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POP download issues (timeouts?) on additional mailbox

dplusr
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Thanks: 8
Registered: ‎10-10-2016

POP download issues (timeouts?) on additional mailbox

We've been using the same set-up, with the same client software, for some years now. We have several additional mailboxes for different members of the family. I download mail for each box separately.

All of a sudden, my wife's account has started failing to download messages every time someone sends her a message of more than about 2-3MB (pretty-much anything with a picture attachment, for example). That message will get stuck and everything else gets stuck behind it. Sometimes some messages download but are not removed from the server, so she'll get the same message repeatedly. I can't see why it happens on one account only.

Given the speed of our connection, it looks as though something is throttling her downloads. I'm a bit stumped, and even more so as to why only her account is affected, when mine gets downloaded on the same settings (username/password excepted).

It can spend minutes trying to download a few MB of mail. Makes no sense really. I've fixed it once or twice by using Webmail to stick some messages in a temporary folder, and reduce the size of the download, then put them back when the (server) Inbox is empty, but that's not a very practicable way to proceed.

2 REPLIES 2
Townman
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 19,728
Thanks: 8,063
Fixes: 94
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: POP download issues (timeouts?) on additional mailbox

Email is not the most proficient way of sharing photographs.  Email was designed for comparative short messages.

The issue you detail is not so much the total volume of all emails to be downloaded, but the size of an individual email.  Emails with big attachments can be a royal pain on any email service.

You might try mitigating the issue by increasing the server time out duration in the server configuration details in your email program.

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.

dplusr
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Thanks: 8
Registered: ‎10-10-2016

Re: POP download issues (timeouts?) on additional mailbox

Thank you. I'm well aware of the issues - I've spent my life helping out with diagnosing email problems, without being a specialist. I did mess around with timeouts and the like.

The strange features about this though are that it's started happening after years of working fine, that it only appears to affect one "virtual mailbox", and that, since posting the original message, I've found a workaround, even though I don't like it much.

We're actually using a local mail server to download, sort and distribute messages. I seem to be able to use the client to collect large messages directly, bypassing the server. It's as though the server is being throttled.

I need the workaround because the large messages block other smaller ones from being downloaded. Or sometimes, one message will download but not get deleted, and so download again next time, and so on ad nauseam.