I'm using the stock e-mail app of Android 4.1 (Motorola razr i), and when I send a mail from the phone, the mail app afterwards shows the sent mail in the "Sent" folder, but it seems that folder is not synchronized via IMAP. Thus, I cannot see those mails from my PC e-mail client.

Is there any configuration for this, or will I have to use K9 or some other app?

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, the Stock Android Email app has the IMAP folder names hard-coded in the application, they cannot be changed by the user. The app expects the folders to have the following names:

  • Inbox
  • Outbox
  • Drafts
  • Trash
  • Sent
  • Junk

If your IMAP server uses different names, they are not properly synchronized with the Email app. There are two solutions to this:

  1. Use different Email app
  2. Get Android source code, modify names in Email application, rebuild Email application and replace original Email application on your device with the modified one

However, the second solution (of course) requires a rooted device and basic knowledge of how to build an Android application. But, I can say, I tried it and it works. The file where the names are stored is <Android-source-code-root>/packages/apps/Email/res/values/strings.xml. See the following excerpt:

<!-- Do Not Translate.  This is the name of the "inbox" folder, on the server. -->
<string name="mailbox_name_server_inbox" translatable="false">Inbox</string>
<!-- Do Not Translate.  This is the name of the "outbox" folder, on the server. -->
<string name="mailbox_name_server_outbox" translatable="false">Outbox</string>
<!-- Do Not Translate.  This is the name of the "drafts" folder, on the server. -->
<string name="mailbox_name_server_drafts" translatable="false">Drafts</string>
<!-- Do Not Translate.  This is the name of the "trash" folder, on the server. -->
<string name="mailbox_name_server_trash" translatable="false">Trash</string>
<!-- Do Not Translate.  This is the name of the "sent" folder, on the server. -->
<string name="mailbox_name_server_sent" translatable="false">Sent</string>
<!-- Do Not Translate.  This is the name of the "junk" folder, on the server. -->
<string name="mailbox_name_server_junk" translatable="false">Junk</string>

I have no idea why Google decided to make the names unchangeable withing the app. Probably they want to force people to use Gmail (I was told, the folder names work with Gmail).

If anybody with programming skills is motivated, I would love to see a patched version of the Email app, where the names of the folders can be adjusted in some configuration dialog. Should not be a huge thing to implement, I just did not have the time for it.


Download Microsoft Outlook and have it replace your default Android app. When I did this the problem was fixed without making any special changes.

  • I didn't know the Outlook app existed, thanks. However it did not work for me. My email account requires specific port and security settings. Upon trying to create an IMAP account in the Outlook app, those settings are unavailable. When the login fails (due to said security settings) the app kicks me back out to the account creation screen. Total fail. That's a bummer too, I was excited there was an actual Outlook app for Android. Oct 20, 2015 at 15:29

I have found a solution for this problem with my Internet provider that doesn't involve hacking the app or anything so complicated. In the Android Mail app (Android 5.0 on Samsung Galaxy S5; the same app was present under Android 4), go to SettingsManage accounts → (select the account) → MORE SETTINGS (button at bottom of screen — scroll down) → Incoming settingsIMAP path prefix. Enter the appropriate IMAP path prefix. (Get that info from your ISP. For my ISP, it was: INBOX) I did this today, and now my Sent folder syncs just fine, same as all the other folders.

  • Surely that depends how your actual inbox is called. It didn’t work for me, yet. Would be good to have a setting for the outgoing path.
    – erik
    Aug 5, 2016 at 10:14
  • This is a good suggestion. However, from my experience (on Note 4 ), the app uses INBOX by default, if needed. Mar 18, 2017 at 12:29

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