Author Topic: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?  (Read 2837 times)

Offline cag8f

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TL;DR How to resolve greyed out 'virtual' folders, and how to prevent them in the future.

Hi all.  I have three folders in Roundcube which are greyed out.  Roundcube documentation (https://docs.roundcube.net/doc/help/0.9/en_US/settings/folders.html) indicates these are 'virtual' folders which cannot be edited, deleted, nor renamed, nor can they contain messages.  But these are folders which I created, although not in Roundcube--in my email client (Microsoft Outlook).  How can I resolve this issue?  These folders indeed do not contain emails, but they do contain other folders, which themselves contain emails.  I would like to be able to move these folders around, and store emails in them.  Removing them would be fine as well, as long as I could re-add non-virtual replacements.

To add a little background, for the past six months these folders were not greyed out.  They became greyed out after I made a small change to my email client--I set the IMAP setting of "root folder path" to "inbox" (it was previously blank).  Doing so immediately deleted ~95% of my folders and emails, restructured my remaining email folders, and did so without warning, confirmation, or notification.  This occurred both in Outlook and in Roundcube.  In addition, it somehow converted these three folders to 'virtual' folders.  I'd like to know how to prevent this issue from happening again in the future. 

Thanks in advance.

Offline JohnDoh

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Re: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2017, 02:46:30 AM »
Quote
They became greyed out after I made a small change to my email client--I set the IMAP setting of "root folder path" to "inbox" (it was previously blank).
root folder path is not the sort of setting you can just change in a mail client. It must match the path specified by the IMAP server.

If the setting in the client and the setting on the server do not match then you will see the sorts of strange behavious that you are describing.

Similarly virtual folders, they are coming from your IMAP server - they are nothing to do with Roundcube or any other mail client.
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Offline cag8f

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Re: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 02:55:55 AM »
Dang, sorry for the late reply.  I didn't receive an email notification.

>> root folder path is not the sort of setting you can just change in a mail client. It must match the path specified by the IMAP server.

OK I hear you.  But Outlook 2013 definitely has a field labeled 'root folder path' which you can set to any string of your choice screenshot here (http://imgur.com/a/2qsnf).  I'm definitely not trying to argue with you, but I just want to give all the pertinent details as to what I did to create this situation.  This field was empty for many months, and all my email and folders were working great.  But one day I took some internet advice and set it to 'Inbox' (I was trying to resolve a separate, smaller issue)  It was at that very moment that my email problems arose.  All of my folders were restructured (most of them lost, including the emails within).  In addition, three existing folders were now being displayed as virtual folders in Roundcube.

>> Similarly virtual folders, they are coming from your IMAP server - they are nothing to do with Roundcube or any other mail client.

OK gotcha.  But at this point, how can I go about removing these three virtual folders?  Or in the least, convert them to non-virtual (real?) folders?  It sounds like something I have to do at the server level.  Keep in mind that all of these virtual folders have real folder inside which contain emails I'd like to save.

Thanks!

edit:  Also, going back to my seemingly lost emails--in my search for my lost emails, I looked in my local computer (in my Outlook folder), and in the "mail" folder on my web server.  Are you saying that I might be able to search my IMAP server for these lost emails?  Or am I misunderstanding something there?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 03:15:19 AM by cag8f »

Offline JohnDoh

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Re: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 07:11:07 AM »
Quote
OK I hear you.  But Outlook 2013 definitely has a field labeled 'root folder path' which you can set to any string of your choice screenshot here (http://imgur.com/a/2qsnf).
I know Outlook has an option called that in the advanced settings and you /can/ put in any string you want BUT that does not mean you should just make something up and put it in there, if you do then you will have problems just like what you are describing. The correct value is defined by your IMAP server.
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Offline rm13

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Re: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 03:55:36 PM »
edit:  Also, going back to my seemingly lost emails--in my search for my lost emails, I looked in my local computer (in my Outlook folder), and in the "mail" folder on my web server.  Are you saying that I might be able to search my IMAP server for these lost emails?  Or am I misunderstanding something there?

You could try a different email client like Thunderbird or mutt (if you happen to be using a SSH session to your server) to see if it finds the email without a possibly broken Outlook configuration in the way.

Not certain what "mail" is on your server. A Unix/Linux server with a typical Maildir storage structure would have your email in "hidden" folders that begin with a dot.

Offline cag8f

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Re: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2017, 05:01:31 AM »
@JohnDoh:  I agree.  I definitely f***ed up when changed that field.  There are certified individuals at Microsoft forums that are insisting this won't delete any emails--it will only change the way they are displayed in my client.  I've explained to them that this was not the case for me.  Anyway, I digress.

@rm13:  I tried both Squirrel Mail and Horde, and they have the same folder structure as Roundcube.  And on my web server, in the root directory, there is a "mail" directory.  Drilling down into it, there are several hidden folders, all beginning with a dot.  Each name corresponds to one of the visible folders in Roundcube.  There are no folders listed there that do *not* appear in Roundcube.  Naive question:  is my web server the same as my IMAP server?

Offline alec

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Re: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2017, 06:29:49 AM »
Be aware that list of subscribed folders and list of existing folders is two separate "things" on the IMAP server. If you enable imap_debug in Roundcube and visit Settings > Folders, you'll be able to see both lists in the log.

Offline cag8f

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Re: Greyed out 'virtual folders--how to remove and prevent in the future?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 08:35:54 AM »
@alec:  Thanks for the info.  A couple follow-ups.

>> Be aware that list of subscribed folders and list of existing folders is two separate "things" on the IMAP server.

Just to confirm, is the IMAP server the same as my web server?  I guess I could ask my hosting company this question for a definite answer.

>> If you enable imap_debug in Roundcube and visit Settings > Folders, you'll be able to see both lists in the log.

Last week I asked my hosting company (Go Daddy) how to edit my Roundcube preferences (so I could enable imab_debug).  They said, since I was on a shared server, I was not able to edit this file :-/  Just to be clear about subscribed folders vs. existing folders--when I browse my web server's 'mail' directory, I can definitely see a different directory for each of my subscribed folders.  Should that location also contain all of my "existing" folders?