How to Delete Mail with IMAP
I tried to delete an email in Outlook Express/Outlook XP/Eudora/etc, but it just got crossed out, not deleted; how do I get rid of it?
Our underlying email server is an IMAP server. In the IMAP standard, when you 'delete' an item, it isn't actually deleted permanently. Instead, it's simply marked as 'deleted'. This is often displayed in email clients as a crossed-out email. At this stage, the email still exists in your mailbox, taking up space. It's merely been flagged for deletion. To actually delete the item permanently, you have to 'purge' the mailbox. Most IMAP clients have an option in one of the menus or on the toolbar called 'purge' or 'expunge'. This is what permanently deletes the email.
Unfortunately, most people find this a bit counter-intuitive. Most people are used to the Macintosh and Microsoft model of 'delete means move to Trash'. So in the web-interface, we have emulated this. When you delete in the web-interface it does the following 'copy message(s) to Trash, or mark for deletion'.
It is possible in an IMAP client to delete a message and not purge it (optional). Then, in the web-interface, these messages will then be shown as crossed-out in the Mailbox view. You can purge them by choosing 'Purge Deleted' from the right side of the interface.
In Outlook Express, you can uncheck View->Current View->Show Deleted Messages to avoid deleted but not-purged emails appearing in your view. However you should purge them from time to time to avoid using more server resources than necessary and possibly going over quota.