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Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

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Colin-A
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Registered: ‎16-04-2018

Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

I have researched this and tested as much as I can (I work in IT so understand email).

I first noticed it, as I don't use webmail, use programs and phones but upon setting up an IMAP config on a PC and phone I noticed the email would always show as read as soon as it arrived.  Thought it must be a setting on a phone or PC - tried everything!  Nothing solved it.  Oddly I thought it was something on PlusNet setting son their mail but cannot find anything.  Even spoke to chat who were next to useless - just pointed me to "how to setup email" info.

More testing on another account (I have a few) revealed it to be exactly the same - this email is accessed via POP3 so no IMAP settings to cloud the issue.  Still its webmail marks email as read on receipt too.

Anyone any ideas - I've trawled the internet but this appears to be a PlusNet config issue.

Next post of call is to raise a ticket but thought I would try here first.

Thank if anyone has any ideas or has had this issue.

I might setup a new email address but I guess it could be an overall setting on my account :-(

18 REPLIES
Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Hi Colin,

A warm welcome to the forums.

Your description is a little confusing, but I think in summary you are saying the following...

  1. You have a Plusnet mailbox
  2. On a PC you read that mail using a POP3 email client
  3. You then look at the mailbox using an IMAP client (either on some other device or via webmail)
  4. Those clients see the emails as being read

If the above understanding is correct, then (if POP3 is configured to leave emails on the server) everything is working correctly.

If the above is not a correct understanding could you please clarify your set up.  Mixing POP3 and IMAP operations with the same mailbox to facilitate access from different clients, is not an overly good way of working, for it creates confusion and leaves doubt about where sent items are stored.

Colin-A
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Registered: ‎16-04-2018

Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Hi Townman,

Sorry re-read and it is confusing sorry - rushed it...

I have a few email accounts on my PlusNet account and most are accessed vai POP3

I changed one to be accessed via IMAP (not mixing with POP3) and that is wehen I noticed emails showing as read as soon as they arrive.

Thought it was an email client setup (Outlook 2016 and Android Mail) but with email both checked (every setting that looks likely) and still no change I looked at webmail, only for investigative reasons, I don't use it.

So with the phone and PC off, sending an email from another account to my PlusNet email it comes in as read!

I also checked another PlusNet email on my account and that was the same?

I hope that clarifies the problem?

Many thanks for any ideas you have or anyone else?

Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Hi Colin,

A couple of things to check / eliminate - "Mark as read when shown in pre-view".

Webmail: Settings > Mailbox view > Preferences > main options

Capture Read Webmail.JPG

If preview is set and "immediately" is selected, then a new email will immediately show as read in webmail.  Turn off preview or change option away from "Immediately".

 

Outlook (as seen in 2016 might be slightly different in earlier versions): File > Options > Advanced > Customise Outlook panes > Reading pane... > Mark Item as read

Capture Read OL.JPG

Again, a new item will automatically be marked as read after the wait time, if reading pane preview is enabled.

Thinking about this ... if you have left Outlook running looking at an empty mailbox, if there is a inbound email, it will list and auto preview ... and thereby get marked as read if the above setting is enabled.

 

As I hinted, this might be red herrings but needs to be eliminated as possibilities.

 

Superuser
Superuser
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Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

I changed one to be accessed via IMAP (not mixing with POP3) and that is wehen I noticed emails showing as read as soon as they arrive.

Are you absolutely certain that you have killed off all POP3 clients connected to this mailbox?

Colin-A
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Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Thanks Townman,

I had checked the PLusNet preview pane and turned it off to never - made no difference!

Had a quick look on Outlook - same options too - wasn't checked so not that.....

Goign by your followup message - pretty sure I do not have any POP3 access to that email either - will double check though.

As a side note - I was with a client today and their PLusNet webmail was behaving correctly, leaving them as unread.

So why on one of my other emali addresses, with POP3 only access, does it do the sameHuh

Just had a thought - this email is forwarded to a domain email address - I guess that could be causing this and we use that domain forwarding on the other addresses too - will investigate that....

Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

As a side note - I was with a client today and their PLusNet webmail was behaving correctly, leaving them as unread.

So why on one of my other emali addresses, with POP3 only access, does it do the sameHuh

Just had a thought - this email is forwarded to a domain email address - I guess that could be causing this and we use that domain forwarding on the other addresses too - will investigate that....

Unless you can be 100% certain that both you and the client are working with IDENTICAL configurations, a comparison is not informative.  I have lots of mail boxes being concurrently accessed on multiple client platforms and all works well ... just I do not have POP3 anywhere in sight.

