Help & Support

About Virgin Media Mail folders and IMAP

Introduction to folders and labels

This guide will help you understand the folders you will encounter in your email client when you begin using it with Virgin Media Mail with IMAP. However, to understand how our email folders work you need to understand a little about what we call labels.

Throughout our Help articles you will often see us refer to Virgin Media Mail's labels. Labels are like the folders you might encounter in a desktop email client like Thunderbird or Outlook, except they're better. You will only encounter labels if you use our Webmail service, however, labels and folders are, almost, interchangeable – labels just do slightly more.

You can create, delete and rename labels just like you would a folder, and in many ways you can simply think of them as folders. You can have parent labels and sub-labels, just like parent folders and sub-folders, but any messages you have can be labelled with more than one label, which a folder can't do.

For example, you can have emails about a job application in your Job Applications label, but also in your Follow Up label. In fact, it's better not to think of putting messages 'in' labels – that's what you do with folders – but instead you can think of labels as something you attach to the message. Virgin Media Mail then sorts your messages into groups based on their label. Even your Inbox is just a group of messages with the label 'Inbox'.

If you use an email client - such as Microsoft Outlook - the labels seen in Virgin Media Mail Webmail will show up as folders in the client you use. An Inbox label in your webmail is just an Inbox folder in Outlook, for example.

Your folders

All Mail, Drafts, Sent Mail, Spam, Starred and Bin are labels, and will all be represented by folders in your email client.

Virgin Media Mail/All Mail contains all of the messages in your Virgin Media Mail account, including your received, sent and archived messages. For instance, any messages that you see in your inbox will also appear in the Virgin Media Mail/All Mail folder.

If you save any draft messages using the web interface they can be found in the Virgin Media Mail/Drafts folder on your email client. We recommend that you ensure this folder is set as the default drafts folder for your email client, so that any drafts you save in your client will be waiting for you in the Webmail interface as well.

Moving a message to Virgin Media Mail/Bin in your email client will move the message to Bin in the web interface and will mark the message for permanent deletion.

Moving a message to Virgin Media Mail/Spam will report the message to Virgin Media Mail as spam and will also mark the message for permanent deletion. We strongly recommend that you do not set either of these folders as the bin folder for your email client.

Please note that you cannot remove the Virgin Media Mail subfolders from your email client.

Learn More

If you're still confused about how labels and folders correspond you can take a look at the table below for more clarification. You can also try reading our article on Virgin Media Mail labels.

Action on client or mobile device (e.g. Outlook)

Result in Virgin Media Mail on the web

Open a message

Mark a message as read

Flag a message

Apply a star to the message

Move a message to a folder

Apply a label to the message

Move a message to a folder within a folder*

Apply a label showing folder hierarchy ('MainFolder/SubFolder')*

Create a folder

Create a label

Move a message to Spam

Report a message as spam

Move a message to Bin

Move a message to Bin

Send a message

Store message in Sent Mail

Delete a message in inbox**

Remove the message from inbox

Delete a message from a folder**

Remove that label from the message

Delete a message from Spam or Bin

Delete the message permanently

*IMAP translates labels with a forward slash (/) into a folder hierarchy like you see in your computer's file system. If you have a label such as 'Family/Friends,' you may want to reconsider your naming schemes because your IMAP client will display it as a folder named 'Family' with a subfolder named 'Friends.'
Please note that every client handles IMAP in a slightly different way. If you're curious about the specific use of your client, please contact the client's support team.