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Problems accessing email in Outlook

RobDickson
Grafter
Posts: 653
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Registered: ‎06-08-2007

Problems accessing email in Outlook

PlusNet archived my email about a week ago. It has restored most of it, and what has been restored is shown in webmail and K9 Mail on my Android phone, but the Inbox in Outlook is empty. K9 only downloads the newest 25 emails, but Outlook tries to download all of them.

I removed and recreated the account and there was still nothing. After a while, I noticed some items in the Drafts folder. I deleted these and Outlook started synchronising the Sent Items folder. I am able to send emails using Outlook and these appear in the Sent items folder, but there is still nothing in the Inbox. Emails sent using webmail appear in the Sent Items in Outlook OK.

There doesn't seem to be a problem with my internet connection and other email accounts work fine in Outlook.

I have tried "Send/Receive All Folders" and right mouse click on Inbox and "Process Marked Headers". Both seem to do something, with "Send/Receive" and "Synchronising Inbox" appearing, but still no emails are shown. I have tried leaving Outlook running for half an hour, but still no emails appear in the Inbox.

I have checked my settings (from https://community.plus.net/t5/Email/IMAP-stopped-working/td-p/1895917😞

incoming server:  imap.plus.net

Port: 993

Encryption: SSL/TLS (it was StartTLS before)

 

Outgoing:

relay.plus.net

587

StartTls

 

I read on the thread linked above that I should check the resync interval and set the root folder to INBOX. I'll have to look for these settings later, because I'm not sure where they are.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I hope it's the done thing to start another thread, rather than adding to an existing one that might not be the same problem.

PS: Sorry for the sad face icon, the forum converted the close bracket followed by a colon.

22 REPLIES 22
RobDickson
Grafter
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Registered: ‎06-08-2007

Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

PS: I'm using Outlook 365. I think this means it's always the latest version of Outlook, but there doesn't seem to be a Help >> About option to tell me any more than it says during start-up.

Dan_the_Van
Aspiring Hero
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Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

These are the recommended setting

IMAP: imap.plus.net port 993 encryption SSL/TLS
POP3: mail.plus.net port 995 encryption SSL/TLS
SMTP: relay.plus.net port 587 encryption STARTTLS
User name (authentication) configured on BOTH incoming and outgoing servers
Default mailbox accountname
Secondary mailbox accountname+mailboxname

If you've been with plusnet a while, your domain might be '.force9.co.uk or '.free-online.net'.
If so, change '.plus.net' to '.force9.net' or '.free-online.net' for both your incoming and outgoing servers

Server setting for plus.net would be:-

Screenshot 2023-04-07 095338.png      Screenshot 2023-04-07 095246.png

You should receive a test confirmation email 

HTH

RobDickson
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Registered: ‎06-08-2007

Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

Thanks.

That's how I have it set up. The username and password must be entered correctly because I can send emails, I don't get an error when trying to receive emails, and Outlook has successfully synchronised the sent items.

I tried increasing the sever timeouts to the maximum (10 minutes), but that hasn't helped either.

Outlook is still showing "We didn't find anything to show here".

I doubt it's relevant, but PlusNet hasn't restored the IMAP folders that I have created manually (at least they're no longer shown in the webmail). I'm not bothered about this, I just thought I'd mention it in case it's relevant.

I haven't found the setting about setting the root folder to Inbox. Is this worth exploring?

Is it worth changing IMAP to SSL/TLS and setting the outgoing port to 465 (https://www.plus.net/help/email-guides/how-to-set-up-plusnet-email/)?

I'm connected to a PlusNet connection, but I think that's only relevant for outgoing emails (which are no longer a problem).

Thanks again.

Dan_the_Van
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Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

I have never explored outlook settings outside of the defaults as I have never had the need to.

The only time I changed the timeouts was when I used to have a slow ADSL connection, those days are gone for me now.

You've got nothing to lose trying SSL/TLS as it still works but long term I would stick to STARTTLS.

If webmail shows emails in the Inbox then outlook should, when my inbox is empty then I see "We didn't find anything to show here"

As an experiment have you considered using thunderbird so see if you get the same problem?

Dan

RobDickson
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Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

I haven't had to look into settings like that before, even in dial-up days. I'll give SSL/TLS a go once Outlook has stopped trying to synchronise my Inbox. I changed the time-out setting back to short earlier on.

I did consider trying Thunderbird, but I didn't see what it would achieve. I can read the emails using webmail and using K9, just not using Outlook.

Having said that, you seem to know more about this than I do, so will try using Thunderbird.

I remember a website called mail2web from years ago (before ISPs offered webmail), but don't know if it still exists.

