Why Are There Vertical Bars on the Left of Some Emails I Send?

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We use Outlook for our email. My daughter uses Gmail where she lives.

She says every time she receives an e-mail reply from me there is a vertical line down the left side of it, and if she “removes format” (or something like that), the line goes away, but then she then gets all those “carrot” signs and has to go in and remove those!

Yet, when she sends an e-mail to me, it looks fine. I don’t think I ever remember seeing that vertical line or carrots from her e-mails.

I have received e-mail from others that look like that though.

What’s the story on this! How and why does this happen to some and not others?

In a word: reply. You said it yourself. Smile

What you’re seeing is very common among email programs. It’s an indicator that you’re replying to a message.

It’s useful. Even better, it’s configurable.

Read moreWhy Are There Vertical Bars on the Left of Some Emails I Send?

Why Does Thunderbird Think this Message Might Be a Scam?

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My email program, Thunderbird, thinks your newsletters are a scam. I get an overall message with the email, plus a warning whenever I click on a link. This doesn’t bother me, and no doubt I could fix it by setting something in the client, but it must be happening to others, and I thought you might want to know so you can fix whatever is triggering it.

Unfortunately, this happens to a lot of newsletters and other email.

Needless to say, my newsletter isn’t scam, but seeing as how I do occasionally get this report, I thought it worthwhile to explain exactly what Thunderbird is doing. Other email programs may do something similar.

It’s also a good education on how some scams try to fool you.

The scam warning has always thrown too many false positives for my taste, so I’ll also show you how to turn it off in Thunderbird.

Read moreWhy Does Thunderbird Think this Message Might Be a Scam?

Has a Hacker Really Hacked My Email Account?

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Today, I received this lovely email. While I think it is complete BS and I certainly have no intention on taking any action on it, it *does* look like it was sent from my account, i.e., it appears that someone can send emails impersonating me. Do you have any advice what I should do about this?

Nothing.

The questionable email message that this person was reporting describes how this person’s account had been hacked, how changing the password wouldn’t help, and that it was being held for ransom to be paid in Bitcoin. And, indeed, it appeared to be “From:” this person’s email address.

Variations of this scam even include a password — a password that you’ve actually used.

Even so, “complete BS” is very accurate.

Though, if there is a password, then there is one thing you should do.

Read moreHas a Hacker Really Hacked My Email Account?

Why Must I Re-enter my Email to Unsubscribe?

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Why do some websites have you re-enter your email when you click on “unsubscribe”? Don’t they already know who I am?

At best, it’s because they’re lazy.

At worst, it’s because they want to make it more difficult to unsubscribe.

I suppose there’s an even worse case: it’s spam and you never subscribed to begin with.

There’s simply no excuse these days for any of those possibilities.

Read moreWhy Must I Re-enter my Email to Unsubscribe?

Will Email to an Invalid Email Address Be Read by Someone?

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I just sent an email to the wrong email address. I am positive that the email I sent it to was wrong as I read it once it left and it asked if I wanted to add it to my contacts after I sent it! The @XXXX.com part of the address was my work. I am 100% certain that there is no one at work with that address. Please tell me where it could possibly have gone and is someone going to be able to read it??? I am really worried as it was quite personal.

You won’t like my answer.

There’s just no way to know.

At least, not unless someone did get it and then tells you they did.

Read moreWill Email to an Invalid Email Address Be Read by Someone?

Email I Was Composing has Disappeared. Can I Get it Back?

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I was responding to an email, but my response disappeared. Do you know a way I can retrieve it?

The longer, original question was a disaster waiting to happen. Before I get to that, though, I want to address a very common scenario: you’re typing a nice lengthy response in email, and all of a sudden it’s gone.

There are many reasons this can happen — some benign, some disastrous.

With so many possibilities, though, there are a few things to try to see if you can get it back before you panic.

Read moreEmail I Was Composing has Disappeared. Can I Get it Back?

