What would be the proper way to restore a Delta Chat account using only mail server messages?

Hi community :wave:

I’m new to Delta Chat and I’ve been playing with it for some weeks. To the point I’ve installed my own server and created accounts for my family and some friends. Everything is working perfectly.

My main goal when setting my own mail server was to be able to have a controlled private backup of all our messages in the IMAP server. However, I’m not 100% sure if assuming this is correct. Let me explain…

I have created a test account, saved some messages, sent others and got replies, so that I can test all scenarios. Then I’ve exported the keys and deleted the account from Delta Chat.

Inspecting the mail server with a regular email client, where I have imported the keys, I can see that all the messages are there and that they have been moved to the DeltaChat folder. That looks good because, at least, I have not lost the messages (as expected).

Now, to recover the lost structure in a new installation of Delta Chat I need to follow these steps:

  1. Register Delta Chat with the mail server again (which leads to an empty chats list because all the messsages in the server are in the DeltaChat folder)
  2. Import the old keys
  3. Move the messages from DeltaChat to Inbox in the regular mail client (this is to force Delta Chat to reprocess all the messages)
  4. When Delta Chat finishes processing the new messages everything is again as it was.

So, in theory, this would be a way to recover from a device loss, for example (provided that you have backup the keys, of course).

But, I’m seeing messages in the forum saying that only the last 100 messages are processed when you register with the mail server for the first time so I’m wondering if my procedure would work with more messages…

And, if not, are there any plans to support this use case? :thinking:


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This feature was about the last 100 messages processed from the Delta Chat folder automatically immediately after creating an account, even before the step 2 of your post where you import the key. This feature skipped all the messages it could not decipher, so in your scenario it would do nothing. Furthermore, this feature will be disabled in the next release and is already disabled in the preview release as discussed in Setting ‘No, chats only’ for ‘Show Classic E-Mails’ showing classic emails

In the scenario you describe, when you manually move the messages from the Delta Chat folder to the Inbox, all the messages will be processed by Delta Chat. There is by the way a simpler way: you can rename the DeltaChat folder, e.g. into “DeltaChatOld”, and wait for Delta Chat to scan it, because it periodically scans all the folders, but it may take a while.

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That’s perfect. Thx :slight_smile:

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