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3.1   Common email questions

The following answers come from Tomas' review of tickets on email problems.

Question: (IMAP)

Only today's messages appear in my inbox - old messages vanish.

Answer:

Most often, this occurs when you set up a mail client like Thunderbird.   With some, such as Thunderbird, the default connection is POP3, not IMAP, and deletes messages from the server once they are downloaded.   To set Thunderbird to not delete messages once they are downloaded, open the account settings window (under edit in Linux, but tools in MS Windows) and select the server settings for your NMT email account.   Then just check the box next to Leave messages on the server.

See webmail can't find message for a webmail specific case.

 

Question: (IMAP)

I am off campus using a client, and I am only able to receive mail.   Attempts to send always fail.   (Why?)

Answer:

We handle authentication differently for users off campus than we do for those on.   In order to be able to send mail from off campus, you need to do one of two things:

  1. Set up a VPN connection so that you'll have a local IP address and be treated as though you're on campus.   You can find instructions to set up a VPN connection at http://infohost.nmt.edu/tcc/help/vpn/xp.html
  2. Configure your mail client to use SMTP Auth and StartTLS (or just TLS) when sending mail.   In Thunderbird, you can find that setting in the account settings window (under edit in Linux, but tools in MS Windows) and then in the outgoing server settings.

See Protocols (pop, imap, TLS, SSL) for more on those email protocols.

 

Question:

I am unable to access my account.  (Why?)

Answer:

Please contact the Help Desk (575/835-5437).   Most often, this occurs either because of a bad password, or because your account was due for payment and we were not notified that you paid.

 

Question: (quota)

Webmail reports (or a UC has told me) that my mail quota is full, but I can't delete messages.   (Why?)

Answer:

Usually when this happens, it's because webmail (or your client) is trying to move those messages to the trash (or some other) folder and that action is causing you to exceed your disk quota (which is distinct from your mail quota). If you choose to delete them directly, instead of using temporary storage like the trash folder you should be able to get rid of those messages.   Be warned, however: emails deleted in this way (i.e. directly, without moving them to another folder) cannot be recovered (as they won't make it to backup tape like the rest of your disk folders)!

 

Question: (quota)

People are telling me that when they try to send me an email, it gets bounced back.   (Why?)

Answer:

Most likely, that's because your email quota (not disk quota) is full.   You'll need to delete, or move to other folders, some messages from your INBOX in order to open up some space.

 

Question: (reader - see above)

My email disappeared from the server after I set up Thunderbird.

Answer:

Thunderbird, by default, uses POP3 to download messages to the local machine and deletes them from the server.   To set Thunderbird to not delete messages once they are downloaded, open the account settings window (under edit in Linux, but tools in MS Windows) and select the server settings for your NMT email account.   Then just check the box next to Leave messages on the server.

 

Question:

After I set up my vacation message, it seems to get sent in response to SPAMs.   I'm getting a lot of kicked back vacation messages.   (What can I do?)

Answer:

This is because, by default, vacation responses are triggered before SPAM messages are filtered out.   You can get around this by using procmail to set up a vacation message.

See Spam and vacation message interaction for choices on setting up your procmail file to address this problem.

 

Question:

I'm trying to send an email to multiple recipients, but when I try to send it I get an error/simply doesn't send.   (Why?)

Answer:

Probably this is because one or more of the recipient addresses are misspelled.   Some mail readers won't even send out email to the valid addresses when this happens.   Very carefully look for, and correct, invalid email addresses.

 

Question:

My emails are taking a long time to arrive at their destinations.   (Why?)

Answer:

Often, this happens during a period of unusually high server load, which may occur in the course of everyday events, and may also be the case after some server down time, or a heavy SPAM attack, since tasks have a tendency to build up when they're not being completed.

 

Question:

I am receiving an unusually large amount of unmarked spam.   (Why?)

Answer:

Periodically, spammers come up with new techniques and manage to get around our filters for a while.   Most of the time, our filters catch on to the new game and then spam will fall off again.   If this is an ongoing problem, however, you may need to take additional steps.   You might try changing your spam filter level from the link on the webmail login page.   Decreasing that level will increase the amount of email that gets flagged as spam, but also increases the probability that legitimate email will be flagged.   As a last resort, if you think your email address is being targeted specifically, the UCs at the Help Desk can help you seek other solutions.

 


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