My MailBox is Full!

How your email works (or sometimes doesn’t).

“Your email was not delivered: recipient’s inbox is full!”

Websites serve up pages of information, photos, videos, text and so on, upon request. Your web browser (Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari) requests a web page, and some computer running “server” software, sends the information back.

Of course, the sent information stays on the server for other requests, and it is a copy is sent to you.

Email works pretty much the same way. When someone sends you an email, it doesn’t go directly to you (your computer may be off for the night.) It goes to some computer running server software (an “email server”) where it sits waiting for you to come ask for it.

In “the good old days” before iPhones and laptops, you could ask for all your waiting email, and it would be sent to you and removed from the server. (It was “moved” to your computer, instead of “copied.”) At that point, the only copy was “local” – on your personal computer, and the space on the “remote” server was freed up to use for other incoming email.

With the advent of iPhones, iPads, laptops and so on, That became very inconvenient  because once the email was removed from the server, none of the others could access it. If you wanted to look at your email on your phone, and then later deal with it on your home computer,  a copy still had to be on the server so your home computer could get it.

OK: the first version, where one device moves the email, ( deleting it from the server) is called “POP3”, and the version where multiple devices can access a copy of the email because the email stays on the server, (it’s only copied to your local device) is called “IMAP.” (Think: “POPs off the server” vs “MAPs to the server” if that helps.)

The convenience of IMAP is that you can read and reply using multiple devices.But a server is just a computer with a hard drive exactly like your home computer, and you know that you can fill up your hard drive if you put too many files on it.

Well, ditto for IMAP email. Each day more and more emails fill up the remote email server’s hard drive. True, it’s not -your- hard drive, but that doesn’t mean it won’t fill up. The company that is providing that drive space for your email will have to set limits on how much space each email address can have. Eventually they will tell you that “your INBOX is full.” Emails sent to your address will bounce back with a “mailbox full” error, and you’ll stop getting emails. (In computer jargon, this is known technically as “a bad thing.”)

But, this is how email works. Not “some” email – ALL email. You will have to figure out how to deal with your “mailbox full” issue.

There is, of course, only ONE solution: you have to delete or remove some of those emails so that the maibox, your INBOX, is no longer full.

There are several solutions.

The most obvious one is to simply delete your old emails. Ones that the correspondence is complete and you don’t really need any more.

More commonly however, people want to archive their old emails, just to keep a record. (In fact, in some cases, like some coporations, this is required by law !)

The traditional way to do that is to first make a copy of all your emails, on your own local hard drive. Once you have a backup copy of everything, you can delete them from your INBOX which resides on the remote IMAP  email server.

You could access your IMAP account as if it was a POP3. Remember? POP3 will move emails OFF the server and on to your device. This automatically deleted whatever is copied to your local drive “moving” the emails to your computer.

If doing that sounds annoying – it is. But it’s a commonly recommended backup method for archiving IMAP emails.

Unfortunately, it IS a move, not a copy, so your other devices (iPhone, etc) cannot access the old emails.

Another solution is this: some email hosts will let you store emails on their server, if you create new mailboxes on the server, and then drag your emails from your INBOX to those new mailboxes.

A third solution (and better still, IMHO) is to create mailboxes in your email software that reside on your local computer instead of on the email server (where your INBOX resides.)

With MacOS Mail, this is simple: just create a mailbox under the “On My Mac” heading. Create as many as you like. Then just drag your old emails from your INBOX to the On My Mac mailbox. Once they are there, you may delete them from your INBOX. Now they only exist on your device, and other devices no longer have access to them.

If you need to still have your iphone access them, then either don’t delete them from your INBOX, or move them to a different mailbox on your server, as in solution #2, above.  In this case, you are archiving the old emails, to free up space on the email server, where your INBOX lives.

You can even automate this somewhat,   using automatic “filters” (AKA “rules”). These are instructions that you create, which look at each email in your INBOX as it comes in, and either copies or moves it to a chosen On My Mac (AKA “local”) mailbox.