Dealing with Fake “Ask Leo”

A friend of mine recently forwarded me an email he received that looked like it had come from me.

Except, of course, it hadn’t. It was a complete forgery, and not a very good one at that.

I am both slightly honored that I’m worth forging, and quite annoyed that someone actually did.

We’ll look at the message and all the clues it contains that make it a fairly obvious fake, and then generalize those clues to help you separate spam from legitimate email.

Read moreDealing with Fake “Ask Leo”

Can I Stop or ‘Un-send’ an Email I Sent by Mistake?

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I wrote an email from my Yahoo email account and sent it to the wrong email address in Europe. Is it any way I can retrieve the email I sent to the wrong email address and delete it before the wrong recipient can read my email?

No.

There are a couple of exceptions (one of which isn’t really an exception at all), but the answer you need to keep in mind and always remember is simply no.

Once email has been sent, it has been sent. It cannot be “unsent”.

I’ll describe why that is and what those so-called “exceptions” are all about.

Read moreCan I Stop or ‘Un-send’ an Email I Sent by Mistake?

Can I Tell If Email I Sent Has Been Read by the Recipient?

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I sent an email to a friend and he claims never to have gotten it. I don’t believe him; things he’s said led me to believe that he did get it and that he did read it. Is there a way I can tell for sure?

I’m amazed at the number of questions I get that boil down to people not trusting each other. Not that there isn’t cause, I suppose, with spam, phishing, and viruses running all over the place. But this seems like the simplest case of all – was your email read or not?

The answer to your question is no, there is no way to tell for sure that your email has been delivered or has been read.

I always get a lot of pushback on that.

Read moreCan I Tell If Email I Sent Has Been Read by the Recipient?

What Does “Mailbox Unavailable” Mean and How Do I Fix It?

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What does “smtp; 550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable mean?” I can no longer send emails to my friend at *****@live.com … the mail comes back with this message.

Unless you’ve mistyped the email address, “mailbox unavailable” is likely not your problem, and not something you can fix. It means that your friend’s mailbox isn’t available, for unspecified reasons, and your message could not be delivered.

From there, all we can do is make some educated guesses as to why.

Read moreWhat Does “Mailbox Unavailable” Mean and How Do I Fix It?

How Do I Delete Multiple Emails When I Have a Lot to Delete?

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I have over 15,000 emails. How do I delete multiple emails without having to delete them one at a time?

Deleting multiple emails can be easy, or it can be really, really cumbersome.

Two factors determine which it’s going to be: your criteria for which emails you want to delete, and the capabilities of your email program.

While I can’t show you what works in every email program or interface, I’ll review a couple of common techniques that will make this easier. Those techniques are useful for more than just deleting email, and they work in arenas other than email as well.

Read moreHow Do I Delete Multiple Emails When I Have a Lot to Delete?

What Does “Relaying Denied” Mean?

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I hope you might be able to help with the following problem. When attempting to send email I got the error message “The message could not be sent because one of the recipients was rejected by the server. Relaying denied. Proper authentication required.” What does that mean, and how do I fix it?

To understand what this message means, we need to understand, at least at a conceptual level, how email makes its way from your outbox to your recipient’s inbox.

That trip can be short or long, depending on a number of factors.

And one of those factors is the relay.

Read moreWhat Does “Relaying Denied” Mean?

Why Does My Email Program Keep Prompting for My Password?

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I have and use, on occasion, Microsoft Outlook as a default mail program. When I go to use the program, the login menu comes up, asking me for my password. In my settings, I checked “remember password.” I click “OK” and the damned thing keeps coming back and back and back each time I click OK. How can one stop this? After about a dozen or so clicking on “OK” and it will leave me alone for a short while.

That’s Outlook’s way of saying something’s wrong.

I kid you not. That’s all.

In fact, it’s a very common technique — many email programs keep asking you for your password even if you’ve specified it, specified it correctly, and specified that it should be remembered.

They just do a really, really bad job at telling you why they keep asking.

