If I send an email to the configured inbound email address it correctly creates an activity. I can see the activity in the activities list on my own contact and on the contact connected with the inbound email address. I can open the activity using "view" and then I can click "edit" and make changes.

However if I then used "file on case" to add the activity to a case, and I open up the case and access the activity from there, there is no edit button.

I am an administrator will all permissions ticked.

Is this expected behaviour, a bug or a misconfiguration?

Edits: Added screenshots

  1. Activities tab of contact enter image description here

  2. Activity open with edit buttonenter image description here

  3. After clicking edit button enter image description here

3 Answers 3


This turned out to be an issue with the specfic version (4.7.29). In later versions, inbound emails are not editable at all through the GUI. Where an edit button exists, clicking it leads to "access denied", even for administrator with all permissions.

In my case I had a requirement to allow changing the status of the activity to record whether someone had looked at the email or not. Since this is not possible through the GUI, I ended up writing some custom code to do this, and customised the template to add a "Mark as read" button to fire said code.


There's been debate recently about whether inbound emails should be editable - see CRM-21425.

A patch has been written (but not yet accepted) to make this an editable option. You can apply the patch manually.

If this is important functionality for you, it may also be worthwhile to join the conversation at the link above, and (if you know how) review the patch so it can be accepted.

  • which raises the question of how naomi is getting to edit any of these without the patch
    – petednz - fuzion
    Feb 22, 2018 at 23:47

It is expected in as much as Inbound Email is an Activity that occurred purely as a result of the incoming email, hence is Completed, and also since it is something that came in from external source is not expected to be editable so it remains a record of what came in.

ps I checked on a site and on it there is no option to Edit when the Inbound Email is on the Activity Tab or on the Case.

  • Some of the original thinking I think also had to do with making it more "legal", in the sense that if people can't edit it then it has a little more truthworthiness in court, although that's a bit iffy depending on how you setup/use your email processor. Note that from Find Activities you can actually delete them, so that sort of defeats it a bit. I believe there was also a technical issue where the form for email is a different form, and it wasn't needed/desired to spend time on making sure it all worked.
    – Demerit
    Feb 19, 2018 at 23:03
  • I think it is similar also to the fact that if you send an Email from civi - it gets added as an Activity but presumably is not available to edit since again that rewrites history
    – petednz - fuzion
    Feb 20, 2018 at 0:56
  • This is weird. You are both saying that the activity is not editable at all. But it is. It's editable when you open it from the original contact that it gets placed on by the email to activity process. When you file it on a case, it remains editable in general, but you just can't open it from inside the case and edit it.
    – naomi
    Feb 21, 2018 at 15:17
  • Weird? I agree. I just checked on a site using Inbound but not Cases. The Activity also shows with no Edit for me. 4.7.30
    – petednz - fuzion
    Feb 21, 2018 at 20:08
  • 1
    Perhaps this was a quirk of 4.7.29. On another site which is .30 they are uneditable in both cases.
    – naomi
    Mar 10, 2018 at 11:47

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