Changed IMAP MOVE behavior in Dovecot 2.2.x

Michael M Slusarz slusarz at
Mon Jul 14 20:45:18 UTC 2014

Quoting Iavor Stoev <iavor at>:

> Hello,
> After the migration to Dovecot 2.2.13 from Dovecot 2.1.17,
> I noticed a changed behavior when I move a message from one folder  
> to another. I use Thunderbird with: Account Settings -> Server  
> Settings -> When I delete a message: Just mark it as deleted.
> I use Thunderbird 24.6.0 with IMAP.
> With Dovecot 2.1.x when I move a message, the message appears in the  
> new folder and is marked for deletion in the original folder (which  
> gives me an easy option to undo the action if I made a mistake until  
> I choose to Compact/Purge the folder).
> With Dovecot 2.2.x when I move the a message it is marked for  
> deletion and is AUTO Compacted/Purged immediately.
> Is there a way to achieve the 2.1.x behavior with Dovecot 2.2.x?

Dovecot 2.2 implemented the new IMAP MOVE extension, which Thunderbird  
is using.  Short of manually removing MOVE from Dovecot's CAPABILITY  
listing, there's not much you can do since I don't think Thunderbird  
provides an easy way to alter the low-level IMAP interaction.

The IMAP MOVE functionality is much preferred over your expected  
behavior since a COPY/STORE/EXPUNGE (how you must do a move without  
the MOVE extension) is not atomic and can leave the mailbox(es) in an  
inconsistent state.

Leaving a copy of the message in the original mailbox, that requires  
manual deletion, is most definitely not what most users expect for a  
move, even given a liberal interpretation of "move", so you are  
describing a very non-standard way of accessing your mailboxes.


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