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2 Email questions

JohnP2
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-10-2017

2 Email questions

Please can anybody help with the following 2 email problems.

We are a charitable heritage preserved railway, staffed by well mature volunteers.

My EC  and a head of department has thrown 2 curve balls my way.

 

  1. Challenge 1.     Webmail read & sent emails
    The volunteers dealing with phone message & email inquiries would like to deal with these from home.
    The phones are no problem and the answer phone messages can be remotely accessed.   Webmail
    to our mailbox seems a good idea.   The question is how do I get the messaged that have been read
    or messages sent downloaded onto our office PC with a Thunderbird app.   In the past only unread
    email are imported?

  2. Challenge 2.   Archiving other emails.
    We have a HOD who has been reading then deleting  all email that have been sent to him, believing
    there is a secret old email repository from which they can be recovered.
    I need to set up this repository by having a copy of his emails auto-forwarded  to our Plusnet POP mailbox.
    I can probably setup filters to have these placed in a folder.   I then need the email in this folder  to be imported on
    to the same PC and to retain its folder structure.

     

The office PC holds an archive of old emails and is backed up every week.

 

Please send me your suggestions.

 

JohnP

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Link and reference to it removed as per Forum rules.

 

12 REPLIES
Luzern
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Re: 2 Email questions

Surely, doesn't this belong in Tech Help?

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Moderator
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Re: 2 Email questions


Moderators Note


This topic has been moved from Chat to Tech Help

 


 

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JohnP2
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-10-2017

Re: 2 Email questions

Dvorak,

Thanks for moving it to the correct location.

JohnP

Baldrick1
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Re: 2 Email questions

I don’t use Thunderbird but with Outlook 2010 I can read emails using web mail on a browser and later if I go to my computer and log into my outlook POP3 app it will still download all emails not previously downloaded to outlook regardless of whether they have been previously read through a browser based webmail app. I thought that Thunderbird worked the same way.

It sounds like your HOD needs some basic training. You could start by teaching him/her to leave delete alone and learn to use the forward option instead!

JohnP2
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-10-2017

Re: 2 Email questions

Baldrick1,

 

I believe I could use IMAP to download email images but don't want to go down that route, as
it opens up more support issues.   I have instructed my users to make the read emails as unread and then
flag these.  If the flag is passed then person downloading this  should see that this has been dealt with

 

Talking about the HOD have you heard of the Dunning-Kruger Effect   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rW9R6jgE7SQ

JohnP

 

 

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: 2 Email questions

Because this forum is such a pain I'll comment directly in your post in blue


@JohnP2 wrote:

 

 

  1. Challenge 1.     Webmail read & sent emails
    The volunteers dealing with phone message & email inquiries would like to deal with these from home.
    The phones are no problem and the answer phone messages can be remotely accessed.   Webmail
    to our mailbox seems a good idea.   The question is how do I get the messaged that have been read
    or messages sent downloaded onto our office PC with a Thunderbird app.   In the past only unread
    email are imported?
    If only unread mail is downloaded then this suggests that your mail client (you mention Thunderbird) is set to automatically delete mail on the server after download. That means it will no longer be on the server. This isn't a huge problem, most clients (eg outlook) will let you drag mail from your local folders to your IMAP folders - but you need to be using an IMAP connection - it allows so much more than pop3 connections. Obviously i can't say conclusively that they have been deleted, you might have a setting somewhere that only downloads new mail but going by the usual outlook / express config that often happens. As for sent mail, this is usually only saved on the local client - thunderbird, outlook etc - bot by the server (yeah that's backwards isn't it but welcome to the 'advanced' world of computers.
  2. Challenge 2.   Archiving other emails.
    We have a HOD who has been reading then deleting  all email that have been sent to him, believing
    there is a secret old email repository from which they can be recovered.
    I need to set up this repository by having a copy of his emails auto-forwarded  to our Plusnet POP mailbox.
    I can probably setup filters to have these placed in a folder.   I then need the email in this folder  to be imported on
    to the same PC and to retain its folder structure.

     You really would be so much better off using an IMAP connection. Not only will that let you manage what mail is in what folders on the server but you'll also be able to download them and save them on disk - usually by dragging it out of your mail client into the appropriate folder on your system. 

Your only other option would be to run your own mail server but if you want all users to be able to access shared mail / retrieve deleted then you might be looking at a custom written option.

If the plusnet webmail supports rules / filtering then you might be able to work around some of your issues but even plusnets outgoing server won't save your sent emails - nor will yahoo or any others that i know of.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
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Re: 2 Email questions


@JohnP2 wrote:

Baldrick1,

 

I believe I could use IMAP to download email images but don't want to go down that route, as
it opens up more support issues.   I have instructed my users to make the read emails as unread and then
flag these.  If the flag is passed then person downloading this  should see that this has been dealt with

 

 


You still run the risk of one of your users accidentally having the "delete after download" option ticked on their system.. You need to be very careful with that one.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
JohnP2
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-10-2017

Re: 2 Email questions

Thank you 7up.

