How to Troubleshoot Problems Receiving Email

This article offers assistance for those users that are unable to receive email. The steps to troubleshoot this issue depend on the way you check your email.

Troubleshooting email issues
Webmail – examples include Horde, Squirrel Mail, and Roundcube.

An email client – examples include desktop applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Mac Mail, or from a device such as a mobile phone.

A combination of the above – an example would be checking your email at home/office using a desktop application, and then checking using webmail while at an alternate location.

Troubleshoot Webmail

If you’re stuck and not sure why your webmail isn’t working like it should, try out these ideas to isolate a possible solution.

  • If you send yourself an email and it does not arrive in your webmail account, be sure that you are logging into webmail using your full email address ([email protected], for example) as the username, and not using your cPanel username (userna5, for example) as your webmail username. Our webmail video tutorial includes instructions on how to properly log into Webmail and view your email settings.
  • If your email account is over its disk quota, you will not receive email as well. You can check your email account’s quota by logging into your cPanel and clicking the Email Accounts icon. A list of email accounts will show, and next to each email account will be listed its quota and the actual amount of disk space that it is using. If it is over quota, delete email to free up space or click the Change Quota link next to the email account and increase the disk quota available for that email account.
  • If you have SpamAssassin enabled on your account, the emails that you are missing may have been identified as spam by SpamAssassin and either deleted or moved to a spam folder. If you see a spam folder, please check it first. If you are receiving some but not all of your email, this is most likely the culprit. If you are not receiving any email at all, you’ll want to continue to the next troubleshooting step.
  • On occasion, our System Administration team may migrate your account to another server. If you have received an email from us indicating that this has taken place, you’ll want to be sure you’re logging into the webmail on your new server and not your previous server. If you access webmail via example.com/webmail, then this shouldn’t be a problem. If you access webmail via the server name, such as biz42.inmotionhosting.com/webmail, you’ll want to reference the email sent to you for the new server name. For example, you may have been moved from the biz42 server to the sb57 server, in which case you would use sb57.inmotionhosting.com/webmail.
  • If you have external MX records in place, the server may be attempting to deliver your email locally on the server instead of delivering the email to the servers listed as your MX records. Please contact our support department if you do have custom MX records, and request that they review the domain’s local/remote domains configuration. If you don’t know whether or not you have external MX records in place, most likely you do not as such a change cannot be made without a written request to the Support Department.

Troubleshoot Your Email App

If you haven’t already, we recommend reading our step by step tutorial for your specific app (a.k.a. email client): Email Client Setup

Are you Getting any Error Messages?

  • If you are receiving an error, it is best to review your email account’s basic configuration in your email client.
  • Please ensure that you are using your full email address as your username, and not your cPanel username.
  • Please ensure you are using the correct password. Your email password is the password you set when you initially created the email account within cPanel.
  • Please ensure that you do not have an option enabled that is similar to, “Log on using Secure Password Authentication (SPA)
  • If the error message you are receiving is actually a password prompt, please reset your email account’s password within cPanel and test again. You can reset the email password by logging into your cPanel, accessing the Email Accounts section, and clicking the Change Password link next to the email account you are working with.
  • If you are getting an error message, but it is not a prompt asking for your username and password, contact our Support Department for further assistance and be ready to supply the full error message that you are receiving.
  • If you are not receiving any error messages, log into your Webmail and ensure that you have email in your INBOX for your email account to download. You can log into your webmail via example.com/webmail. Be sure to replace example.com with your actual domain name, use your full email address as your username, and use your email account’s password as the password. If you see emails in your INBOX from within Webmail, then your email client should be able to download them. Open your email account’s settings from within your email client and be sure that you have your POP/SMTP server set to mail.example.com, with example.com being your actual domain name.

Both Webmail and an Email App Are Malfunctioning

  • If you have setup an email account in your email client (Microsoft Outlook or Mac mail for example) as a POP account, then you may not have the option enabled to leave a copy of the email on the server. By default, your pop account will connect to the mail server, download, and remove all email on the server for that particular email address. If you check with your email client first and then check with your webmail, your webmail will not be able to find any email as it was downloaded and removed from the mail server by your email client.
  • Most email clients solve this problem by allowing you to connect and leave a copy of the email on the server. This in turn allows you to download your email from more than one email client. This setting can be set within the advanced settings of most email clients. For example, in Microsoft Outlook Express:
    Open the email account’s settings, click the More Settings button, and then click the advanced tab. You will then see an option at the bottom to leave a copy of the email on the server.
  • In most email apps, you will also see an option to leave a copy of the email on the server, as well as to delete it after a set number of days. If you don’t ever delete the email from the server, sooner or later you will reach the disk quota of your email account and will not be able to receive any new messages.

If you are still experiencing issues, please contact our Live Support Department for further assistance.

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