Difference between Email "Import" and "Archive"

I have found Email import / archive, but the question not answered (the thread moved on to automation of this).

There is a section in the manual entitled “Import vs. Archive Mailbox” on page 38, but it also does not describe the difference. It implies that “archive” is for entire mailboxes (all folders), whereas “import” is for selected folders in the mailbox.

However, when I select an individual folder in a mailbox (after Menu: Import/Email command), both the icon buttons “Import” and “Archive Mailbox” are active. I would expect, based on the manual, that Archive would only be active when selecting root mailbox folder (entire mailbox), and visa versa.

Also, based on my testing, it appears if a mail item is deleted in the mailbox, that deletion does not synch through to the copy stored in DEVONthink’s db? Is this correct.

Each of those folders is still a mailbox.

Correct. There is no connection between your mailbox and your database.

Thanks … now back to the original question please:

I do Menu: Import/Email, I put cursor to select one of the “sub” mailbox/folders. Both buttons “Import” and “Archive” are active, which suggests I have a choice to either import or archive.

What is the difference?

(I do notice that when the root mailbox is selected, only the “archive” button is active, so in that case the entire mailbox and all sub mailboxes/folders are pulled in. I see that.)

Archive Mailbox will import a mailbox and attempt to keep its underlying structure (including sub-maiboxes) as well. It also will file the emails into an Email group in the database.

Import Email can import a Mailbox but will not keep the structure or import sub-mailboxes. It also imports in the current location in the database.

Thank you. :smiley:

No problem. :smiley:

I have a few questions. Is the main purpose of archiving email is to remove it from one’s mail server, or improve searching, or both?

If mail is archived (removed) from the mail server, is there any way of uploading it to one’s mail server one day?

Neither option, Archive or Import, removes email from any server.

I understand that, but that’s not what I was asking. I’m wondering about the raison d’être of using DT to archive email. What purpose does it serve, especially today when email storage is basically unlimited? Is it mainly for search purposes?

If I archive email to DT and then don’t remove it from the server, I might accumulate more email – would it be possible to archive just the new messages? Can DT do a kind of one-way sync in this case?

It depends on the use case. The advantage is organization and connection records in the database. If the emails are only in your email application, there is no good way to integrate them into contexts you need in your databases.

It’s not a “sync”, but yes, you can archive or import new messages. messages imported into DEVONthink are marked as imported (under-the-hood), and can’t be reimported into the same database without some intervention. So if you open File > Import > Email again, already imported emails will not be shown, by default.

While you should work with local email, whether you remove items from the mail server is up to you and independent of what DEVONthink is doing.