For example, let’s say you get email from your work; your mother; and your art club.
You have created three local mailboxes: “WorkBox”; “MomBox” and “ArtBox”.
You would create three filters like this:
1) if “from” equals “the office” then copy to “WorkBox”
2) if “from” equals mother, then move to “MomBox”
3) if “from” equals “ArtClub” then copy to “ArtBox”

You only set up rules one time, and then the rules are applied automatically.

Rules 1) and 3) COPY the emails to your local mailboxes. That means they also leave them in your INBOX so your other devices can access them. You can always delete them later.

Rule 2) MOVES the email from your INBOX to your local mailbox. That means it deletes it from your INBOX.

Note t hat in all these cases, however, you now have your own personal copy on your own hard drive, and not just the one copy that resides on someone else’s drive (the email server.)

Once you have copies on your own hard drive, when you run a backup you are also making a backup of your emails for historical purposes.

Additionally, filters can also be applied manually instead of automatically, so when you are comfortable with rules/filters, (they ARE easy to use) you can create one that will move an entire mailbox from the server to your local computer.

Finally, I should point out what I consider the best (ie: least work) option: there are third-party paid software solutions that backup your emails automatically. In fact, the hands-off convenience of this solution is what I use. I have –all– the emails I ever received in the last 21 years (minus the spam, of course.) This type of software makes separate database backups instead of  using your email client. Since it’s a database, you can search and find stuff going back years, in seconds.*

Backup happens every 8 hours (or whatever interval you choose) and every week or so, I go to my mailboxes and just delete the stuff I don’t really need “live” in my email program.

There is one more benefit to keeping your INBOX less full: your email program will operate faster. It won’t have to load up thousands of old emails each time it starts up.


My own email program keeps an average of a few hundred (instead of thousands !) on hand. The rest is in the database in case I need it again. 

So, there you are.

Your email requires management – you don’t get to leave an infinite number of emails in your INBOX. You’ll have to deal with it sooner or later… or do it automatically.


*I use MailSteward on MacOS. There is also Auto_Mate for Windows PCs.

Email junk or How do I get my friends out of my spam mailbox?

There are all kinds of weird reasons email that you want to receive, nonetheless ends up in your spam mailbox. The point of this post is not what those things are, but what to do next…

So now what?

Spam filtering happens on your iPhone or computer, not on the mail server. The whole point of spam filtering is that once you mark a sender as spam, from then on all mail from that person will automatically go into the spam folder.

Let’s say it’s an an email from me that you want  receive, but you found it in your own spam mailbox. Unless you immediately fix that, all my other emails to you will end up in your spam box as well.

It’s up to you to correct the program’s mistake.There is no way to fix it “by remote control.” (Imagine how much real spammers would LOVE that!)

On an iPhone/iPad, this is done by simply moving the mail from the Spam mailbox to the IN mailbox:   Click on my email in the junk folder. When it is open, then click on the little folder at the top or bottom of the screen, and choose to move it to your IN folder.

On desktop computers, the process will vary, but will either be a button on each individual email in your spam mailbox, saying something like “mark as not junk” or there may be a menu selection saying pretty much the same thing.

This works with any mistakenly “junked” emails of course.

But the point here is that until you correct a mistakenly junked email, all emails from the same sender will be processed into your junk folder.

That’s exactly how it is supposed to work.

How email works

Here’s a brief explanation of how email works.

When you send an email to a friend, it has an address like user@domain.ext.  The email you’re sending goes to an outgoing mail server (a computer) via Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The SMTP servertries to figure out where to send it, but It doesn’t understand people’s names or addresses however. “” means nothing to it at all. So the SMTP server contacts a Domain Name System server (another computer.) The DNS server is like an old phone book for the internet; it translates names to numbers, to an IP address like “123.456.78.910.” Then the DNS server checks that IP address to see if it can receive email. If so,  …

The DNS Server sends the appropriate “decoded” infomation (the IP address) back to the first SMTP server. Now that it has the proper info, the message gets sent from that server to the target domain’s mail exchange server (yet another computer). This server is called a MTA, or Mail Transfer Agent. the MTA decides exactly where to send the email. The MTA then transfers the email to your friend’s IMAP server (yes: another computer) where it resides on a hard drive until your friend goes and fetches the mail, to their own computer.