Read moreWhy Does My Email Program Keep Prompting for My Password?

How Do I Unsubscribe from All These Unwanted Emails?

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I am receiving a lot of unwanted e-mails from diet pills to pet supplies and I don’t want to keep deleting 100 e-mails every time I check my mail. I hate going into each e-mail one-by-one to unsubscribe and I don’t know how safe it is for me to open those e-mails in the first place. I was wondering is there an easy free way to unsubscribe without needing to open the e-mail.

I know that this is confusing, but it’s important to realize that there are emails that you can and should unsubscribe from, and emails that you absolutely should never, ever “unsubscribe” from.

I’ll explain why that is, and what the relatively simple rules turn out to be.

Read moreHow Do I Unsubscribe from All These Unwanted Emails?

Someone’s Sending from My Email Address! How Do I Stop Them?!

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People are telling me I’ve sent them email I know I haven’t. Supposedly it’s spam, and that’s not something I do. Has my account been hacked? How do I stop it?

While possible, it’s highly unlikely your account has been hacked. Whatever is happening is something significantly more benign. Sadly, it’s something you can do almost nothing about.

There are a couple of variations, so before we begin, let me also mention some articles that might more closely match your situation.

Read moreSomeone’s Sending from My Email Address! How Do I Stop Them?!

How Do I Change the Default Mail Program in Windows?

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When viewing some websites, I want to send them an email for whatever reason. I click “contact us”, a window opens and I type my question. When I press “send”, I realize that the email is being sent using Outlook, and as a result I  am asked to setup a POP address etc. I prefer to send and receive my messages using my Gmail account. Can you tell me how I can set it up so that when sending a message as explained above, Gmail will come up as my email carrier?

Chances are that page was set up using a “mailto:” link that instructs your web browser to send an email using your PC. The most common approach assumes you have a desktop email program like Microsoft Office’s Outlook, Thunderbird, or other installed, or that you’re using the Mail program that comes as part of Windows.

If you’re using web-based email like Gmail, Outlook.com, or Yahoo! Mail, things get more complex.

Read moreHow Do I Change the Default Mail Program in Windows?

How Do I View the List of BCC’ed Recipients on an Email I’ve Received?

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I want to find the list of “undisclosed recipients” of the email I’ve received. Is there a way?

No.

“Undisclosed recipients” is often placed in the “To:” line by email programs when the message being sent has no entries in the “To:” or “Cc:” lines. The sender has used the “Bcc:” feature of email to send the email to one or more people without revealing who they are.

So, how do you find out who they are?

Read moreHow Do I View the List of BCC’ed Recipients on an Email I’ve Received?

Why Is My Mail to this Person Not Getting Through?

Even after all these years, email spam remains a serious problem. With some people (like me) getting literally hundreds of unwanted messages per day, most internet service providers (as well as some individuals) take drastic steps to reduce the amount of junk mail arriving in their inboxes.

A problem with any anti-spam measure is that it will block some amount of legitimate email as well.

If email sent to one person is not getting through, but email sent to other people is generally working, it could be your email is being blocked by an anti-spam tool.

Read moreWhy Is My Mail to this Person Not Getting Through?

What are the Pros and Cons of Web-based Email Over Desktop Email?

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My wife and I once used Eudora, where email was downloaded, but right now seem to be happy with the huge amount of space we have available for our web-based email on the ISP’s servers. We do lots of housekeeping, retaining only what we need for as long as we need it. What other things should we consider? What does a traditional email program like Thunderbird provide that we might consider?

Web-based and PC-based are different ways to approach email.

As you can imagine, there are arguments in favor for and against each. Which is most appropriate for you depends on many things, not the least of which is what “feels” right to you.

I’ll look at both, identify what I think are the important issues, and outline my own approach.

Read moreWhat are the Pros and Cons of Web-based Email Over Desktop Email?

Are Free Email Services Worth It?

This is a major update to what I consider one of my most important articles, dating all the way back to 2004 (with intermediate updates in 2010 and 2013).

