Evolution does not download messages from Gmail (POP)

I’ve added my Gmail Workspace account to Evolution and configured it as POP. I want to use it as a backup client which downloads the messages and keep them on the server; then I’ll clear some space on the server when I need it.

The authentication uses OAuth2. The first time I launched it I made the Gmail login in the new window and started downloading about 2000 messages from 2021. In the server there are messages up to now, but Evolution is not able to download them all. If I click again to donwload them, nothing happens.

I tried using this command to get some more info:

CAMEL_DEBUG=pop3 evolution >& evolution_logfile.txt

You can find the log here.

Added gmail and removed server

I’ve just created a POP account in Thunderbird to see how it behaves.
Thunderbird shows the sync progress while Evolution does not. Plus 1 for Thunderbird.

However the sync is also slow and strange. Both applications are downloading only old messages from 2021 and nothing else.

Maybe there are two many messages and I should choose a different backup system for very old messages.

I have read somewhere that GMail’s POP implementation is not quite standard.

Did you check the setup in Gmail → Forwarding and POP/IMAP → POP download settings? It should be enabled for all mail. If this isn’t helping, maybe disabling and re-enabling POP would do the trick?

If neither is working, workaround might be to work with IMAP and labels. You could then:

  • mark the mails intended to be downloaded (candidates for deletion) with a new label (e.g. backup)
  • configure the mail client (Evolution or TB) for IMAP, but limiting the folder to be synced to the label backup
  • copy the IMAP mails from folder backup to Local Folders (not synchronized)
  • delete the mails in Gmail with flag backup, since they were already saved locally
  • periodically start the clean-up process from the beginning.

I tried it but it didn’t help. I’ll try other options.

Thanks for the hints!


Should one of the options work (e.g. with IMAP and labels), it might be a good idea to test your workflow on a subset of data first, given that it involves deletion of emails.