Confused over folder assignments


Hello to all,

I've got a Gmail IMAP account that I use on both my MBP and my iPhone / iPad.

I've noticed, however, that messages I sent from my iPhone / iPad don't show up in the sent items on my MBP and vice versa.

After reading a few articles, I think I fixed the problem by expanding the folder tree for the account on my MBP and highlighting the sent items folder for that account down at the bottom left of the screen, then clicking on Mailbox > Use this mailbox for... > Sent.

Seems like that did the job.

The problem I have now, though, is that I use Google Apps for my business account and I have the same problem. I'm considering doing the same thing as above for this account, but I'm worried about what will happen to my messages. I do almost all of my business correspondence from my MBP, so have all my important business mails in the created sent items folder for that account.

If, however, I go down to the bottom left of the screen and expand the folder tree for my business account, I have a Sent Messages folder at the bottom of the list that contains all the messages I've sent from my iPhone and iPad.

If I go through the same procedure as I did for my personal account, what will happen to all the sent mails in the default sent items folder (the majority of my sent mails for my business)? Will they be seamlessly merged with the sent items in the "new" sent items folder or will they be wiped out completely and replaced by only the mails I've sent from my mobile devices?

All good advice appreciated,



Thanks, Satcomer. I appreciate it.

This is almost what I have done (my accounts were set up before 10.7 was introduced, so I have had to retroactively assign the Gmail folders as described in the article to make them available in the same way across all my devices).

My specific question, however, was what will happen to my existing sent business mails on my MBP if I carry over the manual assignment of my sent items folder (as outlined in the article you quoted)? They are all resident in the sent items folder created when I set up my account from within (the option to set up an account via System Preferences > Mail, calendar, etc. didn't exist when I originally set everything up under Snow Leopard).

If everything will seamlessly be integrated into one sent items folder used by all devices, great. However, if in proceeding the Gmail sent items folder will overwrite all my existing sent business mails on my MBP, this would be a nightmare. For this reason I can't just try it and see what happens. I've got some 3GB of mails spanning several years and if they all go down the Swanee I'll be sunk.




In Geostationary Orbit
I would use two separate accounts, one for business and one for personal. Plus are you saving the email on your Mac or within GMAIL itself?


Hi Satcomer,

I'm not expressing myself very clearly. Sorry. I have two accounts: one is a Gmail account for my personal mails and the other is a Google Apps account for my business mails.

I'm not combining these mails. I just gave the example of what I did with my personal account to give some background as to what I'm wanting to achieve with my business account.

I'm wanting to "marry up" the sent items in my business account so that whenever I send a mail from any of my devices (MBP, iPhone, iPad) they all show in the sent items on all devices.

So far, if I send a mail from my MBP it shows in the sent items on the MBP (as expected).

If I send a mail from my iPhone or iPad, it shows in the sent items on the MBP (so far, so good).

However, mails I send from my MBP *do not* show in the sent items on my iPhone and iPad (not so good).

Those messages, however, are displayed in the second Sent Items folder at the bottom of the folder tree for my Google Apps account on my MBP (the one you can only see if you go down to the bottom left in below all other accounts and expand the folder with the same name as the account you're interested in (in my case, my Google Apps account). If this folder is expanded you see things like [Gmail], Templates, Priority, and Sent Messages (I hasten to add these are NOT within the [Gmail] folder).

It is in this Sent Messages folder that I see the items sent from my idevices, but NOT from my MBP. There seems to be some sort of partial disconnect in what part of the system reads mail from what location.

I suppose the mail thing is that I see all messages sent from all devices on my MBP (which seems to be the case) as I back up all my mail to my MBP (I'm using IMAP, so it's both on the server and on my MBP), but it can be frustrating if I have sent a mail from my MBP in the morning, then have to go to a customer site, and not having received a reply, start to wonder if I did, indeed, send the mail before I left home. Looking in the Sent Items on my iPhone is no help because this doesn't display messages sent from my MBP (but my MBP *does* display messages sent from my iPhone and iPad).

It beats the hell out of my, honestly. I reckon if I highlight the Sent Messages folder at the bottom of the folder tree on my MBP and select this to be my sent items folder all will probably work, but I don't know that for sure and I don't know whether this will wipe out all the sent items on my MBP in preference to what is "on" my idevices.

Great, ain't it? :)




Why not just test it out, using a backup of your MBPro hard drive? You might not want to use your active backup, but you could create a new backup, just for testing.
I suspect the process won't "wipe out" anything, but just place your sent items in a different - perhaps less convenient - folder on your MBPro, as it does now with your Gmail account. It's likely some difference in the Google settings on your MacBook Pro, compared to your other Macs - consequently, I would expect similar behavior to continue.