My answer has changed from “mostly no” to “mostly yes”, with the following important caveats:

  • You must understand the costs.
  • You must understand the risks.
  • You must prepare for disaster.
  • You must take responsibility.

I’ll dive into each of these in detail, but before I do, I’ll share one concrete datapoint: all of my email is currently being processed via free email accounts. Clearly, I believe it can be done safely.

Read moreAre Free Email Services Worth It?

Back Up Your Email Using Thunderbird

Many years ago, shortly after Ask Leo! began, I received a panic-stricken email from an individual whose account had been hacked. He had lost all access to the account and everything in it. His panic stemmed from the fact that, for whatever reason, the only copy of his master’s thesis had been in that account.

It was gone, and there was no hope of recovery.1

Hopefully, you’re not keeping something as important as a master’s thesis only in your online email account. That’s wrong on several levels. But I’m guessing there are things in your account you never want to lose, such as photos, correspondence, or other things you’ve exchanged via email.

The problem is, of course, that if it’s only in your email account, it’s not backed up.

Let’s fix that. Let’s back up your email.

Read moreBack Up Your Email Using Thunderbird

How Do I Send an Email that Can’t Be Traced Back to Me?

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There are problems at work that I need to inform my main office about. The problem I’m having is that the emails sent to the office are seen by several people if I send them at work. If I send from home, my personal email address will be revealed and I need to remain anonymous. The politics at my workplace are vicious to say the least. What software is available so that I can send them an anonymous email and my email address be hidden?

This is a surprisingly common situation.

It’s also surprisingly easy to get caught, even if you do take steps to stay hidden.

I’ll review some of the approaches and some of the risks.

Read moreHow Do I Send an Email that Can’t Be Traced Back to Me?

Why Is There so Much Spam?

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Between bouts of frustration with my inbox, I’ve been reading your various articles on spam. I think I’m slowly getting a handle on it all, but it sure seems crazy. And it really got me to wondering… why is there so much spam in the first place?

I feel your pain.

Some time ago, I did some research and looked at all my email for an entire year. Not only do I get a lot of email, but my calculations show that 87% of it was junk. Wow.

Why is there so much spam?

It’s very simple, really.

Spam works.

Read moreWhy Is There so Much Spam?

Gmail’s Confidential Mode Isn’t

Google recently rolled out a feature called “confidential mode”, which claims to prevent disclosure of an email message to anyone other than its intended recipient. The message can only be viewed by the person you send it to, and cannot be forwarded or copied.

Or can it?

What’s that old saying? Oh yeah: “If it can be seen, it can be copied.”

Let me show you how by sharing one of my so-called “confidential” messages.

Read moreGmail’s Confidential Mode Isn’t

What’s the Difference Between Hotmail.com, Msn.com, Live.com and Now Outlook.com?

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Is there no longer a hotmail.com? I am so confused. I sign into hotmail and it automatically sends me to outlook.com. It would not take my old password, so I had to change it. But, there is nothing in the account. How do you retrieve information that was in hotmail.com. This is crazy!!How can I get my messages from my old account or is this really something that has happened. Is there no longer a MSN hotmail.com? or is this a joke of some kind.

It’s no joke.

Microsoft continues a long history of confusing the heck out of us with the names they choose for their services, and then changing those names as they go along.

Outlook.com is what we once knew as Hotmail, which was also called “MSN Hotmail” and was also “Windows Live Hotmail”. That’s relatively easy, albeit confusing. But there’s more to it than that.

For the record: none of this involves losing any email. That’s something else entirely.

Read moreWhat’s the Difference Between Hotmail.com, Msn.com, Live.com and Now Outlook.com?

How Do I Get Rid of All this Spam?!?!

Spam is ubiquitous. Everyone gets spam. Those who aren’t will, and those who’re only getting a little will eventually get more.

I get many hundreds of spam messages a day. That’s probably nearer the high end of the average range, but it’s certainly not an uncommon amount.