As per previous post, if you have POP3 in play it will cause confusion ... it needs to READ emails from the server to download them to the email client therefore marking then as "read" (if left on the server) is to be expected.  Whereas IMAP SYNCHRONISES content views without changing the flags on server stored items until they have been read ... etc.

Forwarding! EXACTLY what do you mean by this / how is it facilitated?

Some email services provide the means to receive emails and store them locally AND also to redirect (forward) to an alternative address or addresses.  The Plusnet service does not provide this functionality.

Therefore if emails are still retained in the Plusnet email service AND they are being "forwarded" to somewhere else, then that MUST be getting performed by some external service PULLING (reading) emails from the Plusnet server (similar to how Gmail harvesting works).  This scenario would explain what you are reporting.

If the "forwarding" is being performed by email client mail processing rules, that too could be responsible for setting the read flag. 

Community Gaffer
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Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Do you ever see them as unread under any circumstances?

Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
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Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

@Colin-A Is it all your mailboxes affected?  Or just one in particular?

Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Colin-A
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Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Thanks for all your feedback  -  been a bit busy to investigate this further.

Update on the actual setup of the email.  I use easily.co.uk to forward to PlusNet email from a domain, so that could be an issue - don't see why though it's just forwarding.

I also need to double check all email setups in case there is a POP3 client somewhere too.

In answer to Kelly, I only have one accessed via IMAP clients but checked another one via webmail and it's arrives read too.

I will setup a new email within my PlusNet account and try that on webmail only to see how it works - that will show if it is a global setting on the account possibly.  Let you know what I experience....

Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail


@Colin-A wrote:

In answer to Kelly, I only have one accessed via IMAP clients but checked another one via webmail and it's arrives read too.

 


Webmail is an IMAP client, just "out there" on the web rather than on a device which you configure.  What webmail sees, a local IMAP client will see.

So to clarify the set up (if this is wrong can you please offer clarity)

  1. You have an email service elsewhere
  2. Emails received by that service are forwarded to a (or many?) Plusnet mail box(es)
  3. That (those) mail box(es) is (are) only accessed by IMAP clients
  4. It is (they are) not accessed by an email harvester (such as Gmail)
  5. All emails appear to be read on arrival

Have you tried sending emails direct to the Plusnet mail box to see if they behave differently?

Colin-A
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Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Thanks Townman,

Understand how IMAP works, a client just accesses what webmail sees...

To answer your questions - and thanks for your reply too.

  1. You have an email service elsewhere - No!  A domain forwarding service.  Email sent to colin@domain.co.uk gets forwarded to colin@plus.net email address, I then read email in a client that accesses PlusNet email using IMAP.  Hence my email looks to be comign from a domain email not PlusNet address!
  2. Emails received by that service are forwarded to a (or many?) Plusnet mail box(es) -  Just forwarded as above
  3. That (those) mail box(es) is (are) only accessed by IMAP clients - Yes
  4. It is (they are) not accessed by an email harvester (such as Gmail) - No!
  5. All emails appear to be read on arrival - Yes, although sometimes they remain unread for a few seconds...

Tried sending email direct to PlusNet email address only and the same happens.

It does feel as though something is reading them somewhere - know anyway to backward trace this or look on all PC setup.  My partner used to view my emails too but checked and now not the case.

I've had this email linked to PlusNet for about 12 years now, but only recenlty setup access using IMAP.

Thanks again for ideas...

Have you tried sending emails direct to the Plusnet mail box to see if they behave differently?

Superuser
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Hi Colin,

Being marked read after a few seconds is so symptomatic of either a POP3 client collecting the emails or an email client using "Mark read after N seconds on preview" ... but you believe you have eliminated those options.

Here is a radical idea - go into the email management portal - go edit the email account in question and change the password.

That will block access to all email clients, known or forgotten about.  Set up a new IMAP configuration, ensuring that mark read is not enabled at all.  Log into the account using the new password from known clients / webmail and see what happens.

If emails remain unread then there is a client somewhere harvesting the emails; if the behaviour remains the same then there's more digging to be done somewhere.  Try sending direct to colin@plus.net - that will eliminate any possibility of the domain name forwarding service being implicated.

Note on webmail & IMAP - many people do not know that webmail is behaving as an IMAP client ... did not intend to teach you to suck eggs! Wink

Colin-A
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Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

Hi Townman,

Not so radical actually - I happened to be in the portal so have done that, and created a new test@domain.plus.com, now for some testing...

No worries about sukcing eggs - better to have the knowledge than not - appreciate that though...

Got a coffee, has some time so will post back with results - it's an odd one and challenging...

Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 13,048
Thanks: 4,337
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Emails showing as READ when they arrive on webmail

I am now going out to enjoy the sun and will not be around for a good while.  Others might pick up the topic ... or I will later on.