VB.NET - Mark Email as Read in POP3/IMAP4/EWS/WebDAV

If you want to leave a copy of email on the server, you should not call Delete method. However, there is a problem, how can you know if the email has already been downloaded (read)? If there is a way to identify the downloaded email, you can avoid downloading the duplicated email from your POP3/IMAP4 server.

Every email has a unique identifier (UIDL) on POP3 server. POP3 UIDL is only unique in the email life time. That means if the email was deleted from the server, other email can use the old unique identifier. Another problem is: UIDL in POP3 server can be any number or characters, so we cannot use UIDL as the file name, because UIDL may contain invalid characters for file name.

To solve this problem, we have to store the UIDL to a txt file and synchronize it with server every time.

The following vb.net example codes demonstrate how to mark the email as downloaded/read on POP3 server.

Installation

Before you can use the following sample codes, you should download the EAGetMail Installer and install it on your machine at first. Full sample projects are included in this installer.

Install from NuGet

You can also install the run-time assembly by NuGet. Run the following command in the NuGet Package Manager Console:

Install-Package EAGetMail

Note

If you install it by NuGet, no sample projects are installed, only .NET assembly is installed.

Add Reference

To use EAGetMail POP3 & IMAP Component in your project, the first step is “Add reference of EAGetMail to your project”. Please create or open your project with Visual Studio, then go to menu -> Project -> Add Reference -> .NET -> Browse..., and select Installation path\Lib\[netversion]\EAGetMail.dll, click Open-> OK, the reference will be added to the project, you can start to use it to retrieve email and parse email in your project.

add reference in c#/vb.net/managed c++/cli

.NET Assembly

Because EAGetMail has separate builds for .Net Framework, please refer to the following table and choose the correct dll.

Separate builds of run-time assembly for .Net Framework 1.1, 2.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 4.61, .NET Core 2.1 and .Net Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5.

File .NET Framework Version
Lib\net11\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 1.1
It requires .NET Framework 1.1, 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net20\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net35\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 3.5
It requires .NET Framework 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net40\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.0
It requires .NET Framework 4.0 or later version.
Lib\net45\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.5
It requires .NET Framework 4.5 or later version.
Lib\net461\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Framework 4.6.1
It requires .NET Framework 4.6.1 or later version.
Lib\netcoreapp2.1\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Core 2.1
It requires .NET Core 2.1 or later version.
Lib\net20-cf\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 2.0
It requires .NET Compact Framework 2.0, 3.5 or later version.
Lib\net35-cf\EAGetMail.dll Built with .NET Compact Framework 3.5
It requires .NET Compact Framework 3.5 or later version.

VB.NET - Mark Email as Read in POP3 - Example

The following example codes demonstrate marking email as read/downloaded on POP3 server. It also works with IMAP4/EWS/WebDAV. In order to run it correctly, please change email server, user, password, folder, file name value to yours.

Note

To get full sample projects, please download and install EAGetMail on your machine.

Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Text
Imports System.IO
Imports EAGetMail 'imports EAGetMail namespace

Module Module1

    Function _generateFileName(ByVal sequence As Integer) As String
        Dim currentDateTime As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Return String.Format("{0}-{1:000}-{2:000}.eml",
                            currentDateTime.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss", New CultureInfo("en-US")),
                            currentDateTime.Millisecond,
                            sequence)
    End Function

    Sub Main()

        Dim isUidlLoaded As Boolean = False
        Dim isLeaveCopy As Boolean = True ' leave a copy of message on server

        ' UIDL is the identifier of every email on POP3/IMAP4/Exchange server, to avoid retrieve
        ' the same email from server more than once, we record the email UIDL retrieved every time
        ' if you delete the email from server every time and not to leave a copy of email on
        ' the server, then please remove all the function about uidl.
        ' UIDLManager wraps the function to write/read uidl record from a text file.
        Dim oUIDLManager As UIDLManager = New UIDLManager()

        Try
            ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
            ' to save the email retrieved.
            Dim localInbox As String = String.Format("{0}\inbox", Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())
            Dim uidlFile As String = String.Format("{0}\uidl.txt", localInbox)

            ' If the folder is not existed, create it.
            If Not Directory.Exists(localInbox) Then
                Directory.CreateDirectory(localInbox)
            End If

            Dim oServer As New MailServer("pop3.emailarchitect.net",
                        "test@emailarchitect.net",
                        "testpassword",
                        ServerProtocol.Pop3)

            ' Enable SSL/TLS connection, most modern email server require SSL/TLS connection by default.
            oServer.SSLConnection = True
            oServer.Port = 995

            ' If your server doesn't support SSL/TLS connection, please use the following codes
            ' oServer.SSLConnection = False
            ' oServer.Port = 110

            ' Load existed uidl records to UIDLManager
            oUIDLManager.Load(uidlFile)
            isUidlLoaded = True

            Console.WriteLine("Connecting server ...")

