Troubleshooting issues sending and receiving email

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In this article, you'll learn troubleshooting tips to help you resolve issues when attempts to send email or receive mail messages are unsuccessful.

The first step involves ensuring you are using the correct account settings when you configure your email client.

If you are using a third-party email service for email, please contact the company that manages your email to verify the correct settings to use.

If you are using this system's integrated email services, use the following details when setting up an email account:

  • POP3 or receiving server: mail.my_domain_name.com (replacing my_domain_name.com with the site's domain name)
     
  • SMTP or sending server: Your Internet Service Provider's (ISP) sending (SMTP) server. Contact your Internet Service Provider to get this information.

    Alternatively, you can try using mail.my_domain_name.com (replacing my_domain_name.com with the site's domain name) but it may not work because communication to third-party SMTP servers is often blocked by your ISP in order to cut the amount of SPAM being sent through their network.
     
  • Email address: your_account@my_domain_name.com
     
  • Username: your_account@my_domain_name.com
     
  • Password: The password you used when the account was created.

 

Verifying that the settings are correct in the User Details page

Double-check that the email address you are entering in the email client interface matches the email address that exists in the User Details page when the email was created.

To verify this, choose SiteSettings - Site Users. Select the name of the user to view the User Details page.

Compare the email address in the field with the one you entered in the email client new account fields.

It is especially important to ensure that the option Enable Email is checked, as shown below.

 

Checking the domain name settings in the DNS tools

After verifying that the email address created in the Admin Console matches the email address entered in the email client account information, the next step involves verifying that the domain name settings are accurate.

Follow these steps:

  1. Choose Site Settings - Site Domains.
  2. In the list that appears click the Edit button (pencil icon) next the the domain name that is used for the email address.

    Make sure that the following options are selected:

In addition to verifying the DNS settings in the Manage Domain Name area of the Admin Console, also ensure that you have redelegated your domain name to point to this system's hosting servers.

Note: You must use this service to host the domain if you want to use this system's integrated email service.

If you prefer to use an external email provider, please read hosting mail externally for more information.

 

Checking the MX record settings for the site

You can use a third-party DNS service to check the MX record. The following list includes examples of DNS services you can use:

You can also search and find other resources available online to check the MX record for your site.

In this example, the catfishdesigns.com.au site is using DNSStuff.com to look up the MX record.

Enter the domain name in the provided field and select MX from the type menu, as shown below:

After the lookup is complete, the results look similar to the screenshot below:

In the results, you can see that mail. has correctly been appended to the domain name A type prefix.

This is the same result you'll be looking for when you test the MX record for your domain name. Also, notice that the MX record points to the IP address: 203.134.157.115. That means it is correctly configured.

If you see different values when you test your site's domain name, double-check that you've added a domain name to the site using the DNS tools in the Admin Console.

The DNS tools are accessed by choosing Admin > Manage Domain Name.

Additionally, log into the website of the registrar you used to register your domain name, and verify that you've redelegated your domain name to point to this system's nameservers.

To learn more about using DNSStuff to look up the settings of a specific domain name, watch the video.

 

Verifying that you can log into webmail

Webmail is included with the integrated email service for this system. If the email account is set up correctly, you should be able to log in and see messages in the webmail interface without any further configuration.

Webmail enables you to send and receive email using any browser with an Internet connection.

There are two methods you can use to log into webmail:

  1. Enter the following URL in the browser: http://mail.my_domain_name.com (Replace my_domain_name.com with your site's domain name)
  2. Log into the Admin Console and highlight your username in the upper right hand corner - select Webmail

To access webmail, you'll use the same username (email address) and password you use to log into the Admin Console.

 

Click the Login to Webmail button.

If you have double-checked all of the information previously provided in this article and you are still unable to see the webmail interface after logging in, contact the support team and include your login details to enable them to investigate the issue further.

If you can see the webmail interface as shown below, then please continue with the next section of this article.

 

Confirming the settings in your email client

After following along with the previous suggestions in this article, you have verified that:

  • You have entered the same settings found when selecting Site Settings > Site Domains
  • The option to Enable Email is selected in the User Details page.
  • The domain name for the site has been correctly redelegated on your registrar's website
  • The site's MX record exists and is pointing to the correct IP address
  • You can login into the webmail interface using the same email account details.

If you have not verified that the above statements are true, confirm them before continuing.

Next, double-check that your email client has the proper configuration for the new email account.

Read the set up instructions specific to your email client from our configuration guide

 

Resolving issues when messages are received, but outgoing messages cannot be sent

If you can receive POP email but are unable to send messages, the issue may be related to a known issue.

In some cases, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may block access to this system's SMTP (outgoing) email server. This behavior varies and depends on the ISP you use to connect to the Internet. ISPs sometimes do this to prevent spam email from being sent using their networks.

The best way to overcome this is to set up an alternative 'port' to send your mail through.

 

By Default, email software will set the SMTP 'port to '25', which is the standard port for the SMTP protocol.  However our mail service has two alternative ports available that you can send through.

These are:

8025

or

587

You can usually adjust the SMTP port that your software uses under the 'More Options' or 'Advanced' area of the account setup.

 

If this does not work for you (as possibly these tow additional ports are also blocked by your ISP for some reason), another alternative is to use your ISP's SMTP outgoing server information rather than using the outgoing server provided by this system.

If you are not sure what your ISP's SMTP server information is, try looking at the settings for one of your other existing email accounts.

If that information is not available from within your email client, contact your ISP to find out your SMTP server's address. Alternatively, visit their website and search for the terms: setting up email.

Your ISP's SMTP server information will likely follow one of the following formats:

smtp.isp_name.com

mail.isp_name.com

Once you have their outgoing server information, update the outgoing mail server fields in the email client account settings to use their outgoing server.

 

Resolving issues when the email account's mailbox has exceeded its limit (quota)

Occasionally, you may experience issues that have the following symptoms:

  • Contacts mention that they are attempting to send mail to you, but are unsuccessful.
  • You are receiving email notifications that state: Delivery to your mailbox was refused because it has exceeded its quota.

Each mailbox in this system has a 5GB size limit.

If you often receive e-mail messages with large file attachments, the size limit may be exceeded unless you are diligent about deleting the messages on the server.

The following tips can help manage your mailbox's size:

  • If you are using Microsoft Outlook, enable the autoarchive function. Experiment with the time settings to find the setting that works best for you.
     
  • If using Outlook Express or Thunderbird email clients, create local folders on your hard drive. Regularly copy the messages saved in your mail server's Inbox into these local folders to "archive" them. This process will remove the files from the server, while keeping their contents available on your local machine.
     
  • Configure your email client to delete messages from the email server after downloading them.

 

Resolving issues with the security certificate when configuring an email client.

When you set up the email client such as Outlook, MAC Mail or other email application you may receive an error regarding the security certificate defined on your mail server.

The reason of this is the fact that you have set up the incoming/outgoing mail server as mail.yourdomain, where yourdomain is your custom domain (e.g. example.com), however you are using secure encryption (SSL) on your POP/IMAP/SMTP protocols. 

What you need to do here is to :

  • remove the encryption from your email client 
  • install the secure certificate on your domain

In order to remove the encryption all you have to do is to go to the Advanced settings, remove the SSL encryption and chose the regular ports (POP - 110, IMAP - 143 and SMTP - 25).

For instance in Outlook the Advanced options should look as below:

In Mac Mail the Advanced options for SMTP should look as below:

or for POP/IMAP:

If you want to use secure encryption (SSL) on your POP/IMAP/SMTP protocols please have a look at this article.

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