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Moving email in aspNetPOP3 across folders

by Dave 14. February 2011 04:38

I had a great question from Robert today.  He sent me the following question:

We are currently testing the aspNetPOP3 product. I might be missing the obvious, but I didn’t find where I could get an email, and then move it to a folder. Is this possible?

That's a great question. Usually someone will ask this, or a similar question every few months.

aspNetPOP3 implements the POP3 protocol. Everything that is possible by the POP3 protocol, is possible in aspNetPOP3. 

As far as internet standards go, the POP3 protocol is pretty old. POP3 stands for Post Office Protocol version 3.  It was developed in 1984. 

POP3 has no concept of folders. In the POP3 (and consequently aspNetPOP3) world, there is only the Inbox.  When you see additional folders in POP3 mail clients (such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, etc..) when you are actually seeing is a client side feature/functionality.  When you move an email from the Inbox to a different folder, what your mail client is actually doing is deleting the message from the server, and moving the message to a local folder. Once that happens, it is no longer accessible via the POP3 protocol.

The same thing happens with webmail clients such as Gmail. (Although, gmail is a little different because it implements something called labels.) . Once the message is moved to a different folder (or label) in the webclient, you no longer have access to that message. Using the POP3 protocol, you can only get at messages in the Inbox.

Once again, great question Robert.

If anyone else has any other questions, comments or feedback relating to aspNetPOP3, feel free to contact me.

Thanks!
Dave Wanta

 

 

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