wiki:MuttFaq

Version 5 (modified by MichaelRay, 4 years ago) (diff)

MuttUser just links to MuttWiki, removing the pointless link

Welcome to the list of FAQs about Mutt!
Use your browser's "Search"-function to search this index page,
or the wiki-search of each wiki page for pages containing your desired keywords.

Consult the manual.txt for references!
You better RTFM relevant parts at least after finding answers (if not even before ;-).
If you don't find an answer, analyze your problem yourself per DebugConfig and share your solution(s) here.


  • Most Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
    • Where is the Mutt manual? - look for "manual.txt" on MuttWiki
    • I upgraded mutt, why does my old muttrc give errors? - read the ChangeLog in source package for changed features and new manual.txt passages for problem items.
    • I'm using only IMAP folders, yet mutt still queries about local folders, why? - see MuttFaq/RemoteFolder
    • I can't see character X in latin1/windows-1256/whatever-encoded messages - see MuttFaq/Charset
    • How do I configure Mutt to use a remote SMTP server to send mail? - see MuttFaq/Sendmail
    • Can Mutt show the (new) message count in the folder browser? - see MuttFaq/Display
    • Where can I find good config files (muttrc)? - see ConfigList + ConfigTricks
    • Mutt config is static, how to make it dynamic (with "if"-conditions) even without ScriptSupport? - see MuttFaq/Misc
      • How to find the reason for muttrc errors?
      • Why fails my identical config on 2 different machines? - see DebugConfig
  • MuttFaq/Action (interactive)
    • What's the key (-binding) for function XYZ?
    • How to "move", "save"?
    • How do I save/delete/copy/print/pipe multiple / several messages?
    • How to search/ tag/ match/ view only specific msgs?
    • How to mark a message as "read"?
    • How to actually delete msgs marked for deletion or save read msgs to "mbox"es without having to quit?
    • I want to use buttons with my mouse as seen on some pics!
    • How to see the "mailboxes" folders with new mail as with "-y" option without restarting mutt?
    • How to create a new folder?
    • When paging down in a message, how to stop at the end and not jump to next one?
    • Why don't shift or control cursor keys work?
  • MuttFaq/Header
    • How do I set my From: address?
    • How do I set the address used in the SMTP negotiation (envelope address)?
    • I've set my From: header field in Mutt, but the SMTP server still sees my local hostname?
    • Remote SMTP server refuses to accept my eMail because of wrong domainname, but I gave correct From:?
    • I have several different roles (From:-addresses), how to manage them?
    • How to let mutt use the To: addr of a msg as From: addr in a reply?
    • I set $reverse_name, but it's not working!
    • How can I change "Message Priority" for outgoing mails?
  • MuttFaq/Folder
    • "XYZ is not a mailbox" or "has no messages", what does this mean?
    • Why are "new" flags of mbox folders wrong (folder-list view, not single msgs in index view)?
    • How to make mutt open a specific folder on startup?
    • How to save copies of outgoing/sent eMails? To the current folder?
    • I can't modify my inbox folder, it's read-only but permissions are ok?
    • How to make mutt check for new mail more often? What's the difference between $timeout and $mail_check?
    • Stop asking to "move read messages to mbox"!
    • How to use the "trash" folder?
    • How to import messages from pine, thunderbird, kmail, evilution, ...?
    • I left off a trailing '/' in my .procmailrc, and procmail delivered many emails to a Maildir folder in MH format. How do I fix this?
    • What's the difference between '+' and '='?
  • MuttFaq/RemoteFolder
    • How can I access my POP/IMAP account(s)?
    • When using a ssh-tunnel-to-IMAP I get error messages, but the tunnel cmds work well in a shell, why?!
    • How can I save typing long IMAP-pathnames?
    • How can I list/ browse remote IMAP-folders?
    • I'm using only IMAP folders, yet mutt still queries about local folders, why?
    • I keep getting disconnected when I leave mutt alone for a few minutes
    • Why do I have to review my server's SSL certificate every single time I connect to it? Stop it!
  • MuttFaq/Sendmail
    • "Error sending message, child exited", what's the deal?
    • Mail doesn't arrive/ bounces, how can I figure out why?
    • Why is it so slow when I send an email?
    • How do I configure Mutt to use a remote SMTP server to send mail?
    • I need to use different SMTP servers for several accounts, how to manage that?
    • SMTP authentication (APOP, ...) times out on me, how to save retyping password?
  • MuttFaq/Appearance
    • How to split the screen to see index and pager/ body/ content at once?
    • Can I use the "default" color of my terminal or the "transparent" color?
    • Why is "default" not recognized when mutt with ncurses [5.2] starts up?
    • Using a "default" background does not work.
    • Why doesn't the background highlight colour show behind white space?
    • When running in screen, transparency does not work, and there are trailing spaces filling every line when cut-and-pasting
    • What is the mutt colour equivalent of 'grey'?
    • Can I have an arrow ('>') as an indicator?
    • Can I highlight certain email addresses in my tree?
  • MuttFaq/Display