This all started when that user decided he had too many emails in his own Gmail mail account and tidied up his inbox
loosing all his emails.  Using POP3 with the setting not to delete  the messages (or after 3 months) in the online
email box  would allow  for the recovery of messages.   The same tidy up with IMAP would wipe all those messages away.

 

JohnP

 

 

Farrinaf
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Registered: ‎22-03-2013

Re: 2 Email questions

I am a little confused by your setup (doesn't take much to confuse me!).

If multiple users have full access rights to the mailbox you are going to struggle to control them and forever be at their mercy!

I was under the impression that in general terms using default POP access to a mailbox downloaded the emails locally to the client machine and then deleted them from the remote mailbox, whereas IMAP access downloaded a copy but left the originals on the server. See here

I guess this is why I am confused as the first person to access the mailbox could snaffle the emails leaving nothing on the server for the next user to read. It may be that you have tweaked the settings so that this does not happen.

If multiple people are accessing the same mailbox, surely IMAP is the way to go ?

I acknowledge with the mail being accessed via IMAP it could result in the mailbox growing in size and you may run into capacity issues (exceeding your disk allowance etc) so some form of archiving solution will be required. Most mail clients allow you to configure an archive or cache (for offline use) of emails locally.

However rather than use a mail client I prefer to use a specific archiving solution called Mailstore Home (free for personal use - runs on Windows) which allows me to access and download mail from multiple mailboxes. By default it does NOT delete the original emails) but it is highly configurable. It can be installed in stand alone mode ie portable across machines.

It can be run as often as you like to synchronise the local cache with the remote mailbox(s) and as an added bonus it indexes all your emails making searching a breeze. It also has an inbuilt backup facility allowing you to back up your mail archive(s) to external media etc.

 

 

JohnP2
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎12-10-2017

Re: 2 Email questions

Farrinaf,

Mailstore Home   sounds interesting.

 

My user base are volunteers at a heritage railway,  they tend to be mature in years and many
are computer phobes or could do damage to a mail system using IMAP by deleting messages.

During the winter they would like to be able to deal with telephone messages and email inquiries.

 

I don't want to give them a access to the email PC at the station, which is switched off when not being used,

but to give them access to the webmail.    They can forward email or do quick replies to inquiries
no fancy bell or whistles.    The next person to switch the station PC on will pull down the messages
into Mozilla Thunderbird (POP3) from the webmail.   I do weekly backups on this PC every week and archive
the messages every 1-2 months.    I had one user delete the contents of his inbox on a whim, imagine 
what damage he could do with IMAP on our inquiry mail box.   This is a defensive IT strategy minimizing
potential damage  rather than giving a slick service.

 

JohnP

 

 

 

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Re: 2 Email questions


@JohnP2 wrote:

Thank you 7up.

This all started when that user decided he had too many emails in his own Gmail mail account and tidied up his inbox
loosing all his emails.  Using POP3 with the setting not to delete  the messages (or after 3 months) in the online
email box  would allow  for the recovery of messages.   The same tidy up with IMAP would wipe all those messages away.


You would still be relying on the setting on that users machine not being changed. Also when a user flags a message it would not show that flag to other users.

Yes with IMAP the results could still be just as disastrous... I'm wondering if you might be better off looking at a microsoft exchange email server (note i've never used it myself so from this point i'm guessing) as MS products tend to be business friendly and i would assume that it would let you set permissions for users so they can't accidentally delete something. That would of course probably incur a cost of some sort which i appreciate isn't ideal.

One option you might want to consider is GMail. If you can set up an auto forwarder then you could use the imap facility there which allows you to automatically archive mail if deleted by imap instead of actually deleting it. Obviously though there is always the risk of someone logging in via the web interface and causing damage that way..

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Re: 2 Email questions

My comments in blue


@Farrinaf wrote:

 

I was under the impression that in general terms using default POP access to a mailbox downloaded the emails locally to the client machine and then deleted them from the remote mailbox, whereas IMAP access downloaded a copy but left the originals on the server. See here

The pop server is not set to automatically delete anything however many email clients ARE configured by default to delete mail from the server once it's been downloaded. It's a stupid and very daft idea but for whatever reason, many pop3 client vendors still like to do this by default. Imap does indeed leave a copy on the server by default but the danger there is that an imap client is literally showing you a live copy of what is on the server and in order to keep up to date on both ends of the connection, what happens at one end also happens at the other. If you delete a local email then it also vanishes on the server.

I guess this is why I am confused as the first person to access the mailbox could snaffle the emails leaving nothing on the server for the next user to read. It may be that you have tweaked the settings so that this does not happen.

If multiple people are accessing the same mailbox, surely IMAP is the way to go ? If you can find an imap server (eg gmail) that allows you to have the final say over any deletions via the imap protocol then yes.

I acknowledge with the mail being accessed via IMAP it could result in the mailbox growing in size and you may run into capacity issues (exceeding your disk allowance etc) so some form of archiving solution will be required. Most mail clients allow you to configure an archive or cache (for offline use) of emails locally. I think gmail also allows you to download the emails in a archive such as a zip file. Not sure, been ages since i've really used it. 


 

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!