Evolution + Gmail IMAP = …really slow?

By | 2007/12/23

I set up Evolution again today to tie into my gmail IMAP but I notice the performance is terribly slow. Does anyone else have this same issue? I’ve been using webmail for some time now, is that comparing apples to oranges? If anyone has any tips on speeding up Evolution when tied into Gmail’s IMAP I would appreciate hearing about them.

24 thoughts on “Evolution + Gmail IMAP = …really slow?

  1. Daniel Robitaille

    I have done it with Thunderbird, and it was usable. But I have seen sluggish performance if the GMail “folder” I’m trying to access has a large number of email. I have never tried it with Evolution.

    I personally find the web interface resulting in a better performance, and a better experience than using GMail via IMAP.

    And tonight I have been playing with Firefox 3 for the first time, and my first impression is that GMail is a lot faster in Firefox 3 than Firefox 2.

  2. Henrik Pauli

    I tried it only with KMail and Mailody, both were really slow, so I’m starting to wonder if it’s the clients’ fault…

  3. Dave Morley

    I have gmail running through imap on evolution and yes startup is slow. However after that point I see no difference between it and the online version.

  4. Sagar R. Shah

    I tried it with Thunderbird and it was really slow there for me too. Unusable.

  5. Mike

    I have tried Evolution with Gmail and with my employers exchange server and it is always sloooooow. I have given up on it period.

  6. Gabe

    Evolution is not so good with gMail IMAP in my experience. Since It’s no longer compatible with my firm’s version of exchange server, I don’t use it at all anymore.

    Thunderbird works much better.

  7. Ben

    Works fine for me. I don’t have a ton of mail on the account, so although I don’t see any performance issues, it could be that I’m not stressing it that hard.

  8. Mats Taraldsvik

    Well, IMAP is slow, but usable as long as it isn’t my primary address. I use it with gmail and my university-account.

  9. Conor

    I also switched over to IMAP when Gmail offered it, and was disappointed with the speed in Thunderbird. I believe this is because I was used to POP3 (as opposed to the webmail interface, which I never use), and so I told Thunderbird to download all my mail. If you have the spare gigs to do this, it’ll drastically improve your browsing speed, as the client won’t have to call the server each time you want to open an e-mail.

    Also, the only reason I’m using a desktop client for e-mail is so I can read my mail offline. So of course I recommend doing this.

  10. Timothy Bennett

    A few weeks ago, I setup my wife’s new laptop with Evolution + GMail IMAP. I asked her last night when I saw your post, and she confirm that it is slow. Specifically, she cited slowness when deleting emails, sending/pulling down mails, well… I guess just about any action.

  11. Jake

    G-Mail is too slow to use in K-Mail (and I’m told Outlook) but is actually usable in Thunderbird. I’ll stick to POP for time being.

  12. Tom

    You could change that headline to just “Evolution + Imap = Slow”. Evolution’s imap perfomance has always been terrible, tinymail looks really promising in this regard though, so it will be interesting to see if the evolution team integrate that work back into their own.

  13. Mike Shelton

    I am using Ubuntu Fiesty and Evolution 2.10.1 from my home computer and NEVER have any problems. I have been using this for several months.

  14. Darren

    I had the same issue, what I did was uncheck the option to synchronize mail locally and then went and right clicked on each folder I wanted to use and selected “Copy Folder Content locally for offline operations”.

    By doing this I kept Evolution from downloading mail from my spam or “All Mail” folders. Just my inbox and 11 other folders I care about.

    In general by using this method a full mailbox send/receive takes between 10 and 30 seconds. Not bad.

  15. Jayson Rowe

    I did try it once with Evolution and found it to be horribly slow – almost unusable…I quickly went to Alpine, and it works quite fast there 🙂

  16. jorge

    Evo sucks at imap. I’ve tried to use it with the imap server being on a local lan and it’s still slow. 🙁

  17. Peteris Krisjanis

    Strange, I use Evolution with my work’s IMAP and it works much better than POP3 connection. Of course, it is OS X server with unix IMAP, not Exchange “IMAP”, which has serious problems with lot of clients.

    Anyway, IMAP is more for intranets and local connections, but it can be improved to be usable over distances. However, Google is too far for some of us, so…

  18. Tony Yarusso

    I’ve used GMail’s IMAP with both Thunderbird and Evolution now, and in both cases the just plug it in and go solution is completely unusable. This seems to be because the protocol involves checking your user credentials, passing server access commands, and transferring the reply to check for new mail and download it for every single folder you have, or for every _message_ if you don’t have the download for offline use option set. The problem of course becomes worse if you have a larger number of folders – due to lots of FLOSS mailing lists, I have around 200.

    I would recommend setting up your client to download all mail for offline use, provided you have the HDD space. Additionally, since all of my mail is either in a folder or still waiting in the Inbox to be sorted, I set the option for “only show subscribed folders”, and unsubscribe from the catch-all “GMail” folder. If you have a lot of e-mails to read and don’t anticipate replying to many, reading mail goes a lot faster of you choose to “work offline” while doing so.

  19. sai narasimha reddy

    Ya it’s really slow. GMail + evolution sucks

  20. jj

    I think the main reason for slowness, with any client is that the All Mail folder that is created has THOUSANDS of emails. For every label that you have used, you now have another COPY of that email in a separate folder. So.. If you have 10,000 emails stored on GMAIL, and 1000 of them have labels, your IMAP client has to check and compare headers on 11,000 records each time you connect. My numbers are much higher than that! I can’t unsubscribe from All Mail (it keeps coming back) so… it is achingly slow.

  21. HorizonXP

    Just figured something out to speed things up, and thought I’d pipe in.

    In Evolution, do this:

    Edit -> Preferences
    Under Mail Accounts, select your Gmail IMAP account, and click Edit.

    Go to the last tab, IMAP Headers. Select the second option, Basic Headers – (Fastest)

    I’m not sure of the consequences of this, but I do know that things sped up considerably for me, with no other side effect so far. YMMV.

  22. antono

    its really strange but i changed outgouing smtp port to 465 and it helped!


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