PS: STARTTLS is for outgoing emails, not incoming emails, so I doubt changing that will help.

RobDickson
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Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

I found the root folder setting and changed this to Inbox. The other folders (Sent Items, Drafts etc) disappeared, then reappeared again. Although the Sent Items folder was recreated, it is now empty again (as the Inbox still is). I'll wait a bit to see if something happens, then try deleting and recreating the account yet again......

Thanks for your help.

Dan_the_Van
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Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

Silly me got my ins and outs mixed up.

I'm far away from being an expert on email clients the go for expert here is @Townman 

Is the inbox very large with large attachments? Do you need to keep all the messages, as downloading masses of data with large attachments will slow the recovery down.

 

RobDickson
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Registered: ‎06-08-2007

Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

There are no large attachments, but the mailbox itself is quite large (which was why PlusNet archived it).

Having removed and recreated the account in Outlook, I now have nothing in any of the folders.

I have installed Thunderbird and added the account to that. It got about 1/4 of the way through synchronising the Sent Items, then stopped with an error about the server stopping responding, but restarted again.

Before Thunderbird started accessing the account, it gave an error about a server certificate for my domain. I guess this is because it's registered to my domain host, rather than my domain itself. This didn't stop it accessing the account, Outlook hasn't given a similar message, and Outlook has been fine for years up until when PlusNet restored my archived emails.

I tried changing the account in Outlook to using my PlusNet email address as the from and reply to email addresses (I entered the username correctly before), but that hasn't helped.

PS: Outlook fails when "Synchronising subscribed folders". Could this whole problem be because PlusNet hasn't restored the IMAP folders that I created manually years ago? I've asked PlusNet about this, but all I've been told is "support has restored your emails", which is not correct.

Dan_the_Van
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Posts: 2,539
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Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

Unless you need them I would delete unwanted sent messages and make sure the trash/deleted folder is empty if you haven't already.

Have you checked microsoft support for clues regarding "fails when Synchronising subscribed folders" ?

 

Dan.

RobDickson
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Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

The most common solution I've found mentioned was to change the root folder to Inbox, but I've tried that. I'll have another look later.

Thanks for trying to help.

Townman
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook


@RobDickson wrote:

I removed and recreated the account and there was still nothing. After a while, I noticed some items in the Drafts folder. I deleted these and Outlook started synchronising the Sent Items folder. I am able to send emails using Outlook and these appear in the Sent items folder, but there is still nothing in the Inbox. Emails sent using webmail appear in the Sent Items in Outlook OK.


This behaviour would point to the need to specify the IMAP root folder in Outlook.  I have not been able to determine why this is needed sometimes and only with Outlook.

Set IMAP root folder to inbox

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: Problems accessing email in Outlook


@RobDickson wrote:

I doubt it's relevant, but PlusNet hasn't restored the IMAP folders that I have created manually (at least they're no longer shown in the webmail). I'm not bothered about this, I just thought I'd mention it in case it's relevant.


I would suspect that you will need to ensure that the webmail client has subscribed to all folders - see the cog icon bottom left of the webmail screen.


@RobDickson wrote:

I haven't found the setting about setting the root folder to Inbox. Is this worth exploring?


As above.


@RobDickson wrote:

Is it worth changing IMAP to SSL/TLS and setting the outgoing port to 465 (https://www.plus.net/help/email-guides/how-to-set-up-plusnet-email/)?


IMAP Should be port 993 with SSL/TLS but if that were relevant here, you would see nothing in any folder.

SMTP port 465 is for OUTGOING mail and that port allocation is deprecated.  The Plusnet help guide is somewhat flawed in referring to configuration standards no longer appropriate, even if they do work.

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: Problems accessing email in Outlook

Should have (re)read the whole thread before replying to parts of it!!

  • Outlook can take a while to re-sync a large email account, especially if there are big items therein - extending the timeout can help mitigate the issues
  • Deleting emails you do not want with large attachments via webmail can be more proficient than using a PC based client - see below for optimising this
  • Root folder setting (not clear when or why this is needed) will make a difference to the inbox being populated - with it wrong, you will see the other folders populated, but not the inbox
  • You might prove the correctness of the setting more proficiently by reducing "Keep mail off line for" to one month in the server sync settings - this will sync only the last month's worth of emails - if you see the right emails in all of the folders, you will know that the settings are correct - then increase that in steps (or all at once) to "all" and just leave Outlook to catch up

 

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.

RobDickson
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Registered: ‎06-08-2007

Re: Problems accessing email in Outlook

Thank you for your replies. I've been out most of the day today, but will have time to look at this again tomorrow.