Synchronize IMAP folders for new accounts in Apple Mail

  • Last updated on: 2017-08-23
  • Authored by: William Loy

This article describes how to synchronize IMAP folders after you set up a new account in Apple Mail. Because Apple Mail does not automatically synchronize IMAP folders, you must complete this process manually through folder mapping. Instructions for several Apple Mail version are included; select the version that applies to you:

Note: These instructions are for setting up a new account. If you have been using your IMAP account in Apple Mail and are having folder synchronization issues, contact support.

Prerequisites

  • Applies to: User
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time needed: Approximately 10 minutes
  • Tools required: Access to Apple Mail IMAP account

For more information about prerequisite terminology, see Cloud Office support terminology.

Map IMAP folders in Sierra Apple Mail

  1. Within the Mail app, select Mail > Preferences.

  2. Select the Accounts tab at the top of the window, and then select your IMAP email account in the left pane.

  3. Select the Mailbox Behaviors tab.

  4. Click the Sent Mailbox menu, and select the Sent folder that is listed under your email (not the folder listed under On My Mac).

  5. Click the Junk Mailbox menu, and select the Spam folder that is listed under your email (not the folder listed under On My Mac).

  6. Click the Trash Mailbox menu, and select the Trash folder that is listed under your email (not the folder listed under On My Mac).

  7. Test the functionality of each of these folders to ensure that the mapping was successful.

Map IMAP folders in El Capitan or Yosemite Apple Mail

  1. Close all windows so that only your mailbox’s Inbox is open and visible.

  2. Under your email account, click on the Sent folder (not the Sent folder with the paper airplane icon).

  3. From the Mailbox menu, select Use This Mailbox As > Sent Mailbox.

  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 for the Junk/Spam and Trash folders.

  5. Test the functionality of each of these folders to ensure that the mapping was successful.

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