Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Best practices, common problems and issues, including tips and tricks to using email more effectively.
Most email programs and services allow you to block, or at least divert, email from specific senders and domains. I'll look at a few techniques.
Ultimately, I think the best thing to do is realize that it can be forwarded, regardless of what technology you use.
It used to be possible that simply viewing a malformed email could allow a virus to spread, but that's no longer the case with modern mail programs.
Once you hit that Send button, you must assume that there is simply no way to stop your email from being sent ... even if it's to the wrong person.
Forwarding email from one account doesn't add major technical risk, but there are issues that doing so can introduce, and cause IT admins concern.
I'm regularly asked if having a lot of email has an adverse affect on overall computer performance. Not really, but there are things to be aware of.
HTML email can use elements fetched from remote servers at display time. If those elements are removed from the server they disappear from your email.
You can group emails, in most email programs, by using the column headers. It may take two clicks to get it in the order you want.
Email usually works, but it can fail to arrive for a number of reasons. Being blocked is only one. It's nearly impossible to tell which has happened.
There are several options to accessing email, but they all have various tradeoffs depending on how you like to work with your email. We'll compare.
The name displayed along with an email address - the display name - is easy to change for email you send. For email you receive? Not so much.
There are various options to access one email account from multiple computers, and there are pros and cons to each.
Exactly how you go about displaying recipients depends dramatically on what specific email service you happen to be using.
BCC'ed recipients are not visible to the other recipients. But if you're the sender you probably see the BCC line on messages you've sent.
In the past, it was possible to configure web-based email services like Hotmail or Gmail as the default email program. From what I can see, that's no more.
Whoever is sending this email message to you seems to be doing it in a way that is making this unnecessarily difficult.
"Undisclosed-Recipients" may be placed in the To: field by mail programs or ISPs if the To: field is empty. It's not standard and not in your control.
Clickable links in emails are often created automatically by the receiver's email program. They can also be manually created in rich text emails.
If links in attached documents aren't clickable it's because the program you are opening them in is not making them clickable. It's not your email program.
Moving emails to a folder for storage depends on which email program you are using. First you sort them...
It's not uncommon to want to move your email access from an old to a new computer. Web mail is easy, but there are things to watch for.
Long URLs or Links can cause problems when sent in email programs, since many email programs try to be helpful by forcing text to fit a fixed width.
At this point, I don't have an answer for you other than it can't really be done - at least not easily.
Depending on what email program you use, putting an image into the body of an email can be easy, difficult, or nearly impossible.
Removing information from an email you forward is as simple as editing the message prior to hitting send. And yet, sometimes not quite that easy.
Email account theft is rampant. This answer reviews the fairly simple steps and habits you can use to avoid losing your account and the data within it.
To save mail from a webmail service you need to download it to your machine. Not all webmail services make saving email easy, so we improvise.
Undisclosed recipients may be available in the headers of the sent email, or it may be hidden.
Sending a link in email isn't that difficult, but guaranteeing that everyone who gets it can just click on it is impossible.
It's very tempting to build a group or list in your email program to send mail to them all at once. But if the group is big, it probably won't work.
It's easy to forward one email address to your real email account, but sending email to look like it came from that forwarded address isn't as obvious.
Because of spam, sending email newsletters and other large quantities of email requires serious consideration, and in many cases, professional help.
Emailing large attachments is typically a bad idea as your mail is likely to not be delivered. We'll look into alternatives.
Out Of Office or OOF messages are considered by many important to let people know when you're away from email. Setting one up properly is difficult.
A media player, such as Windows Media Player, is probably playing in the background. The trick is switching over to that program and shutting it down.
Occasionally, long URLs sent in email are broken to fit some maximum line length. I'll review one way to reconstruct the URL so it works.
The list of BCCed recipients is not included in emails, so there is no way of determining if and who else the email was sent to.
The "handwritten" signature at the end of each Ask Leo! newsletter is nothing more than a picture of a signature inserted into the email.
Hotmail will keep your email for quite a while as long as you access it periodically. And if nothing goes wrong. Then you may have problems.
Email is typically very quick, but there are several reasons that email can be legitimately be delayed, for hours or perhaps even days.
Computers are great at making copies of data, and that's very true when you send a message. Two, three or even more copies, some temporary, may result.
Archiving email of any form is an exercise involving file formats, the flexibility of your email program, and even a prediction about the future.
Closing an email account seems like a logical solution to an account getting hacked, but unfortunately it doesn't address all the possible issues.
People often send email to the wrong address by mistake. But what happens if the email address is invalid? There's no way to know what happens next.
HTML email can include embedded malware, plain text cannot. So just how risky is HTML formatted email?
Bulk erasing emails can be done in several ways depending on what type of program you are using to read your email.