If you’re counting, that’s 7 transfers between 6 computers.

And just to make this all the more fun, every time something (such as an email or a web page) is sent over the internet, it is broken into tiny chunks, each with a header (ie destination address) and some chunk of the whole data. There may be only a few, or there may be thousands of these packets. And they do not all take the same route to get to the destination. Some may go almost directly while others may travel around the world. Along the way they have gone thru dozens or hundreds of other computers. Then they are all reassembled at the destination (even though they likely arrived out of order.)

As you can see now, this IS “rocket science” and FAR more complex than you might have thought.

And that’s the way every single one of the 300 Billion emails sent each day works.

Nobody tracks all this as it is sent either. There are tens of TRILLIONS of packets flitting around the internet every day. Even computers cannot track all that.

What does happen, however, is that the path taken is added to the hidden header inside each email. You probably didn’t know it was there, but it is. If you get an email, and your email software offers it, there may be a “view raw” option to show you what an email really looks like, and how it got to you.

There’s an example at the end…*

If you look at it, you’ll notice that because it’s filled as it goes along, it is not until the email is finally delivered that can you actually see the path it took.

In other words, if it gets lost, then it’s well and truly lost and virtually impossible to track or find.

With 300 Billion of -anything- it’s inevitable that thing will go wrong with some of them. That’s just the way the universe runs. In fact, that so many of them actually make the trip and get reassembled is pretty close to amazing.

In my 40+ years using electronic mail, starting long before there was a public-facing “internet” I’ve received well over 2 million emails. Every now and then one doesn’t arrive. However, I’d wager that it’s been less than 1 in 100,000.

When someone says “I didn’t get the email” chances are quite large that they are wrong. They got it and deleted it without reading it; it landed in their spam mailbox; it got filtered out by some over-eager host (looking at you Gmail and AOL!) But actually failing to reach the destination server is vanishingly rare.

I’m inspired to write this because today I saw something I’d never seen before: the SMTP server at our host was giving every email a high spam score, so our email was being filtered into the recipient’s spam box (well, depending on their own personal spam settings, of course.) VERY embarrassing for our host, and they scrambled to fix it.

Point is that I’ve never seen this in 40 years, so it was hard to diagnose, much less believe!

So: there you are – more about email than you wanted to know. But… now you know! 🙂


Here’s the promised example email header:

Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( [])
(using TLSv1.2 with cipher AECDH-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits))
(No client certificate requested)
by (Postfix) with ESMTPS id 41EE298071
for <>; Tue, 4 Jun 2019 14:54:01 -0700 (PDT)
Received: from ( [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTPS id C5B794000021C
for <>; Tue, 4 Jun 2019 14:54:00 -0700 (PDT)
Authentication-Results:; dkim=pass
reason=”1024-bit key; unprotected key”
header.b=LMOB8Jy2; dkim-adsp=pass; dkim-atps=neutral
X-Sender-Id: SomeMailService|x-authsender|
Received: from (localhost [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 62CE91A21EA
for <>; Tue, 4 Jun 2019 21:54:00 +0000 (UTC)
Received: from (100-96-38-146.trex.outbound.svc.cluster.local [])
(Authenticated sender: SomeMailService)
by (Postfix) with ESMTPA id B04AC1A23C3
for <>; Tue, 4 Jun 2019 21:53:59 +0000 (UTC)
X-Sender-Id: SomeMailService|x-authsender|
Received: from ([TEMPUNAVAIL].
(using TLSv1.2 with cipher DHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384)
by (trex/5.17.2);
Tue, 04 Jun 2019 21:54:00 +0000
X-MC-Relay: Neutral
X-MailChannels-SenderId: SomeMailService|x-authsender|
X-MailChannels-Auth-Id: SomeMailService
X-Shoe-Bottle: 400ba0ab50630a71_1559685240240_2338004666
X-MC-Loop-Signature: 1559685240240:1840485062
X-MC-Ingress-Time: 1559685240240
Received: from (localhost [])
by (Postfix) with ESMTP id C8E06800BE
for <>; Tue, 4 Jun 2019 14:53:55 -0700 (PDT)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha1; c=relaxed;; h=from
:in-reply-to;; bh=5L7HIklL0wCkU0ypcRkIUoRmaA8=; b=
Received: from [] ( [])
(using TLSv1 with cipher ECDHE-RSA-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits))
(No client certificate requested)
(Authenticated sender:
by (Postfix) with ESMTPSA id 4D9467FF46
for <>; Tue, 4 Jun 2019 14:53:55 -0700 (PDT)
X-DH-BACKEND: pdx1-sub0-mail-a16
From: Some Person <>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=”Apple-Mail=_FBA4BD6B-A8CB-4FEF-A76D-040F73951B06″
Message-Id: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Mac OS X Mail 8.2 \(2104\))
Subject: Re: discount code for IJE
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2019 14:53:54 -0700
References: <> <> <> <>
To: Tracy Valleau <>
In-Reply-To: <>
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.2104)
X-VR-OUT-SPAMCAUSE: gggruggvucftvghtrhhoucdtuddrgeduuddrudeguddgtdefucetufdoteggodetrfdotffvucfrrhhofhhilhgvmecuggftfghnshhusghstghrihgsvgdpffftgfetoffjqffuvfenuceurghilhhouhhtmecufedttdenucesvcftvggtihhpihgvnhhtshculddquddttddmnecujfgurhephfgtkfgguffffhfvjgfosegrtdhmrehhtdejnecuhfhrohhmpeetnhhnucflrghsthhrrggsuceorghnnhesphhhohhtohhgrhgrphhhhidrohhrgheqnecuffhomhgrihhnpehphhhothhoghhrrghphhihrdhorhhgnecukfhppeejfedrvdeguddrgeekrdduhedvnecurfgrrhgrmhepmhhouggvpehsmhhtphdphhgvlhhopegludelvddrudeikedruddrfedvngdpihhnvghtpeejfedrvdeguddrgeekrdduhedvpdhrvghtuhhrnhdqphgrthhhpeetnhhnucflrghsthhrrggsuceorghnnhesphhhohhtohhgrhgrphhhhidrohhrgheqpdhmrghilhhfrhhomheprghnnhesphhhohhtohhgrhgrphhhhidrohhrghdpnhhrtghpthhtohepthhrrggthiesphhhohhtohhgrhgrphhhhidrohhrghenucevlhhushhtvghrufhiiigvpedt
X-VR-SCORE: -100
X-VR-SPAMCAUSE: gggruggvucftvghtrhhoucdtuddrgeduuddrudeguddgtdefucetufdoteggodetrfdotffvucfrrhhofhhilhgvmecuggftfghnshhusghstghrihgsvgdpffftgfetoffjqffuvfenuceurghilhhouhhtmecufedttdenucesvcftvggtihhpihgvnhhtshculddquddttddmnecujfgurhephfgtkfgguffffhfvjgfosegrtdhmrehhtdejnecuhfhrohhmpeetnhhnucflrghsthhrrggsuceorghnnhesphhhohhtohhgrhgrphhhhidrohhrgheqnecuffhomhgrihhnpehphhhothhoghhrrghphhihrdhorhhgnecukfhppedvfedrkeefrddvuddvrddvvddpjeefrddvgedurdegkedrudehvdenucfrrghrrghmpehmohguvgepshhmthhppdhhvghlohepsghonhhosghordgvlhhmrdhrvghlrgihrdhmrghilhgthhgrnhhnvghlshdrnhgvthdpihhnvghtpedvfedrkeefrddvuddvrddvvddprhgvthhurhhnqdhprghthheptehnnhculfgrshhtrhgrsgcuoegrnhhnsehphhhothhoghhrrghphhihrdhorhhgqedpmhgrihhlfhhrohhmpegrnhhnsehphhhothhoghhrrghphhihrdhorhhgpdhnrhgtphhtthhopehtrhgrtgihsehphhhothhoghhrrghphhihrdhorhhgpdhhvghloheplgduledvrdduieekrddurdefvdgnpdhinhgvthepjeefrddvgedurdegkedrudehvdenucevlhhushhtvghrufhiiigvpedt

Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/plain;

Hi Tracy,  (here the actual email, finally!)

ATV 4 Apple TV HD image is faded; washed out; no contrast; foggy… a fix?

My Apple TV 4 (ATV4) hooked up to a 4K TV looked like everything was filmed thru fog. “Shot through scrim” as they say. No contrast, no vibrancy.

Well, looking around, as you likely have, this is hardly uncommon.

I tried the whole range of adjustment, (as you likely have) without any luck.

Last night I figured out what it was.

Now, I’m not saying this will fix yours, but I -am- pretty sure that this is at least the gist of the problem, and perhaps armed with that, you can apply this to your particular setup.

My setup runs the ATV4 in to a Sony AV amp and out to the input HDMI on my TV. This allows me easy switching of my Tivo, ATV4, DVD player and Xbox.

The issue is HDMI itself, and how Apple vs your TV (vs your AV unit if you have one) implements it. HDMI is (at least in part) the industry’s attempt to keep you from playing pirated video (among other “safeguards”.) To this end, it isn’t a “simple pipe” of the audio/video signals, but a sophisticated chit-chat, where one component talks to the other and even coordinates how things will work.

Well, when that coordination isn’t just right, you end up with famous foggy picture: no contrast; washed out color etc.

My amp has a buried setting for each HDMI input. (I’m suggesting here that your TV may have this too, so keep reading.)

My amp had a setting for “standard” HMDI input, and “enhanced” input (ie 4K/HDR). If memory serves, my setting was, in fact, “enhanced.” But I decided to check the inputs for my other devices, and did find one set for “standard.”

What all this mucking about did however was this: it lead me to go to the HDMI input for my ATV4, and toggle it; to switch it to “standard” and back again to “enhanced.” When I did that, the TV screen went black and then came back…

… in Glorious Color! The fog was gone!

So that toggle caused  the “chit chat” between devices to start over, and reset things properly. THAT is what I discovered, and which I hope will apply to you as well. See if your AV-amp has similar settings. If you don’t have an AV-amp in the circuit, and you’re going from your ATV4 right to the TV, then see if you TV has an HDMI setting that makes a distinction between the quality/type of incoming signal (my “standard” vs “enhanced”.)

In fact, some TVs have a single specially marked HDMI input for HDR/4K.

Finally, before you do all this, here’s the other important thing I learned: mucking about with the ATV4 settings breaks this delicate balance, so set your ATV -first- and then leave it alone.

The new OS allows you to choose “automatic dynamic range” or “original dynamic range” (aka “as shot’.) Choose the latter. Do NOT choose automatic range. Then quit messing with it.

NOW you can try what I’ve described above:
1) setup your ATV4 and leave it alone.
2) if you have it, set your amp or tv to “enhanced” (or the equivalent) mode for that input. (Perhaps that means choosing the “enhanced” input for your cable. )
3) Do what it takes to “toggle” that so the devices are forced to reset their communications. (Unplugging and replugging it? I dunno, that’s not how mine works, so I can’t testify to that bit.)

I’m no guru on this stuff, and don’t blame me if you try this and your TV vanishes in a puff of smoke…I’m just sharing what worked for me, and why I think it worked.

Good luck to you!

Permissions “fetching…” – the FIX!

