Outlook on my computer deletes the server's copy of the message when it syncs, which unfortunately causes the Email app on the Galaxy Nexus to delete its local copy of the message when it syncs.

Is there a way to automatically download new email and receive notifications when it arrives without having it sync the deletions? In other words, once the email is downloaded to the device I want it to stay on the device unless I delete it from the device, but I don't want to turn off sync completely.

A related issue occurs when I've synced all the email in Outlook and the Email app on the phone deletes all the messages -- the Email app crashes when the Combined Inbox view is empty. Is there any way to fix this?

(Aside: Is there a way to intitiate a send/receive of all email accounts from the Combined view in the stock email app?)

  • Definitely a bit wordy, I pared it down. You should also consider splitting separate questions into separate posts in the future. Jan 20, 2012 at 17:07

3 Answers 3


The behavior you described is what I'd expect from an account that uses both IMAP and POP protocols. Your emails are deleted from the server when you open Outlook and sync over POP but when you sync your phone over IMAP it keeps the mails on the server.

You can get the desired behavior by switching your outlook sync protocol to IMAP. This keeps the emails on server and you have to manually delete them. Also, you should check out k-9 mail, it's a better replacement for the stock email app.

  • Thanks onik. I don't want to keep the email on the server. That would leave me with 4 different email boxes to manage. I like being able to download everything into Outlook. What I don't like is having email, once downloaded to my phone, disappear from my phone without me telling it to. Will K-9 mail accommodate this? Jan 20, 2012 at 19:55
  • 1
    I found the option Sync server deletions in K9, which seems to be what you're looking for. Once you have added the account, long-press it and go to Account settings -> Fetching mail ->Sync server deletions and uncheck it to keep the mails on your phone. Jan 20, 2012 at 20:22

Does having the sync option enabled for an account literally mean that the account will remain synced with the mail server - regardless of type?

The Sync option means your device will connect to the server automatically at established intervals. If your device sees what is on the server or simply download mails depends on which kind of connection you use (IMAP --> emails stored on the server, POP --> You can keep local copies of emails, this is a giant simplification.)

If the answer to my first question is Yes - is there a way to automatically download new email and receive notification when it arrives without having it disappear when I get around to downloading the message in Outlook? In other words - once the email is downloaded to the device I want it to stay on the device unless I delete it.

You can configure you Android email app to download copies of mails using POP protocol, but this is not the best option. In this case if you download some mail in your PC between connections of the Android device this would not see the mails that arrived between the last connection and the connection of the PC.

I think the best option is to configure your Outlook to keep a copy of the emails on the server and keep your Android device configured with IMAP and sync activated. With this configuration your Android will see every mail you receive, and your Outlook would have a copy of the mails you do not delete from the server using your Android Device.

There is no ideal solution if you want to have a copy of each mail on each device.

  • "POP --> You can keep local copies of emails" - This is exactly what I want, but it's not happening. I can't keep copies locally. They all disappear as soon as I download into Outlook. I don't mind that my inboxes are not identical between my phone and my computer. But once I download an email locally to my phone I need it to stay there unless I delete it. Like I explained in my unedited post - this seems to be the behavior with sync turned off, but then getting email into my inbox becomes a huge pain. No notifications and must send/receive each account individually. Jan 20, 2012 at 20:01

Thanks for the suggestions, but after thinking about it for a while I'm going to try a completely different approach which better meets my objectives.

I've added my other pop email accounts to my Gmail account choosing for each to leave a copy of the email on the server after downloading into Gmail. I'll remove those other email accounts from my Nexus, stop using the stock email app altogether, and rely solely on the Gmail app to manage my email on the device. Each email account has been labeled in Gmail so I know which accounts the email is coming in from. The email on my device will now stay synced with Gmail which will be unaffected by using Outlook on my computer. Outlook will stay unchanged - set to download all of the email from each separate account and remove the messages from the server at the same time. Messages already downloaded into Gmail will stay in Gmail until I delete them.

And most importantly I won't have to be worried about disappearing email on my device, I'll still receive notifications on the device when new email arrives, and I don't have to be bothered with the buggy behavior of the stock email app. Win-win-win.

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