This page is intended to address the simpler set of problems you might experience with email. It is not intended to teach the nuances of using a particular email client or web interface, however you may find links that lead to “the devil is in the details”.
Accessing email is typically done with two types of programs. Email client programs and Internet browsers can provide access to your email provider.
Email Provider . Here is the Wikipedia defintion. The Email provider can be thought of as a P.O. Box at the Post Office. Note: An Email provider has the ability to NEVER forget about an incoming or outgoing message. The set of email providers we frequently see in Sun City include: Google (gmail), Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Suddenlink. One of the convenient features of the “right” email provider is: If you move or change Internet Service Providers, your email address may not need to change. For the previous set of identified email providers, Suddenlink is most likely to cause you to get a new email address if you move or stop doing business with Suddenlink. A Google (gmail) account provides up to 15 gigabytes of storage (email and whatever else you want) and unlimited storage for photos that are less than 16 megapixel resolution. On the “Hmmm??” side of a Google account is: Its Google. Hmmm??? If Google implies suspicion, additional cloud storage is available (for a fee) from other “big players” on the internet.
Email Client . Here is the techopedia definition. Choosing an email client can be a “the devil is in the details” process. There are email clients that are free or not, email clients that are “open source” and you also have the choice of accessing your email with an internet browser, instead of an email client. An internet search for “best free email clients” will produce a lot of links. As you read, pay attention to when an item was published and who was the writer or publisher. Here is a link to a wikipedia page that identifies email clients. There are a lot of choices for a “free” email client. Choosing the right free email client may be a “trial and error” event. Why? Some “free” clients provide limited features for free. You may learn to like the GUI and then discover another feature you want or like is not free. My preference… Mozilla Thunderbird. It is open source and free. However, if you discover you like it, feel FREE to contribute to the project. A negative perspective of Thunderbird is: It has been around a long time and the user interface (features and how you access them) is not always obvious. This can be a good thing if you have been using Thunderbird a long time and do not want to suffer a “re-learning” event when a later version or security update arrives.
SMTP vs IMAP vs POP, what do they mean?
This is a test……
If you know what your password is supposed to be, but your Email provider disagrees, that usually takes you down the path of creating a new password. This can be a time consuming process if you have to communicate over phone to reset your password. As with any internet service that requires a password, the right solution for your concerns about security are probably not the same as mine.
If you depend on your email client or internet browser to remember your email password, you will probably need to reset your password when your computer fails.
Most email providers have a website you can go to in order to view your mail. However, you may want to use an email client instead. Email clients provide additional functionality that webmail may not provide. Features like different fonts, folder and category options, reminders, vacation messages, etc. to allow you to manage your emails. Email clients are especially handy for those with multiple email accounts allowing for one unified inbox to receive emails from multiple email accounts. Examples of email clients include Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird, eM client and many others.
Email clients use either POP (Post Office Protocol) or IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) to communicate with the email server. The protocol used depends on whether you want your email stored on the email server and synchronized across all your devices or you want to download AND REMOVE your email from the email server to the current device you are using. With POP, if you delete a downloaded message or send a new message from a device it will NOT be reflected on the server or any other device. With IMAP, whatever you do with a message is reflected on the server and therefore available to all of your devices. IMAP is recommended if you use multiple devices (e.g., phone and laptop)
Your email client has to be configured so that it knows the name, port, and security protocol for the incoming mail server (either POP or IMAP) and the name, port, and security for the outbound mail server (SMTP-simple mail transfer protocol). Listed below are links to configuration pages for common email providers.
I “revisited” the subject of “email clients” with some internet searching. There are other “free” choices as indicated by these items.
This page from wikipedia provides more data about free clients but it is incomplete. Comparison_of_email_clients
Microsoft Outlook as part of the Microsoft Office suite, is not free. But, for the past few years, license keys for Microsoft Office are available for low prices on Ebay.com The “trick” is knowing that after you get the product/license key, you can download the software from Microsoft .com. As with any “really good deal”, you need to pay careful attention to “what am I buying” on ebay. There are many older versions of Microsoft Office that are still supported by Microsoft. Buying the latest and greatest may not be what you want.
OE Classic is semi-free. There are some features that require payment.
EM Client is free.
Thunderbird is free.
Note: Changing a password for an account in the Thunderbird client was not obvious to me. The concepts of servers and accounts is in different screens. You can right click on a server and NOT see a place to change an account on a server. To change a password for an account on a server, has been difficult to find, even with the help of Thunderbird.net
The Thunderbird client allows a password for sending and a password for receiving. This means you need to configure/enter the password for receiving and sending.
(associated email problem: not receiving emails)
Managing your email keeps your mailboxes clean and tidy, helps you find messages quicker when searching, and frees up your used storage space to stay within the email server limits.
When you establish an email account, you are provided a certain amount of “free” storage. For instance suddenlink provides 2GB of storage. If you establish a Google account, you get 15 GB of free storage. However google email storage is also shared with google drive and google photos. Photos stored in youR google account do not count against “free storage” if they are less than 16 megapixel resolution. Other email providers offer differing amounts. When you log into your email account directly (not using a mail client like Outlook, etc.), there should be an indication, often near the bottom of the inbox or in settings that provides your mailbox/storage usage as a percentage used of allocated amount. It is advisable that you keep an eye on how much storage you have available.
What happens when you have more mail than storage capacity? Your email system will stop all incoming mail. The sender may or may not get a notification that your mail was undeliverable. You will most likely lose ALL mail sent to you while you were unable to store any more mail. So if you are not receiving emails, storage usage is the first thing to check. How do you fix the problem when you have used up all available storage?
“Quick” fixes – how “quick” these are will be dependent on your volume of mail!
The first thing to do is empty your deleted folder. When you delete messages, they just go into the deleted message or trash folder. They are not really gone until you empty the trash folder. You can usually do this by right clicking on the folder and emptying the trash. In some cases you may have to open the deleted folder and delete the deleted messages.
Next, empty the spam/junk folder. Many email programs are able to recognize spam and will automatically put it in the spam/junk folder for you. However, it is recommended that you open the folder and look at the messages before deleting, just in case a non-spam message found its way into the folder. If the messages are really spam, delete them. Just remember that they are not really gone until you empty the trash (see paragraph above).
Check other folders that your email program may automatically set up and select for you. Examples include: drafts, important, starred, promotions, social folders. These should also be emptied.
Check other folders that you created – yes these count in your storage, too. Delete any folders you no longer need. Always remember to delete items in the deleted folder/empty the trash.
Still over the storage limit?
How many messages are in your inbox? If you never delete or file messages out of your inbox, it’s time to clean it out. Delete all the spam messages. If you still have messages in your inbox from years ago, it’s time to delete them. Just remember, deleted messages go to the trash folder which will have to be emptied again.
Look for messages with attachments. The attachments, especially if they are photos or videos, can take up a lot of room. If you need the attachment, open it and save it off to your computer and then delete the message.
Check your sent messages folder. Again, delete messages you no longer need, especially years old messages and messages with attachments.
Once you are under the storage limit you should start receiving emails again (you may have to logout and then log back in)
For the long term, practice good email habits