Permissions: “fetching…” the fix.

So you’ve checked your permission on a problematic file, and discovered that that first entry is for a user named “fetching…”

More than a little trouble, especially if you just migrated 1.2 million files from one machine to another.

You can’t move or delete almost anything at all without having to enter your password. Here’s the problem: permissions are read in order, and if the first one (fetching…) can not be found, things get wonky.

The are a number of extremely tedious fixed out there on the font-of-all-wisdom (the internet) but wouldn’t a simple quick fix be nice?

Here it is:
The files are trying to access a user who no longer exists on your machine. The user is recognized by his/her “UID” number.

The fix is simple: create a new user with the correct (missing) UID.

Here’s how to do that:

First, you need an example of an affected file with the corrupt preferences (where the top preference name is “fetching…”)

Open the terminal and enter

ls -le (drag affected file here)

You entry might then look similar to this

ls -le /Volumes/Data/wonkyfile.txt

Hit enter, and the resulting line will look similar to this:

-rw-r–r–@ 1 501 staff 11522 Apr 17 11:14 /Volumes/Data/wonkyfile.txt

where the 501 (or whatever number it is, let’s call it NNN) is the first listed permission and therefore IS the UID that is “fetching…”

You’re done in the terminal.

Visit system preferences/ users & groups

unlock the padlock, and click the + button to create a new admin user with password. Might name it FixFetch, for example.

When done, contol click on the new fixfetch user in the “other users” listing in the left-hand column, and select advanced options.

BINGO! There’s the UID assigned to “fixfetch”. Replace whatever the number is with NNN, that you found in the terminal.

You’re done. All those “fetching…” names in preferences will now be “fixfetch” and your problems have vanished.


USB device won’t mount? Is your hub powered or not?

Here’s something I just discovered. Maybe it’s “old news” or maybe it’s “just me” but FWIW

Based on my own experience, there is a subtle difference between powered and unpowered USB 3.0 hubs: sometimes a powered-hub device is not recognized.

Specifically I have an external USB 3 trayless enclosure that I use for swapping in/out bare drives for backups and so on.

My process is, with the enclosure powered off, I insert a drive. Power it on; wait for the drive to appear on the desktop; use it; eject it; and power off the enclosure before removing the drive. Wash, rinse, repeat.

The enclosure was been plugged into a powered USB 3 hub, and that “mostly” worked. But many times, I’d insert a drive and power up the enclosure and the disk never appeared on the desktop. Unplugging and replugging the hub caused things to work again.

I noticed something similar with USB flash-drives (sticks) as well, when used with powered hubs, so it’s not just this one enclosure.

A few days ago, I switched to an UN-powered hub… and everything “just works” now.

I suspect that a powered hub may present a unchanging signal of some kind to the device, and that in turn prevents a new device from being recognized. Perhaps the continual power makes it difficult for the system to recognize that the device has been -removed- instead. I dunno, but I do strongly suspect that something like that is going on.

Devices that do -not- have their own power switch/supply seem to have no problems at all with a powered hub.

As usual: YMMV.


Tired of trying to remember passwords?

Tired of trying to remember website passwords? Does the thought of long, complex passwords intimidate you? Are you using “IL0VeYou” as your main password? Does the thought of a different password for every site bring up images of the Spanish Inquisition?

How would you like to be able to choose (say) your banking website from a menu, and never have to enter your name and password? How would you like to have impossible-to-crack unique passwords for every single site, and -never- have to remember any of them?

Sound like magic? Too good to be true?

Nope. It’s available now, both in free and paid configurations. It’s software called a “password manager.” Once you start using this kind of software, the -only- password you’ll need is the one that unlocks your account with it. From there on, it’s all automatic.

For example, when I want to log into The Center for Photographic Art website, I just choose it from a bookmark, as usual, but the software remembers my name and password and fills it all in for me. Even better, the software will come up with passwords the bad-guys will never break, like “bjTArzcU4{73Ud28xDUgM”. Of course I can’t remember that, but the point is I don’t have to remember it: the password manager software remembers it for me, and fills it in when it’s needed.

