Syncing Your Sent Mail on Your Computer and iPhone

by Jonathan Longnecker

iPhone Sent MailI’ve had my e-mail synced up between my iPhone and Mac for a while now, but for some reason I could never get my sent mail to sync. I mus have missed the boat on this one because it’s actually not that hard, and I’ve found that Leopard makes it less panic-inducing (I’ll explain later).

So when I knew I was getting an iPhone around last November, I went ahead and changed my 47m mail to an IMAP account so it would signal read/unread e-mails on all my devices. Apparently living in the dark ages, I had pretty much just used POP mail before that, keeping regular backups of sent and received mail in manual folders. A lame system? Yes, but it worked for me and kept the mail server flowing freely. And so was my first stupid mistake: I just switched it and didn’t backup anything first. Since I had been using POP mail that pull the messages off the server and removes them after so many days, a bunch of my e-mails were gone! Whoohoo! Fortunately I got lucky; we were in the middle of switching hosts and the old host still had the mail servers active so I made an account tapping into their system and got the messages back.

Since I had never tried to sync my sent messages they were all still there stored locally on my computer so they were good. Until I tried storing them on the server and then they all disappeared, too. Thus the state of panic I referred to earlier. I don’t remember how I got them back, but I did. It was a long time ago; my point is don’t do that!

Fast forward to today. I’ve got the 2.0 goodness on my iPhone and I’m testing out MobileMe. Seems to work, but the same thing…my sent e-mail isn’t synced up. Weird. So I got wise this time and decided to make a copy of my sent messages on my computer first and then head over to the preferences pane and choose “Store sent messages on server.”

Mail Preferences Changed

Stupid FilterWhen I checked that and saved, sure enough away went all my sent e-mails, but I noticed something that the previous version of Mail didn’t do; it made an automatic backup for me to save me from my stupidity! Way to go Apple. So I did a test, and presto, my sent mail is showing up in my Mac’s sent folder and my iPhone’s sent folder. Sweet! Now I just need to copy my backed up sent emails to the main sent folder and I’m up and running. This works with MobileMe and any IMAP account as far as I can tell.

Sent Mail

For me this fixes an annoying problem I’ve had for a while now. If I’m late to the party, I apologize! If it’s new to you I hope it helps. Now if Apple can just get the MobileMe contact syncing to work I’ll be set…

July 17, 2008

Tutorials, Apple


  1. It works great but for some reason my old emails do not show up. Only the new ones that I’ve made after snycing. Do you know how to fix this?

  2. Car Chargers, you have to copy your old ones back into sent the folder for them to show up.

  3. Does this work only for iPhone to Mac, or can it be achieved on a PC?  Will this work only for IMAP? It’s so frustrating to see my sent Comcast mail composed on my iPhone mail pile up, and remain unavailable from my PC. It also gobbles hard drive space over time.

  4. @Laurie G I don’t have a PC so I’m not entirely sure. It definitely won’t work without some sort of IMAP account, though. POP mail won’t sync up between devices.

  5. I send emails from my home computer and they end up in my sent folder at my work computer.  How do I change that?

  6. Well - Looks like I got a stupid button too coz I been in the same boat too - Thanks to you mine is working now too - Brilliant tip - Thanks

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