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This feels like a super basic question, but it's got me stumped. I'm using mbsync + notmuch to collect my email locally, both from a Google mail account in one case and from an Exchange account in another. I can read my email just fine in notmuch-mode but... the messages are never marked as "read" -- they're still tagged as unread no matter what I do.

I'm not doing anything particularly interesting in the configuration of either of those tools, that I know of, but I'll be honest I'm completely new to the idea of even reading email in Emacs; I'm dipping my toes in the water and finding that the water is deep and confusing :)

So, how do I mark emails as "read" in notmuch-mode in a way that will propagate back to the server?

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You can customize the variable notmuch-show-mark-read-function to control this. The default value is notmuch-show-seen-current-message, which does mark the message as read.

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