Email sorting issues on iOS and Android after an email migration

  • Last updated on: 2016-01-18
  • Authored by: Milton Prado

After completing an email migration to Rackspace, some iOS and Android users may experience issues in the way emails are sorted on their mobile devices.

Specific behavior

Users may notice messages sorted in order from oldest to newest or may notice date gaps between messages.

Mobile Devices set up with IMAP (via Exchange) would display legacy messages in the order of oldest to newest. New messages that arrive to the mobile devices show up in the correct order. The only users that should be affected by this are users that choose to view a longer time frame of data on their mobile phones after a migration.


This is caused during the migration of data. The process exports mail from the source mailbox in order from newest to oldest, and imports the mail to the destination mailbox in the same fashion. This process causes the message creation or modification date to appear newer or more recent for older mail because it is the last to enter the mailbox.


Most migration tools, including MigrationWiz, migrate recent emails first. This is done so that users can start using their mailbox faster by having recent content immediately available to them. iOS and Android email clients are unique in the way they view this data. Those devices use the Created/Modified Date value for sorting. Most other email programs sort emails by Received Date. Unfortunately, this is a limitation of these mobile devices.

In order to prevent this issue, we recommend that users not have email from long time frames set to be viewed on their mobile devices.

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