Make SMTP or IMAP optional (Read-only or Send-only accounts)

Would it be possible to make the SMTP account details optional.
So we can create a receive-only account ?

(Originally posted by m0n1s on GitHub.)

Hey @m0n1s - there aren’t currently plans to support this — could you elaborate on your email setup? Are there mail providers that offer read-only IMAP accounts without SMTP? Are you using an IMAP server you deployed yourself?

(Originally posted by bengotow on GitHub.)

Well, I have an specific use case where that would fit. My university IT department decided, instead of improving availability of our email service, to block every and all SMTP auth attempts that do not come from localhost (on their end.).

They did so in an attempt to block spam abuse in only letting their own webmail client authenticate and send emails. While effective, that’s a horribly handicapped solution IMHO. However, that’s how they work. That has also been a stepping stone in using email clients since every client will try/force to SMTP auth and others even won’t add/work with a read only account.

So far the only ones that has been working (but that nags me a lot to the point I turned it off.) are Apple Mail, Thunderbird and the native iOS mail client. Claws should also work considering how it is designed. Not familiar with Windows but I guess MS Outlook would work too.

Only the big, industry standard ones seems to support some sort of “read only” IMAP accounts, although not quite; as adding a “read only” account is usually not straightforward and even looks more like a workaround rather than a feature on those clients.

While somewhat uncommon (public/free providers don’t work in such way, only private/paid ones with specific scenarios.) it is a valid point and it should probably be considered a feature in Mailspring. That would make it awesome for all my email.

(Originally posted by nmindz on GitHub.)

I would like to use mailspring as my all-in-one mailclient but my company’s info@… account is, just like @nmindz 's account, restricted to receiving-only.
For now it is totally ok if there would be a “Just ignore the not working SMTP-Settings”-Checkbox even if mailspring will throw some error-modals

(Originally posted by m0n1s on GitHub.)

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I need this very much as (the portal for Slovaks for communitation with the government and municipalities) has disabled SMTP server.

IMHO it should be fairly easy to implement this as there should be a single checkbox toggling which one could disable the SMTP checks altogeather. Something like [x] Configure Outgoing Mail (SMTP) and when the user deselects that checkbox and click on Connect Account, the user would have set up a read-only account.

Of course, the communication with STMP server can be somewhere else in the Mailspring code too, there we should add a property to each and every account connected to Mailspring if Mailspring should communicate with SMTP server (and thus send messages). If there should be no communication with the SMTP server, then the reply buttons should be greyed out. Of couse, when #294 is implemented, one should be able to send an email (reply and forward) using a different account.

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There are plenty of options out there for sending encrypted email which can be opened by the recipient via a web portal. That’s commonly used in HIPAA compliant communication. eM Client has/had a feature where you could simply uncheck one of the protocols for the account in question - be it IMAP, or SMTP. That makes it usable. As it is right now your software refuses to send email from an account with an IMAP error although SMTP details are valid.

There’s no way to ignore an account when checking for new mail either, which is a feature I’ve seen in a few prominent clients.

It would be extremely awesome if you were able to implement single-protocol email accounts to be used as either storage/organization (IMAP vs local mailboxes for availability) or for encrypted email sending (you only send, you don’t save sent mail to Sent folder, no IMAP needed).


(Originally posted by working-name on GitHub.)

I also have the same problem where I need a read-only email account to be set. My university was under cyber attacked a year ago, which made them restrict access to the smtp server to only vpn users, where at the same time they removed all student access to the vpn network. Which means the only way to access the email now is through the crappy outdated outlook website. For me sending emails from the university account doesn’t really matter because I can still do it through the website if needed. I am usually sending an email once per 2-3 months so it’s fine if I do it from the website. That’s why using it as read-only is more than enough. I found a workaround for this and I am intoducing it below:

Temporary workaround for ubuntu users:
Install and run an smtp server in your local computer to “trick” mailspring to connect to a “fake” smtp server.

  • Install postfix by running sudo apt install mailutils
  • In the configuration select Internet site.
  • Go to /etc/postfix/ and change inet_interfaces = all to
    inet_interfaces = loopback-only to restrict access to your computer internal network only.
  • Restart the postfix sudo systemctl restart postfix

Now you have an smtp server running in your computer. While adding your email account choose your normal imap settings for incoming emails but on the right column for smtp settings just input localhost and no usernames or passwords and it should work.

I am not an expert in this field and I cannot guarantee that this workaround is secure for your computer or your email. This is a solution that I found and I am sharing because maybe it will help others. I am not responsible for any consequence. If you want to be 100% sure make your own research in order to cross check that the smtp server is secure that way.

The Problem

I Have an older email that I don’t use anymore, In fact, the account its on the Mailspring just for local backup of the messages. I can’t even connect to the IMAP anymore since its a paid host that I abandoned, so the mailspring keeps warning me on the left side of the screen “Cannot authenticate with

Proposed Solution

On Account settings, provide a checkbox to enable and disable the sync for each imap account.


This feature exists on Windows Live Mail, you can right click the account properties and Uncheck the “Include this account when recieving mail or synchronizing”

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Add a new mail account with IMAP only fails. Some services have paid SMTP (in my case) maybe others have paid IMAP but have SMTP. Would be nice to add new accounts that have any one of those but the creation process fails telling me that SMTP is invalid or should be added.

I would like to fill the imap fields only and have the inbox of messages working, the write buttons could then maybe get greyed out or it just throws and error dialog if If I ever try to send from one of those accounts.

(Originally posted by matheusfillipe on GitHub.)


I have problem with adding IMAP Account. The mail is from my goverment Slovakia. Problem is in SMTP. They block any SMTP connection. I can only read mails through POP3 or IMAP. Is there some option to add IMAP Account without ability to send mails, so SMTP will be blank?