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Email server disconnecting, failing to load messages and failing to delete messages

aeneareid
Rising Star
Posts: 74
Thanks: 13
Registered: ‎24-03-2019

Email server disconnecting, failing to load messages and failing to delete messages

I'm at my wits end trying to use my PlusNet email account. For many years I have been using Thunderbird with no problems but recently have run into severe problems.

  - I get frequent messages saying that server imap.plus.net has disconnected

  - when I try to delete messages, although they appear to disappear initially, subsequently they reappear in my inbox; this also happens when I try to delete messages from folders

  - it can sometimes take AGES to load my inbox (yes, I know it's on the large side - that's why I'm trying to delete messages); I usually give up after a while and shut down Thunderbird and return later when the inbox may then load OK.

Thinking the problems might be Thunderbird related, I tried using webmail but got Fetch errors.

Then I tried using the basic webmail interface (SquirrelMail) but get
ERROR: Connection dropped by IMAP server.
Query: LSUB "" "*"

and nothing loads.

HELP!

5 REPLIES 5
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,691
Thanks: 8,029
Fixes: 94
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email server disconnecting, failing to load messages and failing to delete messages

Responsiveness with large mailboxes can be problematic, especially when "deleting" items.

A normal "delete" is not a real delete, it is a move to the trash folder which takes several interactions (local and remote) with the IMAP server.  If the series of interactions fails, the item remains in the inbox.  If you are totally certain that you do not want to keep the item, to delete instantly (without using the trash folder as a safety net) hold down the SHIFT key when pressing the delete key.

Increasing the server timeout window can also be helpful.

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.

aeneareid
Rising Star
Posts: 74
Thanks: 13
Registered: ‎24-03-2019

Re: Email server disconnecting, failing to load messages and failing to delete messages

Thanks for the suggestions. I had already tried increasing the server timeout to no avail.

I thought your suggestion of doing an immediate permanent delete might be the answer but I can't get it to work on more than one message at a time.

When I do shift Del on a single message, a message pops up asking me to confirm I really want to do this and the message does seem to go permanently.

But when I select multiple messages and then do shift Del there is no popup; at the foot of the screen I can see it saying messages are being moved to INBOX.Trash. If I'm lucky, the messages do appear in the Deleted folder and disappear from the INBOX. But, if I try deleting more than a few messages, they reappear in my inbox after a few moments.

Do you know how I can make the permanent delete on multiple messages?

Gandalf
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 25,251
Thanks: 9,182
Fixes: 1,478
Registered: ‎21-04-2017

Re: Email server disconnecting, failing to load messages and failing to delete messages

Hi @aeneareid

I can't say how you can do this but as another suggestion, try setting up your emails on Thunderbird as POP3. You should then be able to configure it to automatically delete your mail from the server/webmail once the messages have been read.

If you're unsure how, there's a good guide Here but let us know if you need further help.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,691
Thanks: 8,029
Fixes: 94
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Email server disconnecting, failing to load messages and failing to delete messages

POP3 is a totally different approach and does not work well if the mailbox is being accessed from more than one device. Of particular note: sent items are not stored on the sever but on (and only on) the device from which they were sent. Using POP3 requires a comprehensive back up strategy of the user’s device for it is the only repository of their email history.

Perseverance with good house keeping is tidier unless users only access (and send) email on one device and have a good back up strategy … in which case POP3 might be viable. Remember the normal operation of POP3 is to always remove mail from the server unless configured (fudged) not to.

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.

aeneareid
Rising Star
Posts: 74
Thanks: 13
Registered: ‎24-03-2019

Re: Email server disconnecting, failing to load messages and failing to delete messages

POP is not an option for me as I access my email from multiple computers and my phone.