memory saving: Switching to Claws-Mail (with Gmail)

Evolution is a complete solution for mail, calendar, tasks, contact lists, but it uses a lot of resources, and I’m not using all of those features.
Last week I was looking at multiple mail clients (aka mail user agents). I was really interested in Claws-Mail, a fork of Sylpheed. It is very lightweight, and has a bunch of features, not as much as evolution, but it can compete pretty well.
Memory-wise, I switched from 30mb used by Evolution to ~14mb (maximum, but usually ~10mb) used by Claws-mail.


The only problem I was facing is setting it up with Gmail. Here’s how I figured it out after a couple days.

Create a new account as usual, using this information:

  • User ID:
  • Password: yourgmailpassword
  • Server for receving:
  • SMTP server:
  • SMTP Auth should be checked in the Send options
  • In the SSL option:
    • In IMAP4, Use SSL for IMAP4 connection must be checked
    • In Send (SMTP), Use STARTTLS command to start SSL session must be checked
  • In the advanced option:
    • SMTP port: 587
    • IMAP4 port: 993

Then go to File > Add Mailbox > MH…. This will help you have a Queue list on your computer as this is not properly handled by Gmail.

Go back into your Account settings.
Into the Advance section, the first two options must be checked, it should look like this (the mailbox name might be different for you, my system is in French. Click on Browse to make sure you have the right path!):

  • Put sent messages in: #mh/Boîte aux lettres/sent
  • Put queued messages in: #mh/Boîte aux lettres/queue

Do not worry about your sent messages, the Gmail smtp server will copy them into your online imap folder every time you send an email, automagically!

You are done!

3 Replies to “memory saving: Switching to Claws-Mail (with Gmail)”

  1. Hi Arnaud,

    thanks for this useful guide on setting up Claws to play nicely with Gmail/GoogleHosted accounts.

    I followed it but I’m having just one little issue, I think.

    I’ve chosen to save the sent mail on the local Mailbox (MH), as you suggest, by configuring the “Put sent messages in: (…)/sent” option.
    Then, sent mails are saved on that folder

    But then, contrary to what your guide says, sent mails are not being saved also on the imap “Sent” folder.
    It’s weird, because I wonder: how does Gmail “know” that I’m saving my sent emails locally, so they “decide” not to save it also on the imap “Sent” folder?
    Maybe Claws mail somehow “flags” the email being sent and so, when Gmail process it, Gmail decides not to save it on the “Sent” folder?

    Any advice will be appreciated.

    1. Julián,

      I don’t see why it doesn’t work this way. I’ve been the option “Put sent messages in: #mh/Boîte aux lettres/sent” for a long time now and I just checked on my gmail account and I can see the mail I send from claws-mail.
      To send your email are you using the Gmail SMTP server? ( On my settings, I use SMTP on port 587 and I also have SMTP AUTH and STARTTLS enabled.
      You could also check that your “From” field is correct and matches your login to Gmail.
      That’s all I can think of.
      Hope this helps.

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