Disable sync option


I understand that synchronization between multiple devices may look like a really good feature for people with a somewhat fast connection and at a low cost, but for people like me, this is a really bad thing, I do not complain if you have this set on by default but at least allowing the user to disable this, is really needed. If an user have chatted all day in a PC, and then he switch to a phone, it is really annoying that DC start to sync/re-download all that messages, making impossible to send a new message and even more annoying if all that messages have a cost for you :wink:

Expected behavior

I can disable message synchronization

Actual behavior

I can’t disable message synchronization and I am wasting money :frowning:


Why not to turn on WiFI on the phone, so it won’t use mobile internet and all devices would be in synchronization.
If you really don’t need messages on the phone then simply delete them on PC to avoid phone to pick all skipped messages. You actually want to invent a kinda new protocol POP3 over IMAP that I think at first it would require a lot of effort and second it will broke the whole point of synchronization.
You’d like to change the way how IMAP protocol works. I don’t think it is a good things.
What actually you can do, is to install some other email client on your PC that supports autocrypt opportunistic encryption and use that email client by accessing your email account over POP3 (with settings that tells remote server to delete messages upon receiving) and use IMAP on DeltaChat client.


I tell you as a user and a person in a similar situation that what you have to do as a developer to provide that feature is not his problem. (I am saying it due your explanation about how IMAP and POP3 work)

What you propose is something quite impossible where I live because of the low connection ADSL speeds provided by common ISPs, about 2-6 megabits / second, and assuming you are at home. If you are out find another solution because free Wifi and with a good speed is difficult.


Absolutely understandable.

Another aspect:
In the past deltachat did not download messages from the server after installation (most of the times https://github.com/deltachat/deltachat-core/issues/156), because there might be a large amount of messages on the server. However, downloading older messages from the server can be very handy for setting up an additional device.

So what’s best for a nice solution?

  1. A configuration option to disable downloading “off-line stored” messages (skip downloading on init, only download when waking up from imap_idle_wait)?
  2. A manual trigger for downloading older messages? (only the message list first? only last x messages?)


K9mail has option: how many recent messages to download that prevent choking on email accounts with huge amount of messages. AFAIR, google’s email client also has similar option


Ok, good point. If deltachat does not download non-chat emails, I guess the general choking problem should be less severe, and be relevant mostly only once after installation (later a last message ID is known).

The problem of “queued messages” of this post could use the:

  • Download only “live” messages (skip downloading on init, only download when waking up from imap_ idle _wait)

But it could be even perfected as:

  • Download only unseen messages (for which there wasn’t a read receipt sent yet).

The latter should allow avoiding to ever miss a message, which is always a problem of a strict limit to the “last x messages”.

As choking after first installation is avoided by not automatically downloading, I think all that would be further needed is some manual option.

  • Force downloading all(default) or last X messages

The possibility to only download the list of messages first is not worth while (EDIT: here a config option) I think, but a good part of every automatic traffic saving feature. -> Show message size and other statistics


I know this may be hard to belive to you but I don’t have internet access on the phone, just local email access. Also it is expensive I simply can’t allow me the luxury of downloaing unwanted stuff.

Having to do that by hand would make the use of Delta Chat a pain, users will use an email client instead.

No I don’t, what I want is IMAP, I am not asking any especial stuff here!! just don’t download the messages, is it too much to ask??? I am not asking to download the messages from the server and delete them as an POP3 approach, but just to not download seen messages!!

Again you are just making users getting away from Delta Chat and using other tools, that is not the point, actually I am a developer and what I want is to attract more users to use Delta Chat.


That is useless in this case, at some point you will have to download this old/readed messages anyway to be able to see the new ones


that sounds good


this sounds good also


I meant to delete messages that was read in DeltaChat on device that received and exposed message to an user.

I don’t know, I think that the whole point to use IMAP - is to synchronize messages across all devices.
What you asking, is a way to broke synchronization. It would be really easy to lost messages if you need them for reference/archive. In case you need some read message, you would have to dig all devices to be able to find a message you looking for and this is major drawback I think.

IMHO a better way is to use some mechanisms that already known in other email clients, such as option to download only headers to DC and download the whole message upon click/tap on particular message, but I can’t see a way how it could be implemented in DC since it displays body of messages, not a subject field only.

