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Greg G
Greg G, Director of Information Technology
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 484
Experience:  Working with computers since '83. Programming since '85. Always worked in the field.
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How to delete optonline eMail on iPhone and laptop?

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How can I delete my optonline eMail on my iPhone and have it also delete on my laptop simultaneously?

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For eMail I have my iPhone incoming and outgoing server as; same case for my Toshiba laptop. I have the iPhone set to remove an eMail from the server as soon as it's removed from the inbox. Yet, the eMail still shows up on my laptop? How can I get deleted eMail to delete from both locations simultaneously?

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer~

Unfortunately what you would like to happen isn't possible. See what happens is that when someone sends you an email it goes to the mail server and then waits to be downloaded, since you have a mail program on your computer your mail program then downloads the message. Now since you have an iPhone that you have your email setup on also that means that you have your mail program set to leave a copy on the server for your iPhone. What that means is that when someone sends you an email it goes to the mail server then your computer will download a copy and leave a copy behind for your iPhone also then both the computer and the iPhone will have the email. When the message is moved from the inbox on the iPhone then the message(copy that was downloaded to the iPhone) is removed from the server, but anything that is already downloaded into your mail program on your computer is going to remain on your computer until you physically delete it.

Hope that explanation helps out, if you want more information please let me know.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your reply. My wife has a Blackberry and she does with it what I'm trying to do with my iPhone. I talked to an Optimum tech person who has an iPhone, and he says he does what I want with his iPhone. He told me what to do. I tried what he said, but I'm apparently missing something; mine doesn't work. I've tried to get back in touch with him; can't locate the same tech--you know how that goes.

I think it can be done, but obviously it's rather tedious. I have to find another iPhone owner who also uses Optimum Online eMail. Perhaps I can Google that.

To my knowledge I don't think it's possible. Maybe the tech you spoke with was referring to syncing the iPhone with the computer. I am going to opt-out and forward your question to the other experts to see if they have a solution.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks again for your reply, and thanks for forwarding my question for other possible responses. Of course, the tech was talking about syncing the iPhone with the laptop; I thought about using that terminology in my original question; that's clearly where my thinking was, but I was trying to keep it simple and clear.

Now first, let me be completely frank with you and tell you that I don't have an iPhone myself. I too am a blackberry guy. Nor for that matter am I familiar with optonline. However, what you want to do is possible as long as they support the proper protocols, we just have to make sure things are set up correctly.

Now let me explain first that there are two common ways you can access email on a mail server (a non-Exchange server that is). One is using a protocol called POP. The other is using a protocol called IMAP.

Now let me explain the difference between those two. When you access your email using the POP protocol, all of the information in your mailbox is "downloaded" to your local machine. You can set the machine to "leave a copy" on the server, but at no time does it work directly from the server itself... Even when you delete messages from the email program, they are STILL on the server and can be re-downloaded or accessed via webmail at any time...

However, when you access your email through IMAP, you are actually connecting to and working directly off the server itself. Each time you access the mailbox you get a "list" of the headers or first parts of the emails in that box... When you open a message it then downloads the contents of just that message to the local machine to view... Likewise, when you delete and purge a message, it is removed from the server itself while everything else is left intact.

Now let me explain where this is going...

If you are accessing your email using the POP protocol, then Ryan B was absolutely correct, there isn't any way to accomplish what you're trying to do. If you set both clients to delete the mail from the server after it's retrieved, then any email you get on the iPhone will never show up on the desktop, and vice versa... However, if you set them to leave the mail on the server, then EACH device will get it's own copy of the message...

However, if you set both devices to access via IMAP (Assuming optonline supports the IMAP protocol) then BOTH will work directly off the server. In other words, your email is stored in a central repository (the server), so what you do on one client will be reflected on the other... If you delete a message from the desktop, it will delete from the iphone... If you delete from the iphone it will delete from the desktop... Technically that's worded wrong.. If you delete from either device, it will be deleted from the SERVER, but since both look to the server, BOTH will stop seeing the message that was deleted...

Hopefully I've presented that in a way that is easy to understand, I know it's a bit complicated...

Now I did a quick search to see if optonline does indeed support IMAP, I found an older reference saying they did not, but if the tech you spoke to was doing this, then they must.

So basically, if you set both iPhone and PC to use IMAP you'll be doing exactly what you're trying to accomplish...

Now if for some reason optonline doesn't support IMAP... Here's the next best thing that will get you close to what you want to do...

First, you'll have to make sure the mail program isn't running on your desktop all the time. Make sure that you only run it when you want to check your mail.

Second, instead of using a mail client on the iphone to access your email, use the web browser instead. In other words, access their webmail site to access your email that way through the iphone. It's not as convenient I know, that's why I said it was close, but here's what that will accomplish for you...

Since accessing the email through the web client will work directly off the server itself, it's sort of like IMAP. When you delete a message from the iPhone (via webmail) you'll be removing it directly from the server.

On the desktop when you open the email program and it checks for new mail, it won't see anything you deleted from the iphone..

Hope that information helps!

Greg G, Director of Information Technology
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 484
Experience: Working with computers since '83. Programming since '85. Always worked in the field.
Greg G and 12 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks very much for your very thoughtful and cogent response. You offered me some options; I really appreciate that. It appears that Optimum has not yet upgraded to handle both POP and IMAP protocols. I'll keep checking to find out for sure. I'll try the webmail route on the iPhone and see if that's handy for eMail generally and whether it works for deletion synchronization in particular. I use webmail when I'm traveling, so maybe it'll be okay for daily use on the iPhone--we'll see.