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I want to switch from Thunderbird to (Neo)mutt, because I would like to read my mail in a terminal (offline). I have a gmail account and just can't figure out how to setup Mutt properly.

I have setup isync in a way that syncs:

  • gmail's "Inbox" to a local "Inbox" folder
  • "[Gmail]/All Mail" to a local "Archive" folder and
  • "[Gmail]/Trash" to a local "Trash" folder

This seems to work.

I usually read my email in the local Inbox and want to keep it clean. After reading a message, I want to either archive it or delete it. And I would like to have a simple keybinding for each of these two actions. So for example:

  • pressing "A" should remove a message from the inbox, but leave it in my archive
  • pressing "D" should remove a message from the inbox and from the archive, but should put in Trash

Deleting a message from Trash should permanently delete a message. And of course this should be reflected in gmails web application and on my android phone.

The following lines are in my neomuttrc file.

set mbox   = "+archive"
set trash  = "+trash"
unset move
bind index D delete-message
bind index A purge-message

Now, when archiving a message with "A", it's marked as deleted in my inbox in Neomutt and after syncing the mailbox and running isync the message also disappears from my Inbox in Thunderbird, but I can still see it in the inbox in gmails web app and in the inbox on my phone. I don't understand way. Any ideas?

Deleting from my Inbox in Mutt seems to work (it just needs two runs of isync, which I do understand). But deleting messages from Trash in Mutt, does not delete these message from the Trash in the web app or on my phone. I don't get that either. Again, any ideas?

Well, any help is highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1

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Now, when archiving a message with "A", it's marked as deleted in my inbox in Neomutt and after syncing the mailbox and running isync the message also disappears from my Inbox in Thunderbird, but I can still see it in the inbox in gmails web app and in the inbox on my phone. I don't understand way. Any ideas?

My guess would be that you didn't configure isync with the following option:

Expunge Both

This way, deletion of messages should be enforced with the sync, too. From the docs:

Expunge {None|Far|Near|Both}

    Permanently remove all messages [on the far/near side] marked for deletion. See RECOMMENDATIONS below. (Global default: None)

I may note that it works for me this way. I'm using neomutt and isync with Gmail aswell. I don't consider myself an expert at all and don't know what I'm doing exactly, but you may find my dotfiles helpful for reference.

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    Thank you for your answer. I have to admit that I totally forgot that I posted this question here. At some point I had it working, but I never made the switch to Neomutt due to some other problems/missing features that I needed (notmuch tagging in maildir mailboxes). Unfortunately I don't have a setup to easily test your suggestion, but I believe it works for you and will accept it.
    – schuam
    Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 8:58
  • Thank you! I like to answer even older questions myself if I can after I solved a problem, because it may be helpful for others :) This solution to the sync problem is for isync and should be independent of whether it is used together with Mutt or Neomutt, I think. But funny enough, my mutt setup wasn't working properly a while ago, so I reconfigured and started using Neomutt. Commented Feb 19, 2022 at 21:01

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