Internet Message Access Protocol

<protocol, messaging> (IMAP) A protocol allowing a client to access and manipulate electronic mail messages on a server.

It permits manipulation of remote message folders (mailboxes), in a way that is functionally equivalent to local mailboxes.

IMAP includes operations for creating, deleting, and renaming mailboxes; checking for new messages; permanently removing messages; searching; and selective fetching of message attributes, texts, and portions thereof.

It does not specify a means of posting mail; this function is handled by a mail transfer protocol such as SMTP.

Current version: 4.

See RFC 2060, RFC 2061, and others.

Compare: POP.

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