I have recently moved my email workflow over to emacs. This consists of an 'Inbox' folder and an 'Archive' folder. I move all emails to 'Archive' after they are dealt with, leaving me with an empty Inbox folder most of the time.

After setting up offlineimap to sync with Outlook, I refiled the entire 'Inbox' to 'Archive'. This initially worked fine, but I then realized that each time the index was re synced, the entire inbox would be re filled, leaving me a duplicate set of emails in the 'Inbox' and 'Archive'.

I closely followed online tutorials and have little experience debugging these kind of issues. Here is the mu4e section of my emacs confg:

  (use-package mu4e
    :load-path  "/usr/local/share/emacs/site-lisp/mu4e/")

  (setq mu4e-mu-binary "/usr/local/bin/mu")

  (setq mu4e-maildir "~/.maildir")

  (setq mu4e-get-mail-command "offlineimap -o")
  (setq mu4e-update-interval  300)
  ;; how often to call it in seconds:

  ;; or another choice of yours:
  (setq mu4e-attachment-dir "~/Downloads")

  ;; rename files when moving - needed for mbsync:
  (setq mu4e-change-filenames-when-moving t)

  ;; list of your email adresses:
  (setq mu4e-user-mail-address-list '("xxx"))

  (setq   mu4e-maildir-shortcuts
          '(("/cambridge/Inbox" . ?i)
            ("/cambridge/Archive" . ?i)
            ("/cambridge/Sent" . ?s)))

  (setq mu4e-contexts
            :name "cambridge"
            (lambda () (mu4e-message "Enter xxx context"))
            (lambda () (mu4e-message "Leave xxx context"))
            (lambda (msg)
              (when msg
                (mu4e-message-contact-field-matches msg
                                                    :to "xxx")))
            :vars '((user-mail-address . "xxx" )
                    (user-full-name . "xxx")
                    (mu4e-drafts-folder . "/xxx/Drafts")
                    (mu4e-refile-folder . "/xxx/Archive")
                    (mu4e-sent-folder . "/xxx/Sent")
                    (mu4e-trash-folder . "/xxx/Deleted Messages")))))

 (defun exchange-mu4e-refile-folder (msg)
  "Function for chosing the refile folder for my Exchange email.
   MSG is a message p-list from mu4e."
   ((string-match "\\[some-mailing-list\\]"
          (mu4e-message-field msg :subject))
   (t "/xxx/Archive")

 (setq mu4e-sent-folder "/.maildir/xxx/Sent"

    mu4e-drafts-folder "/.maildir/xxx/Drafts"
    user-mail-address "xxx"
    smtpmail-default-smtp-server "localhost"
    smtpmail-smtp-server "localhost"
    smtpmail-smtp-service 1025)

  ;; mu4e address completion
  (add-hook 'mu4e-compose-mode-hook 'company-mode)

  (setq org-mu4e-link-query-in-headers-mode nil)
  ;; don't have to confirm when quitting:
  (setq mu4e-confirm-quit nil)
  ;; number of visible headers in horizontal split view:
  (setq mu4e-headers-visible-lines 20)
  ;; don't show threading by default:
  (setq mu4e-headers-show-threads nil)
  ;; hide annoying "mu4e Retrieving mail..." msg in mini buffer:
  (setq mu4e-hide-index-messages t)
  ;; customize the reply-quote-string:
  (setq message-citation-line-format "%N @ %Y-%m-%d %H:%M :\n")
  ;; M-x find-function RET message-citation-line-format for docs:
  (setq message-citation-line-function 'message-insert-formatted-citation-line)
  ;; by default do not show related emails:
  (setq mu4e-headers-include-related nil)
  ;; by default do not show threads:
  (setq mu4e-headers-show-threads nil)

and this is my .offlineimaprc

accounts = sam
maxsyncaccounts = 1

[Account sam]
localrepository = local-sam
remoterepository = remote-sam

[Repository local-sam]
type = Maildir
localfolders = ~/.maildir/xxx

[Repository remote-sam]
type = IMAP
remotehost = localhost
remoteport = 1143
remoteuser = xxx
remotepass = 
ssl = no
sslcacertfile = /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
maxconnections = 1
realdelete = no
folderfilter = lambda foldername: foldername not in ['Trash']

1 Answer 1


For anyone who comes across this issue in the future, although I didn't find out exactly what was causing it, it was resolved by making sure I had copied every email into the archive at least once and then deleting everything in the inbox. This stopped the odd circular behavior.

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