For technically advanced users any additional functionality it would be always favorable, but regular users on another side are always looking for as much simple solutions as possible, unfortunately… If such users turn by mistake option you talking it only will bother them since such users don’t like to explore anything :frowning:

The only idea that come to me now is to use some option like “Download only unseen message” but under the hood, DC would switch workflow if such option activated to something like this:
Query IMAP and pull only messages that has “unseen” status, but in UI somewhere on the top should appear a button - “Download read messages” or “Sync All” to pull all messages when it needed.

Anyway, I think K9mail’s functionality that restrict number of recent messages kept as off-line on devices need to be early or later to be implemented to prevent DC to take all device storage space and keep ability to pull older messages at will if needed as it’s working in K9, - by pulling down screen in the message’s list.


"Disable sync option" tell you something??? I don’t want to brake synchronization I just want to have a way to disable it, if latter an user needs the messages they don’t have to “dig all devices to be able to find a message” they just enable synchronization again, seems like you simply don’t understand what I am talking about here.

I really would like this feature, but for new messages, for old messages I don’t want them to be downloaded, not even the headers.


You talk about users as if they were monkeys, do you tell me that if the user activate an option like “disable message sync” they don’t know what they are doing??, if this look too complex for you, this option can go in the advanced menu anyway, this is really needed for a lot of people not only for me, not having such an option will make Delta Chat unusable for Cuban people and other users with paid email access, or slow connections. If we follow your idea, then lets remove all advanced options on Delta Chat and make it an useless thing just to be sure no one screw it… or use it…


I don’t need disable synchronisationd.
But I absolutely agree with @adbenitez
A option to disable syncronisation would be helpfull for some people and would not hurt the other if it would implemented as “sync on by default” it the “Advanced settings” as all other special settings like IMAP folder handling.


To me it looks like - “disable synchronization”, which in turn sounds like suspend DC’s ability to sync messages, it sounds the same as - disable background synchronization on Android (and users knows what does it mean), and if I activate it, then synchronization would be disabled, that’s what it tells.

As I wrote before, “Download unseen message only” IMHO describes what you want more clearly.

Please, don’t think about me as a monster, I simply working with a lot of real different users for really long time and simply share with you my experience.
General users don’t like or afraid or simply lazy to explore new/complex stuff… unfortunately
That’s not about my opinion, it’s about statistics.

Yes, that what Im trying to explain you.

I bet that 3/4 of users would think about it literally - “disable message sync”, which means completely disable message synchronization, but in fact it would still download unseen messages which will rise the question, - “why messages still coming ?”
It’s just a wording and I think it is better to describe action exactly what it should do.

I afraid we don’t understand each other :frowning:
I’m not an enemy to your proposal at all and I really would be glad if people in situations like yours would have a choice to communicate while using expensive or unreliable communication channels.
What I don’t want - is to attempt to broke common sense.

Could you try please to understand me, you talking about “disable message synchronization”.
Now, assume you are non technical user and you having the only one instance of DeltaChat on your phone and you found in settings option - “disable message synchronization”.
First thing that comes to mind in this case - it’s suspend synchronization with IMAP server since it’s the only one party used in communication.
Wording is matter!
“Download unseen message only” != “disable message synchronization”

You obviously overreacted with unknown reason to me… which is sad, I’m trying to help actually.
My idea - isn’t to make an app with one single button, but to have UI intuitively understandable for all range of users.
If an option would be called “Download unseen message only” it’s IMO understandable,
but in this case, it will be very convenient to have access to a button on primary/frontend UI that allows
to download all/read/skipped messages.


I am proposing a feature not the name of the feature, whatever name the developers decide for this it’s fine to me.

Well if you read above, you started as an enemy of my proposal :wink:
If you just think the name “disable sync” brakes common sense, you could have started with: “I think this feature is useful but a more user friendly name for this is …” if you actually start with “You actually want to invent a kinda new protocol POP3 over IMAP” that doesn’t sound like: “I’m trying to help actually” to me :wink:

Sorry if you think I am hating you, I am not, this is not personal, we are just debating here :slight_smile: I will try to elaborate more my answers to reflect that, sorry again.