Update: my code works under python 2.6.5 but not python 3 (I’m using 3.4.1).

I’m unable to search for messages in the “All Mail” or “Sent Mail” folders – I get an exception:

imaplib.error: SELECT command error: BAD [b'Could not parse command']

my code:

import imaplib
m = imaplib.IMAP4_SSL("imap.gmail.com", 993)
m.login("[email protected]","mypassword")
m.select("[Gmail]/All Mail")

using m.select("[Gmail]/Sent Mail") doesn’t work either.

But reading from the inbox works:

import imaplib
m = imaplib.IMAP4_SSL("imap.gmail.com", 993)
m.login("[email protected]","mypassword")
m.select("inbox")
...

I used the mail.list() command to verify the folder names are correct:

b'(\\HasNoChildren) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "INBOX"', 
b'(\\Noselect \\HasChildren) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]"',
b'(\\HasNoChildren \\All) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]/All Mail"', 
b'(\\HasNoChildren \\Drafts) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]/Drafts"', 
b'(\\HasNoChildren \\Important) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]/Important"', 
b'(\\HasNoChildren \\Sent) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]/Sent Mail"', 
b'(\\HasNoChildren \\Junk) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]/Spam"', 
b'(\\HasNoChildren \\Flagged) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]/Starred"', 
b'(\\HasNoChildren \\Trash) "https://stackoverflow.com/" "[Gmail]/Trash"'

I’m following the solutions from these questions, but they don’t work for me:
imaplib – What is the correct folder name for Archive/All Mail in Gmail?

I cannot search sent emails in Gmail with Python

Here is a complete sample program that doesn’t work on Python 3:

import imaplib
import email

m = imaplib.IMAP4_SSL("imap.gmail.com", 993)
m.login("[email protected]","mypassword")
m.select("[Gmail]/All Mail")

result, data = m.uid('search', None, "ALL") # search all email and return uids
if result == 'OK':
    for num in data[0].split():
        result, data = m.uid('fetch', num, '(RFC822)')
        if result == 'OK':
            email_message = email.message_from_bytes(data[0][1])    # raw email text including headers
            print('From:' + email_message['From'])

m.close()
m.logout()

The following exception is thrown:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "./eport3.py", line 9, in <module>
m.select("[Gmail]/All Mail")
File "/RVM/lib/python3/lib/python3.4/imaplib.py", line 682, in select
typ, dat = self._simple_command(name, mailbox)
File "/RVM/lib/python3/lib/python3.4/imaplib.py", line 1134, in _simple_command
return self._command_complete(name, self._command(name, *args))
File "/RVM/lib/python3/lib/python3.4/imaplib.py", line 965, in _command_complete
raise self.error('%s command error: %s %s' % (name, typ, data))
imaplib.error: SELECT command error: BAD [b'Could not parse command']

Here’s the corresponding Python 2 version that works:

import imaplib
import email

m = imaplib.IMAP4_SSL("imap.gmail.com", 993)
m.login("[email protected]","mypassword")
m.select("[Gmail]/All Mail")

result, data = m.uid('search', None, "ALL") # search all email and return uids
if result == 'OK':
    for num in data[0].split():
        result, data = m.uid('fetch', num, '(RFC822)')
        if result == 'OK':
            email_message = email.message_from_string(data[0][1])    # raw email text including headers
            print 'From:' + email_message['From']

m.close()
m.logout()

As it’s mentioned in this answer:

Try using m.select(‘”[Gmail]/All Mail”‘), so that the double quotes get transmitted.
I suspect imaplib is not properly quoting the string, so the server gets what looks like two arguments: [Gmail]/All, and Mail.

And it works in python v3.4.1

import imaplib
import email

m = imaplib.IMAP4_SSL("imap.gmail.com", 993)
m.login("[email protected]","mypassword")
m.select('"[Gmail]/All Mail"')

result, data = m.uid('search', None, "ALL") # search all email and return uids
if result == 'OK':
    for num in data[0].split():
    result, data = m.uid('fetch', num, '(RFC822)')
    if result == 'OK':
        email_message = email.message_from_bytes(data[0][1])    # raw email text including headers
        print('From:' + email_message['From'])

m.close()
m.logout()