IMAP Troubleshooting

Wed, 05/08/2013 - 12:24 -- admin

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  • My Webmail/IMAP inbox content disappeared !!??

    Most likely you are running an email client which connected to your email using POP3, downloaded the messages, and then deleted the contents of the INBOX on the server. This is a common mode of operation for POP3 clients. To prevent this, you must disable the POP3 client and configure it to use IMAP instead.

    The removed email is still on the POP3 client, so it has not been lost. If you disable email checking for the POP3 configuration, and create a new IMAP configuration, Webmail and your other email client will then work well together. You can also move the locally saved email into the IMAP INBOX, so they are again available to Webmail and other IMAP clients.

    Information on changing selected email clients from POP3 to IMAP can be found on: Configuring IMAP clients. Generic conversion information is on: Migrating from POP3 to IMAP.

     

  • E-Mail service and Reverse Address Lookup

    One of the components of the Internet is DNS - domain name service. In part, DNS allows for the matching of IP addresses and system names. Each ISP - Internet Service Provider - is responsible for updating and managing their DNS tables. These DNS files are shared with other ISPs so that each address and system is recorded.

    To use the RPI campus e-mail service - mail.rpi.edu - a successful reverse DNS lookup is required. Reverse DNS lookups are an important component of our anti-spam implementation. Other (but not all) services and service providers on the Internet also require DNS lookups.

    If you are using a non-RPI ISP such as RoadRunner and they do not keep their DNS tables up-to-date you will not be able to access the mail.rpi.edu server. The RPI mail server refuses connections from any system that does not have a valid reverse map.

    From time to time an ISP will expand the IP (Internet Protocol) range that they use. Occasionally, these new IP addresses are not added (registered) to the DNS tables. If your connection through this ISP gets a non-registered IP address, connections to mail.rpi.edu will be refused.

    How will you know? It is real hard to know without doing a check. You can check the status of your IP address by logging onto one of the remote access IBM systems: rcs-ibm1.rpi.edu or rcs-ibm2.rpi.edu and running the nslookup utility as shown below.

    Checking for a Valid IP Address

    You will need to know your system's IP address. On your Windows system, do the following:

    • Open a command window: from the Start menu click Run and in the Run box enter command
    • Once the command window opens:
      • enter winipcfg (Window 98)
        Be sure to find the IP address of your network adapter card and not the PPP adapter.
      • enter ipconfig (Windows 2000 and newer)
    • After you have logged into an IBM remote access server use the IP address as follows (substituting your IP address for the 128.113.173.118 listed below):

      A successful lookup would look like:

      nslookup 128.113.173.118
      Server: netserv6.its.rpi.edu
      Address: 128.113.92.10
      Name: tejanb-2.stu.rpi.edu
      Address: 128.113.173.118

      An unsuccessful lookup will look like:

      nslookup 128.113.15.20
      Server: netserv6.its.rpi.edu
      Address: 128.113.92.10
      *** netserv6.its.rpi.edu can't find 128.113.15.20:Non-existent host/domain

      If the lookup fails you will need to contact your ISP. If it does not fail contact the VCC Help Desk for help.

     

  • Sending E-Mail from Outside of the RPI Network?

    From off campus, you may connect to the Internet through a third party Internet Service Provider (ISP). These ISPs have their own mail servers, which you can use by copying their mail server names into the incoming and outgoing mail server fields of the email client you use (Outlook, Thunderbird, etc.) to send and receive email.

    Any person with an RCS userid may check their mail using Rensselaer's mail server from off campus. However, Rensselaer's mail server will reject messages sent by users connected through an alternate ISP unless the recipient is at Rensselaer. The RPI email server will return a "Relaying" error message.

    In order to send outgoing mail through Rensselaer's mail servers to a non-@rpi.edu address, you will need either to be on campus, use SMTP-AUTH, or set up the Cisco VPN client to authenticate you. Please refer to the instructions on installing the Cisco VPN client for more information.

    Once you are connected, you should be able to send and receive e-mail as if you were on campus.

     

  • Why does new email only show up when I use Webmail?

    This happens when your email client is configured for IMAP, but the email system still has your account configured as a Legacy POP3 user. Email to Legacy POP3 users (those reading email using POP3, or by Wemail and POP3) is sent to the old POP3 server.

    If you are switching to IMAP, read the Migrating to IMAP page, taking particular note of step 6.

    After June 30th POP3 service will be merged with IMAP service and this step will no longer be needed.

     

  • Can I archive my email, or must I keep it all on the server?

    You can archive email with IMAP just the same as with POP3. Most email clients make a distinction between "local'' files and "IMAP'' files. Archiving is just a matter of copying, or moving, files from the IMAP portion to the local portion.