While one source shows that spam has dropped to just under half of all email traffic for the first time in years, it certainly doesn’t seem that way in our mail folders, does it?

What’s a poor user to do?

Read moreHow Do I Get Rid of All this Spam?!?!

How to (Accidentally) Give Someone Else Your PayPal Account

Someone tried to give me a PayPal account this morning. Someone in Germany, to be specific. I suspect they weren’t trying to give me their account, but made a mistake when setting it up.

That mistake is surprisingly common. Seeing as how the result would be my owning their PayPal account, I really don’t understand how they could make such a serious mistake. But as I said, it’s common.

It highlights something critical you need to know to keep your accounts safe.

Read moreHow to (Accidentally) Give Someone Else Your PayPal Account

Why I (Still) Don’t Like Challenge/Response Spam Blockers

Some time ago, due to an error on my end, The Ask Leo! Newsletter came “From:” the wrong email address.

As a result, in addition to the usual flood of “I’m not in the office right now, but I’ll get back to you…” messages, I also received a number of what are called “challenge/response” messages. These are messages that often begin with: “I’m protecting myself from receiving junk mail. Please click the link below to complete the verification process.”

Uh … no. I can’t. I’m afraid I just don’t have the resources to click through or jump through additional hoops for hundreds of messages like this.

But, honestly, this isn’t about me; I’m concerned about you and what you may be missing.

Read moreWhy I (Still) Don’t Like Challenge/Response Spam Blockers

Why Does My IP Address Have a Bad Reputation? And What Do I Do?

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I found on Cisco’s Talos blog that my email reputation is “poor.” Apparently my IP address has been sending lots of email. But I haven’t! I have several computing devices: macOS 10.13.4, Windows 8.1 fully updated running Avast Free with weekly scans and a recent boot-time scan; MalwareBytes free with recent full “threat scan.” My wife uses a Chromebook (up-to-date). I use an iPad 2 and an iPhone 7 (both running iOS 11). Sometimes I use older iPhones (a 4S and a 5S). I have no IoT devices other than the router, a Pepwave Surf SOHO MK3. Pepwave says their routers are not affected by VPNFilter. I use a VPN most of the time on my portable devices, even at home. But not the Windows machine. Sometimes my Windows machine slows down, then recovers. My Windows hard drive often runs and runs. Other times, it times out, as expected. My ISP is TimeWarnerCable. I’m surprised they haven’t contacted me. Is there something I can to do detect outgoing traffic (including, but not restricted to, spam)?

I think it’s very unlikely you are sending spam. Possible, sure, but based on your description, you seem to have things well in hand.

It’s important to realize that you are not necessarily your IP address.

It’s also important not to read too much into anyone’s reputation report.

Read moreWhy Does My IP Address Have a Bad Reputation? And What Do I Do?

Why Doesn’t Blocking Email Senders Work?

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How can I block addresses that come repeatedly to my junk email box? It says I am blocking email but it does not work.

Blocking email by the “From:” address is seriously overrated; it’s effectively useless.

It promises to prevent email from a specific sender from reaching you, but if the sender determined, the block is easily bypassed. And spammers are determined … boy, are they determined! Blocking senders is useless in the war against spam.

I’ll explain why, and what I do instead.

Read moreWhy Doesn’t Blocking Email Senders Work?

What’s a Relay Server?

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I ran into a situation the other day where a friend’s email address was hijacked and used for sending spam. He was getting numerous bounce-back notices from mail he had not sent. Then his ability to send mail shut down. When we contacted the mail host, we were told that his account had exceeded the relay quota for the day and further that it couldn’t be reset manually but would reset naturally over the next day. What is a relay server and how is it different from the regular email server I use at my (different from my friend’s) host?

Generally, relaying has a very specific definition, but I’m not certain it applies in your case. Your email provider might be using it in a non-standard way.

Either way, relaying is a fundamental way that email travels from your outbox to your recipient’s inbox.

Read moreWhat’s a Relay Server?

