIENTEMAIL] Auto clean options did not meet cleaning criteria
as you can see at 11:53 where was no emails to be removed and few seconds later auto cleaning job has removed 5497 of accidentaly deleted messages. There was literaly no time to get them back from Deleted items folder (global auto cleaning rule is removing messages older than 30 days).
 
This has happened for me probably multiple times but then I didn't connected messages dissapearing with auto cleaning process and just assumed something bad happened and messages where just removed because of some bug.
1
kevind Replied
Somehow users manage to delete all the messages in their SmarterMail Inbox on a regular basis. This is not good because most users have thousands of messages in their Inbox.
 
One option is to turn off auto-clean completely. It's not a good solution because it causes other issues, like full mailboxes and low disk space.
 
I'd really like to know how users are deleting their whole Inbox.  Not sure if it's a bug or they are using the "Delete All Messages in Folder" menu option or the top checkbox that selects all messages. Would be nice to add some code to make deleting all the messages in Inbox more difficult.

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