Stolen and hacked passwords are a reality. I’ve lost money because some of mine ended up in the hands of evil dudes.

Here are links to both free and paid password managers for both Mac and PCs.
If you are not using one of them… why?

Top two recommended first in most lists:

LastPass. Free and paid.
1Password. Paid (with free trial)

Dashlane. free and paid

RoboForm. paid

Sticky Password. free and paid.



Want to see if your password has been stolen? Visit here:

Want to see if your email address is well known?

Safari won’t play some videos


If you are using a recent version of Safari web browser, you’ll notice that some videos will not play. This is true not just on one site, but on all sites that embed videos. Here’s the fix:

The problem with videos is a “feature” of Safari. The recent versions have autoplay turned off.

To fix it, visit the site where the video will not play.
Under the Safari menu in the upper left of your screen, select “Settings for this website…”
Click the dropdown next to “Auto-play” and choose: Allow All Auto-Play.


Moving away from webmail and/or archiving your emails

On using email:

Today I was backing up my server, and noticed that some clients have over 1 Terabyte of email.

Honestly, I’m surprised their email has not slowed to a snail’s pace, and been kicking up all kinds of errors.

What happens is this: every email you get is stored on the host’s email server. If you don’t do something about it, you can end up with 15, 20, or 30 THOUSAND emails, and each time you log in, they ALL have to be accessed; each time you search, they ALL have to be searched.

Things just plain bog down. At some point, you’ll end up getting a warning notice from the host to “clean out the stables.” Automatic mechanisms take over from the ISP and move older email out.

Here’s how you to get around that; how to archive and backup emails; how to move them from the server to your computer: Use an Email Client.

Unfortunately, if you are accessing your email ONLY by webmail (using your bowser) then you’re in trouble: your only option is to -delete- old emails, losing them forever. In some states, that is, in fact, illegal for businesses.

If you use an email client…

With an email client, the process is -extremely- simple: drag the emails from your INBOX to a mailbox -on your computer.- Yep: that’s it.

In fact, with an email client, you can automate this using “rules” (aka “filters”) so that emails that meet any given criteria you choose, can be routed directly to your chosen mailbox on your computer. That way you never have to worry about the server filling up with old, outdated emails.

If you use webmail exclusively…

If you use webmail because it keeps others out of your email, you’re still doing it the hard way, not to mention permanently stuck deleting, instead of backing up and keeping archives of your correspondence.

I >strongly< recommend you set up an email client on your computer instead of using your browser.

You can still create password protected email boxes using the client.
This will allow everyone to use the same computer for everything, >except< email.

If you want to protect more than just email; if you want only some things on a single computer available to only some few people, the process is to set up separate users. All modern operating systems, Windows and MacOS, offer the ability for separate users to have completely independant environments on a single computer.

But, if ALL you care about is email, then create a separate profile for each user in Outlook. Functionally, this exactly the same as you are doing now with webmail: signing IN, and then signing out.

Once you are using Outlook or Thunderbird or whatever client you choose, you’ll find organizing, tracking, replying and so on are MUCH more elegant and useful… and you can automate your archives.

For example, I have every single non-spam email I’ve ever gotten going back to 1993, and it’s all automated!

Here is how to do it on a Windows system, using Outlook:


If the user needs to share a common desktop, then the best way is to create multiple Outlook profiles and then configure them with different email accounts. The user has to setup a password for the PST files within their profiles, so that other users would not access them.

Refer to the following article ‘How to create and configure an email profile in Outlook’ and check if it helps:

To setup a password for the Outlook data file, refer to the following link:

The other work around is to setup/create multiple Windows user accounts for the users on the computer and then configure their respective email accounts in Outlook. In that way each user would only have access to their own User profile.

To create additional Windows user accounts, you may refer to the steps mentioned in the following article: