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Disabling IDLE for IMAP

Most mail clients employ a function called IDLE (otherwise known as IMAP push) to get new email notifications as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this process can sometimes generate errors or other failures that result in connections to your server that use up your processes and generate large amounts of CPU usage.

If your email clients use the IDLE function with IMAP and you are receiving Internal Server Errors due to the number of processes open, or if you are experiencing issues with CPU usage, HostGator recommends disabling the IDLE function for your email client.

Click the links below to see instructions for disabling IDLE on the following email clients:


Microsoft Outlook 2010

  1. Select the Send/Receive tab.
  2. From Send/Receive Groups, select Define Send/Receive Groups.
  3. For each Group, uncheck Schedule an automatic send/receive every x minutes.
  4. Click the Close button.

Microsoft Outlook 2007

  1. From the menu, select Tools and navigate to Send/Receive.
  2. Click on Send/Receive Settings.
  3. Select Define Send/Receive Groups.
  4. For each Group, uncheck Schedule an automatic send/receive every x minutes.
  5. Click the Close button.

Mozilla Thunderbird

  1. Go to Tools and navigate to Account Settings.
  2. Select Server Settings and click Advanced.
  3. Change the Maximum number of server connections to cache to 0 (Default is 5).

Android K9 Mail

  1. Select your account.
  2. Go to Menu, then click More.
  3. Navigate to Account Settings and click on Fetching Mail.
  4. Change Folder poll check frequency to Never.

Android Mail

  1. Select your IMAP account.
  2. Go to Menu, then click More.
  3. Choose Settings and click on Send & Receive.
  4. Choose Set download frequency.
  5. Modify Peak times and Off-peak times to Manual.

Outlook for Mac

  1. Click Outlook.
  2. Select Preferences and then Accounts.
  3. Choose the email account, and click on Advance.
  4. Ensure that Use IMAP IDLE (if the server supports it) is unchecked.
  5. Click OK.


  1. Click on Preferences from the Mail dropdown.
  2. Navigate to Accounts and select the IMAP account.
  3. Click on the Advanced tab and disable the Use Idle setting.
    If you can't locate the option, please reach out to Apple Support.

Apple iPad

  1. Fo to the Settings and select Mail, Contacts, Calendar.
  2. Under Accounts, click Fetch New Data.
  3. Turn ON Push and set to Manually.
Need further assistance? Please contact your email client providers for support and additional help.
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