            Dim oClient As New MailClient("TryIt")
            oClient.Connect(oServer)

            Dim infos As MailInfo() = oClient.GetMailInfos()
            Console.WriteLine("Total {0} email(s)", infos.Length)

            ' Remove the local uidl that is not existed on the server,
            oUIDLManager.SyncUIDL(oServer, infos)
            oUIDLManager.Update()

            For i As Integer = 0 To infos.Length - 1
                Dim info As MailInfo = infos(i)

                If oUIDLManager.FindUIDL(oServer, info.UIDL) IsNot Nothing Then
                    ' This email has been downloaded before.
                    Continue For
                End If

                Console.WriteLine("Retrieving {0}/{1}...", i + 1, infos.Length)

                ' Retrieve email from POP3 server
                Dim oMail As Mail = oClient.GetMail(info)

                Console.WriteLine("From: {0}", oMail.From.ToString())
                Console.WriteLine("Subject: {0}" & vbCr & vbLf, oMail.Subject)

                ' Generate an unqiue email file name based on date time.
                Dim fileName As String = _generateFileName(i + 1)
                Dim fullPath As String = String.Format("{0}\{1}", localInbox, fileName)

                ' Save email to local disk
                oMail.SaveAs(fullPath, True)

                If isLeaveCopy Then
                    ' Add uidl to uidl file to avoid we retrieve it next time.
                    oUIDLManager.AddUIDL(oServer, info.UIDL, fileName)
                Else
                    Console.WriteLine("Deleting ...")
                    oClient.Delete(info)

                    ' Remove UIDL from local uidl file.
                    oUIDLManager.RemoveUIDL(oServer, info.UIDL)
                End If

            Next

            ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from POP3 server.
            oClient.Quit()
            Console.WriteLine("Completed!")

        Catch ep As Exception
            Console.WriteLine(ep.Message)
        End Try

        ' Update the uidl list to local uidl file and then we can load it next time.
        If isUidlLoaded Then
            oUIDLManager.Update()
        End If

    End Sub
End Module

UIDL Manager

UIDLManager provides an easier way to maintain UIDL between your server and your local client. It stores UIDL collection to a local disk file and you can use this object to add, remove and search UIDL with this local file.

Work with UIDL Manager

VB.NET - Retrieve Unread/New Email in IMAP4/EWS/WebDAV - Example

Because IMAP/EWS/WebDAV support read mail flag, with this feature, we can also retrieve unread/new email only from IMAP4/EWS/WebDAV like this

Imports System.Globalization
Imports System.Text
Imports System.IO
Imports EAGetMail 'imports EAGetMail namespace

Module Module1

    Function _generateFileName(ByVal sequence As Integer) As String
        Dim currentDateTime As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Return String.Format("{0}-{1:000}-{2:000}.eml",
                            currentDateTime.ToString("yyyyMMddHHmmss", New CultureInfo("en-US")),
                            currentDateTime.Millisecond,
                            sequence)
    End Function

    Sub Main()

        Try
            ' Create a folder named "inbox" under current directory
            ' to save the email retrieved.
            Dim localInbox As String = String.Format("{0}\inbox", Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())

            ' If the folder is not existed, create it.
            If Not Directory.Exists(localInbox) Then
                Directory.CreateDirectory(localInbox)
            End If

            Dim oServer As New MailServer("imap.emailarchitect.net",
                        "test@emailarchitect.net",
                        "testpassword",
                        ServerProtocol.Imap4)

            ' Enable SSL/TLS connection, most modern email server require SSL/TLS connection by default.
            oServer.SSLConnection = True
            ' Set 993 IMAP SSL Port
            oServer.Port = 993

            Console.WriteLine("Connecting server ...")

            Dim oClient As New MailClient("TryIt")
            oClient.Connect(oServer)

            ' retrieve unread/new email only
            oClient.GetMailInfosParam.Reset()
            oClient.GetMailInfosParam.GetMailInfosOptions = GetMailInfosOptionType.NewOnly

            Dim infos As MailInfo() = oClient.GetMailInfos()
            Console.WriteLine("Total {0} unread email(s)", infos.Length)

            For i As Integer = 0 To infos.Length - 1
                Dim info As MailInfo = infos(i)
                Console.WriteLine("Index: {0}; Size: {1}; UIDL: {2}",
                        info.Index, info.Size, info.UIDL)

                ' Retrieve email from IMAP server
                Dim oMail As Mail = oClient.GetMail(info)

                Console.WriteLine("From: {0}", oMail.From.ToString())
                Console.WriteLine("Subject: {0}" & vbCr & vbLf, oMail.Subject)

                ' Generate an unqiue email file name based on date time.
                Dim fileName As String = _generateFileName(i + 1)
                Dim fullPath As String = String.Format("{0}\{1}", localInbox, fileName)

                ' Save email to local disk
                oMail.SaveAs(fullPath, True)

                ' mark unread email as read, next time this email won't be retrieved again
                If Not info.Read Then
                    oClient.MarkAsRead(info, True)
                End If

                ' if you don't want to leave a copy on server, please use
                ' oClient.Delete(info)
                ' instead of MarkAsRead

            Next

            ' Quit and expunge emails marked as deleted from IMAP server.
            oClient.Quit()
            Console.WriteLine("Completed!")

        Catch ep As Exception
            Console.WriteLine(ep.Message)
        End Try

    End Sub
End Module

Appendix

Comments

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