How Can I Automatically Reply to Spammers To Tell Them to Stop?

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Can I set up an automatic email reply to all the [BULK…] emails I get telling them that such are not being received at my email address? Would it be advisable to do so; I get few if any that inform or provide any useful info. Or perhaps I need to ask “what is the best way to deal with [Bulk…] emails other than one by one?”

I’m going to assume that by “BULK” you mean unsolicited email, more commonly called spam: email you never signed up for and you simply don’t want.

Never, ever reply to spam. Period.

It won’t help, and will more likely make things worse.

So, while I suppose you could set up an automated reply, that’s not what I’m going to show you.

Instead, let me explain why replying to spam — automated or manually — is a really, really bad idea.

Read moreHow Can I Automatically Reply to Spammers To Tell Them to Stop?

I Think I’ve Been “Phished”, What Should I Do?

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I think I may have been “phished” with the “request to confirm” scam email. How can I tell? And if I have been “phished” what do I do now?

First, don’t feel too bad — phishing attempts are getting very, very sophisticated. I haven’t fallen for one yet, but I’ve come darned close a time or two.

But be prepared for a painful recovery if the phishing was successful.

How to tell if you’ve been phished depends on where in the process you are: looking at an email, after clicking a link in the email or other source, or some time thereafter.

What to do after that depends on what information you gave in response to the phishing attempt.

Read moreI Think I’ve Been “Phished”, What Should I Do?

Will a Hacked Website Leak My Email Address?

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If a website is hacked (e.g. Walmart), can the hackers get my email address even if they cannot crack my password, which is 12 alpha-numeric characters?

It really, and I do mean really, depends on the specific nature of the hack.

But the short answer is yes, it’s very likely your email address will be leaked as part of any significant hack or breach.

And that has nothing to do with the strength of your password.

But what happens next absolutely does.

Read moreWill a Hacked Website Leak My Email Address?

Does Bounced Email Mean All the Recipients Didn’t Get My Message?

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I sent 4 recipients an e-mail. As it turns out, I got a notice from MAILER-DAEMON that the address was not deliverable. I know it is because they changed their address, which I wasn’t aware of. Should the other 3 recipients have received the e-mail? This situation occurs once in awhile, because people don’t always tell quickly enough when they change addresses. So, my question in essence, like with tree lights, if one fails, do the others stay lit?

In your case, it’s fairly clear: the message was probably delivered to the other three recipients.

In the general case, of course, things are never quite that simple.

Things also get more complicated because you’re not even guaranteed to get a bounce-back message if something goes wrong.

I’ll examine the possibilities.

Read moreDoes Bounced Email Mean All the Recipients Didn’t Get My Message?

Why Does My Email Sometimes Show Up with Funny Characters Like “=0D” In It?

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I’m one of the moderators on a large email discussion list. Quite often when we receive a message for approval it might be full of what I can only call “funny characters” or character sequences. They always begin with an equals sign, though. For example, things like =0D=0A and =3D appear throughout the message.

But wait, this gets even more odd. If we allow such a message to go through to our list, most members who receive the messages individually don’t see this oddness; messages look just fine to them. And yet, members who receive these messages in a periodic digest see the same funny characters as we moderators do.

What’s up what that?

You’d think that with plain-text email having been around for as long as it has, issues like this would have been resolved by now.

The problem is that there’s “plain text” email, and then there’s “plain text” email. That’s correct — not all “plain text” is created equal.

Read moreWhy Does My Email Sometimes Show Up with Funny Characters Like “=0D” In It?

How Long Does Email Delivery Take?

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1. How long does e-mail delivery typically take? What are the most common ranges?

2. How long does it actually take (more or less) for the mailer-daemon at my e-mail host (or whoever) to find the addressee mailbox is full, the addressee is unknown or otherwise undeliverable? (such as address misspelled)

3. Where the addressee data seems valid, how long will the mailer-daemon at my e-mail host (or whoever) keep trying?

Answers to these questions might be of general interest to people frequently replying  to pen pals.

