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How to disable IDLE processes generated by mail clients

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The IDLE function (also known as IMAP push) is employed by almost every mail client. The idea is that the client should keep one (!) connection / process opened and running, so when a new email is received on the server, it would “ping” the client, so the latter would show the email in the Inbox on your computer. However, in some cases the email client stalls and keeps opening processes, sometimes for thousands of seconds, which are not closed. In this case, you should consider disabling the option on your mail client. Here are the steps how you can do this for most of the widely used mail clients nowadays:

Mozilla Thunderbird:

Go to Tools -> Account Settings -> Server Settings -> Advanced (under the Server Settings sub-section) -> Uncheck the “Allow immediate server notifications when new messages arrive”.

MacMail (up to OS X El Capitan):

Step 1: From the Mail drop-down, click on Preferences
Step 2: Click on Accounts
Step 3: Select your IMAP account from the list on the left.
Step 4: Click on the Advanced tab.
Step 5: Now disable the Use Idle setting.

Microsoft Outlook 2010:

Step 1: Send/Receive (tab) > Send/Receive Groups > Define Send/Receive Groups.
Step 2: For each Group, Uncheck, Schedule an automatic send/receive every x minutes.
Step 3: Click Close button.

Microsoft Outlook 2007:

Step 1: Tools > Send/Receive > Send/Receive Settings.
Step 2: Select Define Send/Receive Groups.
Step 3: For each Group, Uncheck, Schedule an automatic send/receive every x minutes.
Step 4: Click Close button.

Apple iPad:

Step 1: Go to “Settings” and select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
Step 2: Under ‘Accounts’, click Fetch New Data.
Step 3: Turn “ON” Push and make sure it is set to ‘Manually’

Android Mail:

Step 1: Select your account.
Step 2: Go to Menu | More | Settings | Send & Receive.
Step 3: Select “Set download frequency”.
Step 4: Change “Peak times” and “Off-peak times” to Manual.

Android K9 Mail:

Step 1: Select your account.
Step 2: Go to Menu | More | Settings | Account Settings.
Step 3: Change “Folder poll check frequency” to Never.

Palm WebOS:

Step 1: Select “Preferences & Accounts” from the application menu (top Email tab).
Step 2: Under “Accounts”, select your account.
Step 3: Scroll down to the box titled “Sync”.
Step 4: Change the setting for “Get Email” to “As items arrive”.
Step 5: Use the back gesture to save your configuration.

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