I have two different POP3 accounts under two different domains. I was using my Samgung Galaxy S2 (I9100 unrooted, unlocked) with stock Gingerbread (2.3.6) and my monthly data usages for emails were ~100 MiB. But, after upgrading stock ICS (4.0.3 I9100XWLP7-Turkiye), in a single day it was ~50 MiB. Due to this reason I've switched K9 client. But, it constantly deleted all of my account settings in a random interval. After realizing it's a known bug for a long time, I've desperately returned stock email. After several tries, a friend of mine advice to "mark all messages as read" immediately after setting accounts to prevent excessive traffic usages. At first, this doesn't make sense to me, but he explained that some old Windows-based email clients were acting in that way (unread messages were constantly downloaded over and over again). Interestingly, it worked. But, after using it for a while (precisely 1-2 days), "Onavo Count" started to warn me again about that email client consumes too much traffic. While investigating the problem, I've noticed that for a single check, it consumes 1-3 MiB traffic even though I've marked all messages as read. And now email client reached ~300 MiB traffic usages in total (I've only 1 GiB/month data plan).

As a summary:

  1. I was happy with Gingerbread email client.
  2. ICS client consumes too much traffic for each check.
  3. K9 was tried. It's very buggy.
  4. I don't want to add my POP3 accounts to Gmail to avoid excessive traffic usages (using push notification and such).
  5. I don't want to pay an app due to such thing (why should I use Android if even I can't read my emails properly!?). I was happy with stock client. If there is way that I could use it, I prefer that way.
  6. I don't want to root my device due to such problems
  7. As a last attempt, I could even write my own client which could optimize traffic usages (check only header on 3G connection, download all emails on WiFi etc.)

Any help?

EDIT: Seems something is not right with Onavo Count. It frequently warns me about email client (now ~650 MiB) even though I've increased check interval "5 min" to "once a day". And what's more, Onavo Count reports my total traffic usage as ~6 GiB now (still increasing). But, according to ICS's built-in data monitor and my operator I didn't used that much traffic (only ~1 GiB). But again, this doesn't changed the fact that email client consumes too much data (around ~200 MiB which means x2 after upgrading to ICS, it's verified by both ICS's built-in data monitor and my operator reports).

  • Frankly I have no idea what's causing this. My best guess is that Samsung screwed up something. Gmail with push with about 30 emails a day consumed 19.91MB in the past month. I use the stock ICS email client with push too so I don't know how pop3 should consume. Have you tried removing the accounts?
    – user13391
    Apr 22, 2012 at 12:08
  • 1
    I have the same problem too. I have done a call to the Samsung Support, and they tell me that this is the way the new email client work. They suggest to use IMAP and not pop3. Any way I think is a real bug!!. The problems is not to find a Bypass (use IMAP, or add the accout to Gmail, or other), but ask that Email client work in the correct mode as they do on Gingerbread.
    – user14614
    Apr 27, 2012 at 8:55

2 Answers 2


This is not an issue of your email client. This is the way POP3 works. In Gingerbread's email client, you'd had set leave copy of email on server. So, your ICS email client is downloading all past emails from server. Unfortunately, POP3 doesn't allow selective downloads. Your mails are being fully downloaded (not just header) with attachments too. That's the reason of high traffic. You should now un-check leave copy on server (to make sure, it'd not download an email repeatedly after its removed from local cache). After full download, everything will become normal.

If you can, I'd recommend to use IMAP instead of POP3. IMAP syncs everything (e. g. email read status) with server-client. If you delete an email locally, It'd be deleted from server too (provided its in configuration). So, you can keep emails on multiple devices in sync. IMAP allows you to download email header only, download attachments on demand etc. So, it can save your data.

  • I had same settings for both Gingerbread and ICS - leave a copy of email on server. I believe, the problem is instead of invoking "LIST" command which pulls emails' unique identifiers to check whether there is a new email or not, ICS simply downloads all emails. Jun 27, 2012 at 8:39
  • As to "selective download", you're right. I've confused by LIST command meaning at first. After looking a corresponding RFC article, it's clear now. As to solution, recently we've become a Microsoft Office 365 partner and moved our company emails to Office 365. So, no more POP3. I think, it's the only way to go for our current position. Jun 27, 2012 at 8:47

You might consider adding your pop3 accounts to gmail anyway, but then turning off sync for gmail. That way, I assume, your phone won't automatically check your mail, but you'll still be able to retrieve new mail "by hand".

  • With Gingerbread, check interval was 5 min and I didn't have any problem with that (traffic usage was up to only ~100 MiB/month). So, if I have to add my accounts to Gmail, I don't need to disable sync. The problem is that I don't want add my accounts to Gmail either. Apr 21, 2012 at 15:17

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