Preparing a mail file for IMAP access

To support access from IMAP clients, mail files must be specially modified to store IMAP folder and message attributes as database items. If you used the Domino® registration process to create a user, and set the user's mail system type to IMAP, Domino® automatically performs the steps required to prepare the mail file for IMAP use. Otherwise, you must complete several tasks to prepare a mail file to support IMAP access.

Before you begin

Verify that you have:
  • Set up the Person document for the IMAP user.
  • Created a mail file for the IMAP user.


  1. Run the mail conversion utility on the mail file to enable it for IMAP access.
  2. If this is not a new mail file, run the mail conversion utility with the -h option to increase the speed of header downloads when clients log in.


The IMAP service does not rely on template views to store IMAP folder and message data; you can enable mail files created from any mail template.

For users with multiple mail file replicas -- for example, users with mail files on clustered servers -- you must independently enable each replica for IMAP access. Because Domino® does not replicate IMAP database items between databases, by default, when you create a new replica of an IMAP-enabled mail file, it is not enabled for IMAP use.

Differences when viewing mail files from IMAP clients and Notes® client

About this task

IMAP clients display certain folders and views in a mail file differently from Notes® clients. For instance, from an IMAP client, the Sent and Draft views, the Inbox and Trash folders, and any public folders appear as IMAP mailboxes. Also, hidden and private folders are not visible to IMAP clients.

Previously, synchronization between the IMAP Sent, Draft, Inbox, and Trash mailboxes and the Notes® client Sent and Draft views and Inbox and Trash folders was not available. However, in this release of Domino®, as the administrator, you can set the NOTES.INI parameter EnableImapFolderSynch=1 to enable synchronization between these IMAP mailboxes and the corresponding Notes® client views and folders.

The Domino® IMAP service does not support renaming of the Inbox folder in a Notes® mail file from an IMAP client.

For users who access their mail files from both an IMAP client and a Notes® client, Domino® synchronizes unread message marks between the two. Thus, a message marked as read in Notes® is also marked as read for an IMAP client, and vice versa.

IMAP clients cannot read messages that use Notes® encryption. IMAP clients do not have access to the Notes® private key needed to decrypt messages encrypted with a user's Notes® public key certificate. As a result, when a user opens an encrypted Notes® message from an IMAP client, only the unencrypted header information is available. The server replaces the blank message body with the following text:

[Portions of this MIME document are encrypted with a Notes® certificate and cannot be read.]

Use the following procedure to enable synchronization of the Sent and Draft views and the Trash folders.


  1. Add the following NOTES.INI parameter to the server that will be servicing the IMAP clients that want this feature turned on: EnableImapFolderSynch=1.
  2. Upgrade the mail templates to the latest mail template included with Domino® 8.5.2 or later.
  3. Make sure that the IMAP client subscribes to the new hidden folders that are new to the 8.5.2 mail template. The folder names need to match exactly.