Labels & IMAP

When using labels with Fastmail, messages can exist with more than one label. Each label will appear as a folder in any 3rd party IMAP client (e.g. Apple’s Mail.app or MS Outlook). If a message has more than one label, separate copies of the message will be added to each of the folders corresponding to the labels.

These copies do not take up additional quota on our server, but the IMAP client is likely to download each one separately and so it may take up more storage space on your device if you download all mail.

Messages without a label can be found in the IMAP Archive folder.

What happens when I take an action on messages with labels?

  • If you archive a message, the IMAP client will move it from the Inbox to the Archive folder. In the Fastmail interface, this will remove the Inbox label. If the message has other labels applied these will be kept, as the client will not touch the copies in other folders.
  • If you move a message, it will remove the label for the folder you are moving from and add the label for the folder you are moving to.
  • If you copy a message to a folder, it will add the corresponding label in the Fastmail interface.

The Archive folder is usually only for messages without a label, but with an IMAP client you can copy messages there that still have a label. This is not a problem, and it makes no difference in the Fastmail interface.

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