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Refresh IMAP folders in Android (G1) email application

*EDIT* I had filed a bug for this on the Android issue tracker.  It is bug #1096 Shortly after filing this, I did find a workaround.  I have edited below to reflect the changes.

*EDIT* I tried this in a different account and it didn’t work… but I’ll keep trying it to see if it ever does work.  The solution might just be to re-create the accounts. *EDIT*

As I started to add my IMAP email accounts, I noticed that there were folders I didn’t care for.  I didn’t need them, so I nuked them from the webmail interface for the accounts as I couldn’t find any way to delete folders within the Android email application.  To my dismay, I discovered that the Android email application does not appear to refresh IMAP folders frequently (ever).

I found a solution to this issue, though.

  1. Go to the account list in the email application.  You can get there from inside an email account by pressing “menu” and then “accounts”.
  2. Press “menu”
  3. Press “refresh”

You’ll find that the email application reaches out to your IMAP server again and will refresh the folder lists.

It appears that the email application keeps its own “trash” folder, in addition to the one that may already exist on your IMAP account.  But I’ll figure out something about that in a bit.  According to many reports, the delete function doesn’t work right even with this alternate trash folder.  There is an email client called “K9” available in the marketplace that supposedly fixes this issue, but I’ve also heard from an Android developer that it was not implemented “right.”

Generally speaking, if a fix for something broken makes it work, it’s hard to argue with.  K9 also adds some other functionality.  I am just starting to play with it and I’ll let you know how it goes.