Behavior of Drafts in Mail Clients Using IMAP

This article applies to recent versions of SmarterMail. View articles for SmarterMail 16.x and earlier.

One of the changes in Outlook 13 is that Outlook no longer saves email drafts on the mail server when connecting via IMAP. Instead, it creates a local folder for Drafts. The same appears to be true for Sent items and Deleted items. Apart from the fact that this is a change from previous versions of Outlook, this is actually a positive change.

While this is not a limitation of SmarterMail, but rather a change in how Microsoft now manages special folders in Outlook 13, it will only be a nuisance if users switch between email clients, the web interface and mobile devices and need access to drafts across those devices. Users who solely use one or two ways to access their email will rarely be affected by this change.

In fact, by not saving drafts to the mail server, email users can save themselves from potential issues related to syncing of their clients with the mail server, improper saving of changes to drafts across devices, the potential of duplicate messages being sent when a draft is sent and other strange behaviors. In addition, email clients can be configured to store junk mail and deleted messages in local folders rather than on the mail server. This can save disk space and usage as well as possibly keep mail servers running optimally. Therefore, the recommendation is for all email clients to remove the ability to save drafts to the mail server when using IMAP.

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