FAQ #1612
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What is IMAP and how can I use it?

IMAP is the abbreviation for Internet Message Access Protocol. IMAP offers you the possibility to directly manage your emails on the email server.
This means that if you set up your account as an IMAP account in your email program, your incoming emails will no longer be directly downloaded to your end device; rather, you will only receive a list of the messages with subject lines. The message will only be completely loaded once you open a message.

Furthermore, you can set up your own folders on the email server and move your messages there.These will then be available to you worldwide and on multiple devices.
Information about the STRATO email servers (inbox server, outbox server, port information and SMTP authentication) can be found here: The STRATO Email Server


What is the difference between POP3 and IMAP?


There are two possibilities for retrieving emails:


IMAP: Emails are synchronized between your computer and the STRATO email server. Furthermore, you can create your own folders on the server in order to sort your messages. When using IMAP, you also have access to this folder with Outlook or a smartphone (iPhone/Android/ etc.). Furthermore, you can access the same database worldwide through the STRATO Communicator, as well as from your smartphone or computer at home.

POP3: Emails are "retrieved" from your computer and deleted by the server in the default setting. Due to this, you no longer have access to these messages — neither through a smartphone nor through the STRATO Communicator. There is also no possibility to create folders on the server and to use these synchronously with several devices (or only in the STRATO Communicator).

In summary:

  • If you use your email account with several devices and you would like to use your own folders, we recommend using IMAP.
  • If you only use one device for email access access through POP3 is normally sufficient.

Highlights / advantages when using IMAP

If you delete emails, they are initially only shown as "deleted" (struck through). In order for your emails to be permanently deleted from the server, for example, select the following in Outlook: "Permanently delete edited/deleted messages".


The advantages of an IMAP account:
  • You can access your emails from multiple computers
  • You can share a mutually used mailbox with several users
  • IMAP makes it possible for you to quickly and easily create folders/sub-folders on the server. When using email programs, these are only "projected", this means that in reality all created folders are on the server.
  • You can execute email functions like "search" or "sort" even with less powerful computers, because the processing occurs on the server and not on a local PC
  • Furthermore, our IMAP server supports IDLE Extensions (push mail), , this means as soon as a new email is received, it will be displayed in your inbox as unread and you will receive a notification. Thus, it is not necessary to first click on "Receive" or to set up a polling interval.


The IDLE extension function is activated by default in most current email programs (for example, Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Netscape, etc.).

A lot of cell phone email clients support this function as well.

Additional notes: Please remember that you definitely need a constant internet connection in order to be able to edit your emails. Receiving emails through POP3 (SSL/TLS) is normally handled through port 995, while IMAP (SSL/TLS) uses port 993 by default. The delivery of email via SMTP (SSL/TLS) (outbox server) occurs via port 465.

Deleted emails are initially moved to the recycle bin and continue to take up storage space. You can permanently delete them in the recycle bin. Alternatively, the standard email clients offer the possibility of local archival. The archive is stored locally on your computer and thus, you do not need any storage space in your inbox.
Emails that are moved to an IMAP folder that you created will not be automatically deleted after a certain amount of time.
Important note: : Please remember that email mailboxes can only be accessed via a secure connection (SSL/TLS).
more FAQ articles:
Beachte auchthese are the STRATO email servers
Beachte auchHow can I create folders for my IMAP account?