How to disable IDLE processes generated by mail clients

The IDLE function (known as IMAP push) is used by almost every mail client. It allows the IMAP email users to receive any email changes without refreshing their mailbox.

In some cases, however, the email client stalls and keeps opening multiple processes that cannot be closed. Disabling the IDLE processes on your mail client will prevent these processes prom piling up.

Here are the steps how you can do this for some of the most popular mail clients nowadays:

Mozilla Thunderbird:

  • Go to Tools
  • Select Account Settings
  • Select Server Settings
  • Uncheck the Allow immediate server notifications when new messages arrive

MacMail (up to OS X El Capitan):

  • From the Mail drop-down, click on Preferences:
  • Navigate to Accounts
  • Select your IMAP account from the list
  • Click on the Advanced tab and disable the Use Idle setting

Microsoft Outlook 2010:

  • Go to the Send/Receive tab
  • Select Send/Receive Groups and click on Define Send/Receive Groups
  • For each Group, Uncheck, Schedule an automatic send/receive every x minutes
  • Click Close button

Microsoft Outlook 2007:

  • Access Tools and navigate to Send/Receive
  • Click on Send/Receive Settings
  • Select Define Send/Receive Groups
  • For each Group, Uncheck, Schedule an automatic send/receive every x minutes
  • Click Close button

Apple iPad:

  • Go to Settings and select Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  • Under Accounts click Fetch New Data
  • Turn ON Push and make sure it is set to Manually

Android Mail:

  • Select your IMAP account
  • Go to Menu | More | Settings | Send & Receive
  • Select Set download frequency
  • Change Peak times and Off-peak times to Manual

Android K9 Mail:

  • Access your IMAP email account
  • Go to Menu | More | Settings | Account Settings
  • Change Folder poll check frequency to Never

Palm WebOS:

  • Select Preferences & Accounts from the application menu (top Email tab)
  • Under Accounts, select your account
  • Scroll down to the box titled Sync
  • Change the setting for Get Email to As items arrive
  • Use the back gesture to save your configuration

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