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IMAP Client library using C#

, 20 Sep 2012 MPL
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IMAPLibrary supports the basic IMAP protocol functions to fetch messages from the mailbox.


The Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) allows a client to access and manipulate electronic mail messages on a server. It includes operations for creating, deleting, and renaming mailboxes; checking for new messages; permanently removing messages; setting and clearing flags; [RFC-822] and [MIME-IMB] parsing; searching; and selective fetching of message attributes, texts, and portions thereof. For more information: here.

I have written an IMAP client library which allows basic functionalities like login, select/examine folder, search messages, fetch message (Header, Body), get storage quota, and logout.

This is my first application developed in C#, so don't expect too much in terms of efficiency. It demonstrates the use of sockets, XML writer, and user defined exception handling. Please feel free to modify and use this code.

The attached zip file contains three directories.

IMAP Library: It contains three source files.

  • ImapBase.cs: contains the IMAP commands related to string, and socket related functionality.
  • ImapException.cs: defines the user defined IMAP related error messages.
  • Imap.cs: IMAP client library functions. It has the following public functions:
    • Login: Login to IMAP server. It requires IMAP hostname, port, username, and password.
    • Logout: Logout and close the socket.
    • SelectFolder: It selects the folder. It requires folder name as parameter.
    • ExamineFolder: It is similar to SelectFolder, but it does examine.
    • GetQuota: Get the quota of the mailbox.
    • SearchMessage: You can search the messages. It will return the UID of messages. E.g., From rjoshi.
    • FetchMessage: It retrieves the complete message with attachments and writes into an XML file. The XML file will be generated in your current directory with file name as <MessageUID>.xml. You need to pass the XmlTextWriter object, message UID, and flag to fetch body.
    • FetchPartBody: Fetch the body for a specific part. It requires message UID, part number as parameter.
    • FetchPartHeader: Fetch the header of message.

Documentation: HTML Documentation for IMAP Library generated using Visual Studio .NET.

IMAP Library test program: The IMAP test program allows users to test the following functionalities.

  • Login
  • Select/Examine folder
  • Search
  • Fetch Message
  • Get Quota
  • Logout
  • Delete Message
  • Mark Message UnRead 
  • Move Message


Update: Added support for

  1. SSL Connection and verified with gmail
  2. Copy Message
  3. Move Message
  4. Delete Message 
  5. Mark Message Unread  
Please don't forget to Vote if you like this library !!


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Mozilla Public License 1.1 (MPL 1.1)


About the Author

Rohit Joshi
Software Developer
United States United States
Rohit Joshi is a software engineer working for a telecom company in USA. He has development expirience using C, C++ ,C#, VoiceXML, ASR, IMAP, LDAP, HTTP, SIP, H323 on unix/linux and platforms.

Comments and Discussions

BugBug with large attachments PinmemberAlexey T9-Mar-15 21:31 
QuestionAuthenication Failed Error [modified] PinmemberSanthakumari S26-Feb-15 1:33 
QuestionNew E-Mail Check. PinmemberMember 1116351120-Oct-14 12:07 
QuestionCrashing at logout with polish mail serivce PinmemberDarek2229-Sep-14 2:35 
NewsNuGet Package PinprofessionalCiganoMorrison9-Mar-14 21:21 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberthaiphong.pham15-Dec-13 23:12 
QuestionIntegration of gmail mails into using IMAP protocol Pinmembersurbhinewaskar21-Oct-13 0:01 
AnswerRe: Integration of gmail mails into using IMAP protocol PinprofessionalRavi Bhavnani5-Nov-13 10:58 
Questioncannot fetch body message on yahoomail Pinmemberrondrac7829-Jul-13 15:04 
AnswerRe: cannot fetch body message on yahoomail PinprofessionalRavi Bhavnani5-Nov-13 10:58 
Questionhow to get all the emails in the folder? Pinmembersista4-Jul-13 23:07 
GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberImpenneteri22-Mar-13 11:01 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberRohit Joshi8-Jun-13 16:55 
QuestionUnable to find the Message Body while fetching the mail Pinmemberramya.km29-Jan-13 23:03 
AnswerRe: Unable to find the Message Body while fetching the mail PinmemberRohit Joshi8-Jun-13 16:55 
QuestionProblem with attachment fileName PinmemberMember 96878062-Jan-13 3:59 
AnswerRe: Problem with attachment fileName PinmemberRohit Joshi24-Jan-13 5:18 
QuestionMissing parameter in Restore Func PinmemberIkarus7631-Dec-12 1:28 
AnswerRe: Missing parameter in Restore Func PinmemberRohit Joshi24-Jan-13 5:15 
QuestionGMail problem, only for GoogleApp account Pinmemberroberto.roncato11-Dec-12 22:24 
AnswerRe: GMail problem, only for GoogleApp account Pinmemberroberto.roncato11-Dec-12 22:38 
GeneralRe: GMail problem, only for GoogleApp account PinmemberRohit Joshi24-Jan-13 5:15 
QuestionSearching email subject vlues Pinmemberthetra30-Nov-12 4:43 
AnswerRe: Searching email subject vlues [modified] PinmemberRohit Joshi30-Nov-12 7:30 
GeneralRe: Searching email subject vlues Pinmemberthetra5-Dec-12 23:20 

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