Why is Delta Chat not updating the inbox?

All email clients I have used seem to update their message listings from the email server, but I don’t seem to get this working with Delta Chat. Not with two Delta Chat devices, and not with one Delta Chat and a normal Email program using the same email account.

Can’t Delta Chat list the emails that are currently on the server, and update that list for example after some messages got deleted using another device? I first noticed this with the contact requests, but it seems the same with the chat messages. I had expected that a new install would out-of-the-box be able to list the current messages that are on the server. And then continue to update the list if the messages on the server were edited, without any need to manually trigger any syncing or backup and restore action.

A backup/restore or transfer function may still be necessary to transfer a larger message archive without uploading to the server, but I think no email client has ever needed backup/restore/transfer, just to update the messages on another device.

Welcome to Delta Chat!

These are actually two things:

  • Delete messages if they are deleted on the server
    For multi-device sync this would obviously be an improvement but what if someone wants to keep their server clean (e.g. because they were running out of storage) and wants to delete messages on the server. We have lots of Cuban users who have very limited email storage.

  • Download existing emails when installing Delta Chat: There are efforts to implement this, just that it will only be the last 100 emails from each folder, in order to save data (also retrieving all emails from a large mailbox would easily take 10 minutes)

Messages on an email server can never be edited, only added and deleted.

aren’t these pretty usual things?

I also don’t like too much cruft on the email server. Still, all my email clients always sync (two-way) with the server (so it’s only necessary to sort, or delete a spam message, once). And I simply have a filter rule on the desktop client to move older (excess) messages to below a local (archive) folder. That keeps the server working nice and tidy.

I think most email clients first only retrieve the directory listings (not the actual messages), and maybe only in chunks. That’s important with servers holding many gigabytes of emails.

Yep, I mostly meant newly appearing and deleted messages, however, we actually also frequently edit messages. It’s possible in the “Drafts” folder. And it’s actually even possible to move or copy an older message from the “Sent” folder and edit/re-send it from the “Drafts” folder.