    • How do I change the format/ display of the list of mailboxes (or any menu)?
    • Can I personalize/ shortcut the display of or label the folder names in the folder browser?
    • Why doesn't $index_format "%b" show some Maildir?
    • Can Mutt show the (new) message count in the folder browser?
    • How to make the From-addr shown normally in index-view to show To-addr for stuff that I sent?
    • Can mutt use virtual folders/ mailboxes?
    • Why are some 'N'(ew) messages flagged 'O'(ld) when I leave them and return?
  • MuttFaq/Attachment
    • How to save all attachments into the same directory, easily?!
    • How to use different mailcap entries based on whether X is running (X availability-dependent associations for MIME types)
    • How to view/ reply HTML, images, vcards and other non-plain-text attachments?
    • How to view HTML attachments in a new tab in firefox?
    • How to make M$-office attachments accessible?
    • How do I forward a message including attachments?
    • But I want to add my own comments to the top of the forwarded message, how can I do that?
    • How to make mutt use a correct content-type (data-format) for attachments I send out?
    • Can mutt stop me from making me look stupid by sending mails saying "patch attached" without attachments?
  • MuttFaq/Charset
    • Umlauts, accents, and other non-ASCII characters are displayed as '?' or '\123', fine in some mails, but hidden in others.
    • Umlauts, accents, and other non-ASCII characters are only displayed wrong when using auto_view
    • How can I check if locales work before I blame Mutt for it?
    • UTF-8 chars are displayed fine, but the screen is garbled
    • I tuned all the variables correctly, but my messages are still garbled.
    • Attached text files get sent misencoded with wrong charset.
  • MuttFaq/Encoding
    • Why is a message not printed as seen in mutt?
    • Why is a message not caught by spam defense when piped to?
    • How to launch a browser with text links in plain text but encoded eMails?
    • Is there any way to search encoded messages like quoted-printable ones?
  • MuttFaq/Alias
    • How to use the aliases (addressbook)?
    • I changed the aliases but mutt still doesn't know them?
    • Is there no better way to manage often used addresses?
  • MuttFaq/Encryption
    • How to make PGP/GPG work?
    • How to make oldstyle/ classic/ traditional/ inline PGP work?
    • Other MUAs (mail-programs) can't handle mutt's PGP-stuff being attachments?
    • I typed wrong passphrase, but mutt still keeps using it?
    • Does Mutt do S/MIME?
    • I'm using gpg to encrypt messages and can't read my own postings
    • Which keyserver should I use?
    • How can I retrieve PGP-keys automatically?
  • MuttFaq/Thread
    • How to get rid of duplicate msgs?
    • How to change the order within a thread?
    • How to sort threads based on all the messages in the thread?
    • Why are some msgs threaded and others not?
    • What do "->", "-?-" and "*>" mean in thread trees?
    • Why is the tree display screwed, I see garbage chars in front of the arrows?!
  • MuttFaq/Maildir
    • How can I search multiple Maildirs for strings all at once?
    • Which mailbox format is better, mbox or maildir?
    • What is the best directory layout for Maildir folders?
    • How can I create subfolders?
    • How can I access the subfolders created by Kmail and Courier-IMAP?
    • I can see size in bytes, but not lines, is there a fix?
  • MuttFaq/Editor
    • Why are there strange files (*mutt*~ or *mutt*.bak) when mutt finishes?
    • How do I configure Mutt to use mail-mode in Emacs?
    • How to trim quoted replies (like stripping signatures)?
  • MuttFaq/Hook
    • My settings are messed up after hooks are executed, they're not restored?
    • Why get the commands given in hooks crippled, some are skipped?
    • Why gives muttrc errors for commands specified in hooks at startup?
    • How do I make a complex regular expression containing "(|)" and "\" in a *-hook/search work?
    • I already doublequote stuff for patterns, but my macro still sucks ass!
  • MuttFaq/Misc
    • What is mutt's way to provide "templates" for sending new eMail?
    • How to make random signatures?
    • What am I missing when I invoke mutt in batch mode from the cmd-line but it goes interactive?
    • How can I access the development versions of Mutt?
    • Where do I find the change log of the differences/ features between releases (stable, dev)?
    • Mutt config is static, how to make it dynamic (with "if"-conditions) even without ScriptSupport?
    • What is the meaning of "mbox", "maildir", and "folder"?
    • How to fix error 'Could not copy message'?
    • Switching folders is too slow with big folders, how to speed up?
    • How to trigger a script on new mail?

If you don't find a suitable question or answer, add it here below the line to be dealt with by some sage.


When you edit/ add FAQs & As,

  • Read first the WikiWorker guidelines before you edit!
  • Use a fitting /Subpage to put your answers, use /Misc otherwise.
  • Create a new /Subpage as generic but specific as possible if there are related questions.
  • Bundle simple answers into /Subpages, put complex (lengthy) answers onto own separate pages.
  • The answers go to the /Subpages only, not here.
  • Remember to add the questions to the index list on this page, too. They are not added automatically.