A lot of forwarded email is forwarded as an attachment. When forwarded multiple times, each as an attachment, opening the original can be difficult.
We've all get emails asking us to forward the email so that some entity will make a donation to some cause. Don't. Just don't. It's an email hoax.
Dialup users are frequently challenged with large emails taking forever to download. Webmail might help, but not consistently.
If your contacts suddenly report getting email from you that's not from you, you need to act quickly; you may have lost access to your account.
Email is not sent to an IP address, it is sent to an email address. I explore how to close a Yahoo account, and why that is unlikely to help in the long run.
The outlook is grim if your email account has been stolen, but there are a couple things that you can try to do to recover it.
If your contacts suddenly get email from "you" claiming your overseas and in desperate need of funds to get home - your account has been hacked.
I occasionally get reports of people who've lost the contents of their inbox. We'll look at a couple of common causes and resolutions.
Typing email using all upper-case characters is the email form of shouting and is considered quite rude. Don't be surprised if you get a grumpy response.
Viewing a picture from email causes the email program to place that image on your hard disk, along side other pictures from other places.
When viewing photos emailed as attachments your image viewer may also show you lots of other images as well. It's all about where things are on disk.
Web based and downloaded email both have significant advantages, and disadvantages, to managing email. Which is right for you depends on many things.
Email programs will often automatically include the text of the original in a reply, and format it slightly differently. Some use blue bars.
Mailbox unavailable is a common message in returned email or "bounces" that actually says very little other than that the email could not be delivered.
'Mail policy violation Partial MIME Blocked' is apparently related to Symantec Anti-Virus rules.
When it comes to links on web pages and HTML mail, what you see is not always where you go. Hovering over a link is one way to look before you leap.
IMAP is a different protocol that your email program may be able to use to access your email. The most obvious difference is that it makes reading your email on multiple devices easier, but there's definitely more to it.
Being over quota means you've received or kept too much email. Dealing with an email quote means understanding just where that email is being kept.
Getting a group, any group, to interact effectively online can be a challenge. Sometimes it's a technology issue, but more often than not ... it's not.
Organize email by using folders - and if you're feeling motivated, see about setting up rules to transfer email to the folder automatically.
Words matter, and the word "blast" when used to describe an email mailing implies something significantly less than respect for your recipients.
Scanning your email for malware in real time as it downloads to your machine sounds like a great idea - until you start losing email.
You get an email with an attachment, you edit the attachment and your work disappears. Why that happens, and how to work around it.
Email can be delayed for many reasons; it's the nature of the email infrastructure. If your message is delayed, your options are limited.
Web page mail links start the default mail program. If that's Hotmail you'll need to login. If you don't use Hotmail, you'll need to do something else.
Blank messages in your drafts folder don't necessarily indicate a hacker. There could be a less nefarious explanation.
Email addresses were meant for computers to use to route email. Angle brackets are used when a more human-readable name accompanies the email address.
Email attachments are always larger than the original file being attached. I'll look at why, how it works, and why it matters.
Emailing attachments, particularly large files, is getting more and more difficult as ISPs limit size and scan for spam and viruses.
Email pictures could be arriving blurry if your sending function is resizing them. We'll take a few steps to track down the culprit.
Email providers often place limits on the size of emails and attachments you can send. We'll look at why, and where those limitations are placed.
Email attachments are often the way that viruses spread throughout the internet. Email programs may by default block you from opening attachments.
Sometimes updating your address book isn't enough to flush an old email address from your email program. We'll look at what else might be a factor.
My guess is that your email provider has some kind of a size limit that is preventing large emails from being sent.
When replying to email, many programs will include the original text with some indication that it is the original. We'll look at configuring that.
There are so many reasons for email to travel at different speeds across servers. It's not unusual and it's really not something to worry about.
Email can bounce for many reasons. I'll look at several of the most common mail bounce messages, and try to interpret what they really mean.
Sometimes when you send email you never hear from it again. While once we could count on it being delivered or getting a bounce, that's no longer true.
If email sent to you bounces with a mailbox full message, it typically means just that. Make sure the steps you take to clear it actually do.
HTML email is often used to make email visually appealing. Unfortunately HTML email often does the opposite depending on the recipient's email program.
Occasionally, security software examines links in email and alerts you if something is suspicious. Frequently, as in my newsletter, it's totally benign.
Many email services have the ability to set up rules to filter out unwanted emails. There are many different ways to do it.
If an email program sees something that looks like a link, it will add code to underline it and make it clickable. Sometimes, that doesn't work perfectly.
Upgrading XP to Windows 8 should not require you to change your email service or programs, unless you are currently using Outlook Express.
There's an email floating around that says you can prevent email viruses by adding a bogus entry to your address book. Uh ... no.