I’m guessing it’s really only the answer to #1 that most people will be interested in, but I’ll hit the other two as well.

People have high expectations of email, and most of the time, those expectations are met.

However, what’s considered “allowed behavior” may surprise you.

Read moreHow Long Does Email Delivery Take?

How Do I Back Up My Outlook.com Email?

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How do I back up the email I have hosted on Outlook.com? Contacts, too.

I hear about attempted account theft often. I hear about successful account hacks more often than I would like. I also hear about account loss for a variety of other reasons as well — again, more often than I would like.

Here’s the problem: most people don’t back up their online Outlook.com account. All their email is stored in exactly and only one place: in that account, stored online on Microsoft’s servers. Remember: if it’s only in one place, it’s not backed up.

And when the online account is hacked or lost for any reason, all that email disappears, often forever.

Backing up your Outlook.com account — or any online email account, for that matter — is critical if you want to avoid the possibility of losing everything.

Read moreHow Do I Back Up My Outlook.com Email?

What is POP? Or POP3? And what about IMAP and SMTP?

The computer world is full of confusing acronyms, and email is one source of many.

It’s useful to understand a few common acronyms, at least at a high level, to make using and configuring email programs a little less confusing.

POP3 and IMAP are half of the email puzzle; SMTP is the other. POP3 and IMAP are protocols (or “languages”) used to get your email, while SMTP is the protocol used to send it.

But why POP? Or POP3? And what are you supposed to enter if you’re asked to configure your email account in your email client?

Read moreWhat is POP? Or POP3? And what about IMAP and SMTP?

Am I Wasting My Time Reporting Scam and Spam Emails?

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You once said that when it comes to email scams, we should just mark it as a scam or spam and move on. But I’ve found websites to report them to, and some email addresses to forward them to, and I’d like to think I’m doing some good. Are you saying that I’m wasting my time reporting email scams directly to these agencies?

Yes.

I just don’t believe reporting spam to these sites and services is worth the time and effort. I don’t see any harm in doing it; I just don’t think it helps.

I do want to be very clear, however, that a different type of “reporting spam” is very important, and we should all be doing that.

Read moreAm I Wasting My Time Reporting Scam and Spam Emails?

How Do I Get an Email Address for Life?

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I’ve used {now defunct service redacted} for several years in order to avoid notifying my contacts I’ve changed my email address. They promised me a single email address I could keep forever. Except I now find that the site is working, but it doesn’t allow any view of my account. The page merely says, “It works! This is the default web page for this server. The web server software is running, but no content has been added yet.” Are you able to help me?

Help you get your account back? No.

Help you avoid this situation again in the future? Absolutely.

It’s exceptionally frustrating when a service promising to provide something forever goes away. Apparently, “forever” isn’t what it used to be.

Read moreHow Do I Get an Email Address for Life?

How Do I Edit a Reply?

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I’ve been told by a mailing list moderator that when I reply to a message sent to the list, I need to edit the reply to remove most of the original message. I don’t see where or how to edit a reply. What am I supposed to do?

That’s not an uncommon request. Even though you might not see it, most email programs include the original message as part of your reply. If you don’t edit the reply yourself, your one-line response might be accompanied by the entire original message that everyone’s already seen.

The problem, of course, is that exactly how to edit the entire reply often isn’t obvious at all.

Read moreHow Do I Edit a Reply?

I Enabled Two-Factor Authentication and Now My Email Program Can’t Log In

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When I turned on the two factor verification, I could no longer use Eudora to download my email!

It’s no surprise, really, but most software (like desktop email programs) has no way to ask for, or enter, a second factor if your account is configured to require one.

If you use such a program, you’re not stuck. In addition to two-factor authentication, the industry has a pseudo-standard solution for just this scenario.

It’s called an application-specific password, or “app password”.

Read moreI Enabled Two-Factor Authentication and Now My Email Program Can’t Log In