Fix IMAP errors with AOL accounts in Entourage

Today I came across an error in Entourage when trying to send a message using an AOL account configured to use IMAP.

In a failure as an IT guy, I didn’t get a screenshot, but the error message indicated being unable to move the sent message to the IMAP folder and that it would use the corresponding local folder instead. The error message number was -17495.

As it turns out, AOL IMAP doesn’t adhere strictly to the specification. Whereas most clients will attempt to save sent and deleted messages to specific IMAP folders on the client side, AOL’s servers automatically do the moving on the server side. So when Entourage tries to move a message, it encounters a duplicate, and the operation fails.

The solution is simply to disable moving Sent and Deleted messages in the account settings for AOL accounts set to use IMAP, and to trust that AOL will handle that on their end.

I have it from a former AOL engineer that AOL could in fact support a more normal implementation of IMAP, but they felt users were too prone to confusion. I also hear from a Lotus administrator that this same thing happens on Lotus Notes servers in various configurations.

In both cases, I smell WTF, but as with most things AOL, a squirt of WTFever makes it go away.

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