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The new standard email client with Android 4, doesn't seem to keep local copies of emails once they are deleted off the server.

Honeycomb did. The email was downloaded to the tablet, and kept even after the email was deleted from the server.

I'm using an Acer A500 with Android version 4.0.3 (kernal

Email set up is 'normal'/standard POP3 account. Setting is Delete email from server: Never What am I doing wrong?

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Are you really using POP3? It's a behaviour of IMAP... not POP3. If yes, it's certainly a bug. Better, use different email client like K9-mail.

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This is almost certainly a bug, because ironically messages that have been moved to the trash are still on the device. Only messages in the inbox seem to be deleted. So it looks like the workaround is to delete the messages you want to keep (assuming you don't have it set to delete them from the server when you delete them).

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I prefer k9mail.

I think it's much better than the stock email client. It also has option to delete local mail when deleted from server.

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k9mail is great for phones -- not as well suited for tablet where you have more space and need larger tapping areas. It seems that this 'new' android4 email client operates the same for pop3 and imap accounts. – Higgsy May 17 '12 at 7:40

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