The IMAP Move Extension

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Document Type Active Internet-Draft (imapmove WG)
Last updated 2012-07-30
Replaces draft-gulbrandsen-imap-move
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Network Working Group                                   Arnt Gulbrandsen
Internet-Draft                                                 July 2012
Intended Status: Standards Track

                        The IMAP Move Extension

Status of this Memo

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Gulbrandsen               Expires December 2012                 [Page 1]
Internet-draft                                                 July 2012


   The MOVE extension provides commands to move one or more messages
   from the selected mailbox to a named mailbox.

1. Conventions Used in This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

   Formal syntax is defined by [RFC5234].

   Example lines prefaced by "C:" are sent by the client and ones
   prefaced by "S:" by the server.

2. Overview

   This document defines an IMAP extension to move messages from one
   mailbox to another. This function (very common in MUA UIs) is not
   provided by stock IMAP, and clients have to use a combination of UID
   STORE, UID COPY and EXPUNGE, and cope with partial failures and side


   The UID MOVE command takes two arguments: a set of UIDs and a named
   mailbox. The MOVE command takes a set of MSNs and a named mailbox.
   Both commands move each message included in the set to the named

   The UID MOVE command has the same effect as a sequence of UID COPY,
   requirement that each message SHOULD either be moved or unaffected.
   The server SHOULD NOT leave a message in neither or both mailboxes
   afterwards (even if the server returns a tagged NO response).

   UID MOVE is the same as the three-command sequence in all other
   respects, which implies that extensions which affect the three-
   command sequence also affect UID MOVE, and that response codes such
   as COPYUID, TRYCREATE and so on should be sent as appropriate.

Gulbrandsen               Expires December 2012                 [Page 2]
Internet-draft                                                 July 2012

   An example:
        C: a UID MOVE 42:69 forble
        S: * OK [COPYUID 432432 42:69 1202:1229]
        S: * 22 EXPUNGE
        S: (more expunges)
        S: a OK Done

   Note that the server may send EXPUNGEs for other messages as well, if
   any happen to have been expunged at the same time.

   Implementers will need to read [RFC4315] to understand what UID
   EXPUNGE does. Implementing [RFC4315] is not necessary.

   Note that moving messages to the current mailbox is well-defined, so
   that MOVE is defined for all the cases where the COPY/STORE/EXPUNGE
   sequence is.

   The MOVE command performs the same actions UID MOVE. Notably, the
   server may send EXPUNGE (or VANISHED) messages before the tagged
   response, so the client cannot safely send more commands with MSN
   arguments while the server is processing MOVE.

4. Interaction with other extensions

   This section points out how other IMAP extensions interact with this.

4.1. RFC 2087, QUOTA

   The QUOTA extension (defined by [RFC2087]) may interact with MOVE, on
   some servers, in the sense that a MOVE command may succeed where COPY
   would cause a quota overrun. This may be user-visible, but should not
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