Why are my folder names different in the web interface? (^ and .)

Within Fastmail, for technical reasons, mail folders are stored in a particular way. When these folders are shown through our web interface, we adapt the display of the folders so they are visually pleasing and logical. But when you view your folders through a client, their display is controlled by the client: you are accessing the raw folder names via IMAP.

These raw folder names also need to be used in Sieve scripts, as Sieve doesn't perform the folder name translations either.

Effect on dot (.) characters in folder names

If you create a folder called i.really.like.dots in the Fastmail web interface or our mobile app, you will see a folder of that name show up in the web interface.

However it will show up as i^really^like^dots in an IMAP client. This is the format you'd need to use in Sieve.

If you create a folder called dots.are.great in an IMAP client, the Fastmail web interface (and usually the client also) will show this as a hierarchy of folders, where dots is the top level folder, containing are which itself contains a subfolder great.

Effect of carat (^) characters in folder names

The Fastmail web interface prevents you from creating a folder name with a ^ in it, as we know this is a special reserved character.

If you create a folder with carats in it via an IMAP client, Fastmail will be unable to display it in the web interface and many clients will also refuse to save it too.

Why can't I see shared folders?

Many mail clients can't handle the special characters Fastmail uses to indicate shared folders. While they will always display in the web interface at our mobile app, not all IMAP clients work.

Mail clients who can display shared folders

Mail clients who can't display shared folders