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how to do technology in ten moves. (or less.) A Loose Wire production

Fixing Gmail and Sparrow Connection Timeouts

If you’re a user of the Sparrow app for OS X and iOS recently purchased by Google, you may have encountered problems with your Gmail account. You may experience long delays in both Gmail’s web interface and the Sparrow app, with messages going unsent and connection timeouts. 
 
I’ve not seen this addressed elsewhere so I’m describing the fix that worked for me. 
 
The slowness is called by lots of IMAP calls which overwhelm your Gmail and/or Sparrow app.
 
This only seems to happen if you’re using IMAP and if you have a lot of labels/folders in Gmail. 
 
For at least the desktop version of Sparrow, the number of IMAP pings depend on how many IMAP ‘folders’ you have in Gmail. The folders, in Gmail, are labels. I’m not sure what the default is, but I noticed that in my Label settings all Labels were checked to show up in IMAP.
 
Given I have around 50 labels, that’s a lot of IMAP folders.
Unchecking all but the five most used labels seems reduce the traffic significantly. 
 
Given that Google now owns Sparrow, but was unable to diagnose this problem despite the kind intervention of Google’s PR folk, I’d suggest they need to address this issue, or make it easier for users to tweak the number of calls made on IMAP folders within Sparrow. 
 
(Yes, I know this all rather moot since Sparrow is now unsupported, but I’m assuming that Google is going to reincarnate it in some way. Now it’s working again, I remember why I love it so much. The Gmail interface is good for an overview, but Sparrow is great for writing emails and keepin an eye on stuff.) 

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