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Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

I've had intermittent problems with WebMail for years - so much so that I NEVER use it for anything but deleting emails from the server.

I have lost count of the number of times I have tried to delete old messages, only to get one of about ten different error messages.

This has always been a bit of pain, but has got much worse since I set my email client [Mac Mail] to IMAP. Each time I delete incoming messages in my email client, they reappear within a minute.

Over the last six months or so, I've been getting intermittent auto-emails from Plusnet, telling me my mailbox is getting full.

Each time, I have gone into WebMail to try to delete messages. And each time I have failed to delete anything; the page either hangs or kicks out one of those error messages [see attached screenshots]

Now, I can't even see any messages in inbox, although the info bar says there are 11,000+

what am I doing wrong [and please don't answer that with "using a Mac🤣]?

18 REPLIES 18
Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

I should say that I've been a Plusnet Broadband customer for years, and as such have, through bitter experience, realised that trying to use Plusnet WebMail for anything but clearing messages up from the server guarantees rapid hair loss.
But now I can't even use it for that!

does anybody know of a way to clear messages from the inbox on the server without using WebMail?

Townman
Superuser
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Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

There are a couple of possibilities here - webmail to IMAP server performance issues when mailboxes have so many items in ad does yours.  The other issue (seen once before) is the account to not having delete permissions on folders.  Has this mailbox been restored?

There are settings which will delete the content of the trash folder on exiting from webmail and others which simply mark items for deletion, rather than moving them to the deleted items folder ... leaving the on-exit house keeping to do the tidying up.

Take a look at this first, I will go dig out the other case.

Culling mailbox contents

If you need to clean out your mailbox, may be because it is over quota, then as well as tidying up the inbox, you need to also look at the SENT ITEMS folder and then afterwards clear out the TRASH folder. However some times webmail performance can make this process very tedious, particularly if the delete action (actually a move to the trash folder) fails.

If you primarily want to delete emails, you can mitigate delete performance issues by doing an "immediate" delete (rather than a move to trash for deletion later) by holding down the SHIFT key when pressing the DEL key. This works in both webmail and most PC based email clients. WARNING SHIFT+DEL is not recoverable so be certain absolutely, that you do not need the email before pressing the buttons!

Alternatively, in webmail (Round Cube) Settings -> Server Settings there are some options worth exploring controlling how deletes are performed...

  1. Flag the message for deletion instead of delete
  2. If moving messages to "Deleted Items" fails, permanently delete them
  3. Compact Inbox on logout

Setting these options and using them together will avoid the over heads of moving items to the trash folder when you wish to delete them. They will simply be greyed out and remain in the inbox list. After logging out of webmail, they will then be removed from the mailbox.

Whilst this might be highly proficient, it needs to be used with care, for when they are gone, they are gone. Note also that Plusnet house-keeping clears out the trash folder weekly.

 

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Townman
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Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

@Tontoe 

Found it - see from here onwards https://community.plus.net/t5/Email/Cannot-delete-emails-from-Webmail-Sent-Folder/m-p/1910479#M42222 fix was at post #75 but you'll need to read the in between for context.

That related to being unable to delete items from the sent folder ... which is a good prompt to ask if you are cleaning that up too?

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Hi there


Thanks so much for your reply.


I have actually been trying for months to get webmail [both the basic and enhanced version] to show me emails properly so I can delete them/mark spam etc.


I managed to delete the contents of all other folders, apart from "inbox" which I can't view at all. These other folders behave as they should and report they are empty.


I've checked the on-exit housekeeping - the settings delete the trash folder on exit.


The problem is that I can't actually see any emails as the inbox won't display.


I'm wondering if the Plusnet IMAP settings are somehow regenerating or copying emails I have deleted in my mail client; this might explain why they reappear in the client within seconds of deletion, and may also explain the plethora of error messages [many relating to IMAP] that come up at various times when trying to view webmail.

 

At the moment I can't even get SquirrelMail to open at all - I get the error message shown in the attached screen grab.

 

Thanks again for your help with this.

Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Hi again @Townman 

Sorry - I missed your second post before replying to your first😬.

All folders apart from "inbox" are empty.

Am I correct in thinking I could use a TERMINAL session to access/change permissions on/delete content in the "inbox", using/amending the syntax in that thread? Just I am not very familiar with using Terminal.

Might it be better to do it from a CMD prompt in Windows.

thanks again for your help.😊

Townman
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Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

That look like a router generated error page, which points the issue elsewhere. ***

I have just logged into my default mailbox which has 3.4k items and the page loaded instantly, displaying 50 items per page.  My account starts with "T" if yours does as well, then we are both served by the same data centre and should have similar experiences.

Standard Webmail does have performance issues sorting large mailboxes - see the stick thread at the top of the mail board.

