Friday, October 26, 2007

Gmail IMAP: (null) Folder?

In general I am extremely pleased with Gmail's IMAP as I have been using it almost exclusively with Outlook 2003 for the past couple days. However, there are two problems that I am having off and on. These wouldn't be issues at all except that Outlook insists on bugging me about them and gives me no option to "forget it and don't bother me again when you get this error".
  1. Can't connect to imap.gmail.com": I figure this is transient and has something to do with their server farm still being outfitted with IMAP and opening all those ports. Otherwise it could also be my flakey internet connection; either way it's not something I care to have reported unless I'm trying to send an email (which uses smtp.gmail.com anyway, so that's a moot point).

  2. Outlook failed to download folder (null) from imap.gmail.com: I will fill in the actual message text the next time it happens, but I'm at a loss to explain what's going on here. It sounds to me like GMail is returning a folder list and one of the names is blank/empty/null. I can't quite remember how IMAP's folder lists work at the protocol level, but if this is the case it's another situation where I wish Outlook would just ignore it. What could possibly be in a (null) folder that I care about?

I'd imagine Google's response to these problems would be, "GMail is in BETA", but of course that may always be the case. They're offering it for a price ($50 a year at the time of writing this) for "premium" (corporate customers) and yet it's still in beta.

At least it's not alpha!

UPDATE: The error popped up again for #2 above and after reading more carefully through it, it looks like it actually might have something to do with #1. Maybe, and this is a big maybe, Gmail disconnects part-way through (or right before) the folder list resulting in a zero-length list which Outlook incorrectly interprets as a single (null) folder. Here's the text of it:

Task 'Checking for new mail in subscribed folders on imap.gmail.com.' reported error (0x800CC0E) : 'Outlook is unable to download folder (null) from the IMAP e-mail server for account imap.gmail.com. Error: Unable to connect to the server. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP).'

I am going to guess that most people's comments to this (whether they post them here or not) will be, "it doesn't happen to me". Which, I must mention, is extremely helpful!

5 comments:

Ra.Ge said...

it DOES happen to me, all the time :(. I realize this is just as helpful as "this does not happen to me", but then when I was searching about the error on google, your post was the first hit, and since you haven't suggested a solution, the post hasn't been very useful either :p

teach4lifechange said...

Try deleting and recreating the account. I read this on the google forums and it worked.

Anonymous said...

Just happend to me, i tried recreating the account profile but nothing changed. After I rebooted the PC everything was working fine.

speeves said...

It is resolved when we restart outlook. (A possible hang-up in IMAP communication with the server?).

John said...

Getting this problem all the time using Outlook 2003