    Once files are on in the local folders they are no longer available to other email clients. The usual practice is to identify the archiving client, and use that to keep a copy of all archived email. Ideally this client should be choosen for maximum portability of stored files, and it would be backed up on a regular basis. The IMAP client used for archiving does not need to be the same as the client used for reading email.

    Some clients, such as Outlook 2010, have an auto-archive facility that can, for example, archive all email older than 60 days to a local pst file. Also available for Windows clients is the free IMAPSize utility, which can archive email to local folders.

     

  • Does RPI's IMAP server support server-side (SIEVE) filters?

    Yes, but you need to create the filters using a client that includes a SIEVE filter editor. At this time, we know of Mulbery and later versions of Kmail. Mulbery is available in Linux, WIndows and MacOS versions, so there is a SIEVE filter editor available for the three most common platforms.

    Note: You do not have to use the same client for reading email as you use for editing SIEVE filters. Once a filter is installed on the server it continues to operate, even when disconnected, regardless of the client used to read IMAP email.

     

  • I am deleting messages, but I'm still over quota.

    Some email clients (e.g., Outlook) do not remove deleted messags from the IMAP server. Instead the messages are marked to be ``Deleted". They may be displayed greyed out, or with a line through the message entry.

    To actually delete the messages, the folder must be "purged" or "expunged" or "compressed." How this is done varies from client to client, so read the documentation. If the client offers an Auto-Purge/Expunge/Compress option, you may want to enable it.

    You can also use the windows program IMAPSize which offers an Expunge option, as well as attachment saving/removing, and auto-archive operations.

    Webmail offers an auto-purge/expunge option.

     

  • I'm over quota. What can I do?

    Simply put: remove files from the IMAP server.

    First, if you are using a "trash" folder, empty it.

    Second, delete files you do not need. Don't forget to check for old messages---especially messages with attachments---in the "sent items" folder(s).

    Note 1: If the files are large, you might not be able to delete them without first disabling the "trash" folder. This is because IMAP will attempt to copy the message to the "trash" folder first.

    Note 2: Some e-mail clients do not removed deleted messages from the IMAP server. Instead the messages are marked "Delete". They may be displayed greyed out, or with a line through the message entry. To actually delete the messages, the folder must be "purged" or "expunged." How this is done varies from client to client, so read the documentation. If the client offers an Auto-Purge option, you may want to enable it. (The windows program IMAPSize offers an Expunge option. Webmail auto-purges/expunges.)

    Note, if you use more than one IMAP client to read e-mail, those clients may have created their own "trash" and "sent items" folders. Don't forget to check them for unwanted messages. (See Why do I have more than one trash folder?, and Why do I have more than one "Sent" folder? below for more information.)

    Finally, you can archive old e-mail on your desktop or laptop computer. Outlook has an Auto-archive feature which will move old e-mail to a PST file. You can also use an IMAP archiving program such as IMAPSize.

     

  • Why do I have more than one "Sent'' folder?

    E-mail clients create sent items folders on the IMAP server. Sent items folders are used to store copies of e-mail you send to other people.

    Alas, e-mail clients do not agree on what to call the Sent items folder. Webmail creates a folder named "Sent". Another client may create a folder called "Sent Items", and another "Sent-Items" and so on. If you are no longer using the other clients, you can delete the unused "sent" folders. If you do use more than one IMAP client, you may be able to configure them all to use a common name for the "Sent" folder.

    Webmail, by default, creates a single folder called "Sent" for copies of outgoing e-mail messages.

     

  • Why do I have more than one "Trash'' folder?

    E-mail clients create trash folders on the IMAP server to store recently deleted messages.

    Alas, e-mail clients do not agree on what to call the trash folder. Webmail creates a folder named "TRASH". Another client may create a folder called "Trash", another "Garbage", another "Deleted-Items", etc. If you are not using the the other clients, you can delete the unused "trash" folders.

    If you do use more than one IMAP client, you may be able to configure them all to use a common name for the "trash" folder.

     

  • I use Outlook and I’m over my IMAP quota. What can I do?

    Sometimes Outlook does not allow you to effectively remove messages from your IMAP folders on the server, and the default in RPI's webmail (IMAP) is to save a copy of deleted items to your "TRASH" folder, which counts against your quota.  To effectively delete messages and decrease your quota usage, follow the instructions below:

    • Login to http://webmail.rpi.edu.
    • Go to Options and select Account info on the left.
    • Halfway down the page, you should see the option " Send deleted messages to "TRASH" folder".  Uncheck this box, then click Save at the bottom of the page.

    You can now delete messages from within webmail and they will be permanently removed and not count against your quota. 

    Keep in mind that as you delete messages, our server will try to deliver messages it previously could not.