Client side IMAP applications usually support instant delete from the inbox - select the items you want to delete, hold down the shift key and then press the delete key.  This will mark then as deleted, but not move them to the deleted items folder.

In webmail, have you sought to use the folder compact function?

 

*** How is your internet connection performing?  Have you noticed any go-slows?  FTTC or ADSL?  Have you listened to the phone line to ensure that there is no noise.  We have seen poor internet performance give the symptoms you are describing.  Sight of the router stats would be useful to rule out anything untoward in that area.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Townman
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Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Second post...

TERMINAL and CMD are very similar and in this case can be considered to be identical.

In the first instance you need to run the "diagnostic" to find out what permissions you DO have at the moment.  The referenced case has only been seen around here once and it manifested as being unable to delete mail items.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Thanks again for your help on this @Townman 

I regularly successfully delete emails in Mac Mail, my IMAP client. However, these reappear in my email client within seconds, which [to my untutored brain] seem to indicate something wrong with the IMAP settings at the Plusnet end?

Unfortunately, I am unable to use the folder compact function, as this option is greyed out. Plus which, there are no emails visible in the data window although the info bar states 11,000+.

I have Plusnet Fibre Broadband [up to 40 meg] and a direct gigabit cable connection to the router. BT renewed our connection from the post across the road a few years ago after we experienced dropouts. The connection is now reliable and gives expected speeds.

At the moment, the webmail interface has been stuck on "loading" for 10 minutes -see screenshot.

I've also attached screenshots of some of the IMAP - related error messages I have had in case they might be of help.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Personal information removed from a public forum.
Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

and here are some screenshots of the interface for both basic and regular webmail.

Hope some of this might clarify things

Thanks again for your help Smiley

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Personal information removed from a public forum.
Townman
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Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Using one of the webmail products rules out any client or internet connectivity consideration.  I suspect that this is purely a matter of the size of the mailbox in terms of number of items.

You cannot click compact until the mail items list has populated.

I can see from the Squirrel mail screen shots that you have stuff in the deleted items folder.  You can empty that by clicking the PURGE link having listed the content of that folder.

 

In the advanced webmail service, what is the sort order?  The most proficient performance is obtained when selecting none.

How many items are you listing per page?

Deleting items and they reappearing (is this on web mail or iMac?) is indicative of the client having initiated the delete activity, but it not being executed by the IMAP server.  Immediate deletes might improve the experience.

See post #3.

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Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Hi @Townman 

Thanks again for taking the time to help with this.

Yes I agree it may well be due to the size of the mail box. This problem has arisen because, for over 12 months, I have been unable to access mails to delete or mark as spam [of which there is a lot as I have had the same email address with Plusnet for around 20 years]; following contacting customer support about this and getting nowhere [I was told that Webmail is not supported] I had given up trying, despite the fact that this seems to be the only way to access emails directly on the server.

Until, that is, I began getting auto-emails from Plusnet about the size of the inbox in April of this year [see attached screenshot].

Things are now at a critical stage.

I am not aware of a way of permanently deleting mail permanently from the inbox in MacMail using an IMAP mailbox. I have tried deleting messages in the client but they don't appear in the deleted items in my mail client.

I have tried reducing the number of messages displayed, but the result is the same - a blank area where messages should be displayed.

I have the default sort settings in Webmail. However changing these names no difference - still a blank area.

sorry, the SquirrelMail screenshot is out of date. All folders apart from inbox are empty and report as such in "advanced" webmail.

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Personal information removed from a public forum.
Townman
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Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

In most clients you can do an immediate delete by holding the shift key before pressing the DEL key.

Webmail - did you check the sort sequence using the grid icon top left of the columns name bar?

iMac client - have you tried sorting by size and (immediate) deleting the largest first?

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

Thanks @Townman 

as it's a Mac, there is no delete key as such - just a key combination - fn-backspace.

I've just deleted 4000+ messages in Mac Mail for the umpteenth time and - guess what? - they all just keep downloading to the inbox again.

This happens however I sort the messages in the email client.

I know Mac Mail ain't the best, but it works with my other five [non-plusnet] ISP email accounts.

I'm just wondering why Webmail would keep regurgitating deleted messages to my client inbox in this way? I thought the idea of IMAP was that once you deleted a message in your client, it was deleted on the server?

Using the sort options in the grid in webmail supposedly refreshes the page, but there are still no emails showing in the content window, and the info bar still shows 11,000+ emails [see screenshot]

 

 

Moderators Note: Image removed as it contained personal information.

Tontoe
Dabbler
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎26-06-2023

Re: Can't delete emails in webmail; messages reappear in email client after deletion

this is what keeps happening... I deleted them and the server spits them back

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