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Troubleshooting Problems with Emailing Software

We’ve all had that moment when someone important says “Didn’t you read the email?” and all you can think is, “What email?”. Problems with emailing are the last thing you need as a job seeker, so let’s take a look at the most common problems with emailing software and some helpful tips on how to solve them.


Who is Your Email Service Provider?


Before we get started on the most common problems it's important to know who your Email Service Provider is. If your email address is something like 'great_hire@hotmail.com' you might be surprised to hear that your Email Service Provider is Microsoft Office, not hotmail.

 


You can find out who your service provider is by entering your domain name (hotmail.com in our example) into an MS Lookup Tool, and pressing the 'MX Lookup' button.


You Sent a BAD Email!


Oh no! Please say you haven’t sent an angry email to your interviewer by mistake! You don’t have long to try and get that back, so quickly read the fixes below:

 


Quick Fixes


If you are using Outlook or Gmail, you can recall the email and delete it from the receiver's inbox.


Please Note:

  • Gmail only gives you 30 seconds to recall an email.

  • Outlook gives you 2 hours to recall an email.

  • Recalling an email won't work if your recipient has already read it.


Medium Fixes


If you can’t recall your email the only option left is to contact the recipient again, either by email or telephone, and explain the mistake.


You might find it helpful to read How to Unsend Emails with desktop clients and how to make sure you don’t need to in the future.


You Aren’t Receiving Emails


The most common problem people have with email software is not receiving any new emails, and not knowing why. The good news is most of the fixes for this problem are quick and easy:

 

Quick Fixes


  • Check your ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ folders, is the email in there?

  • Check your other email accounts to make sure you didn’t use a different one.

  • Delete everything over 3 years old from your email server and ‘recycling bin’. If your inbox is full, you won't be able to receive new emails.


Medium Fixes


  • Contact the person you are expecting emails from and make sure they have the right email address, spelled correctly.

  • Send an email to yourself from another email account to check if it goes in.

  • Check the server status for the email client by entering “<email provider name> Server Status” into a search engine. If the email servers are not working (down) you will need to wait or ask the sender to use a different email account for you.

  • Ask the sender if there is a large attachment in the email and ask them to upload this file to a shared space for you, like OneDrive or Dropbox. Large attachments can fill up your inbox.


Slow Fixes


  • Create a new email address and contact the sender asking them to send you the email again.


You Can’t Send Emails


So, do you have an important email to send to a recruiter, future manager, or application center? That’s great! But it’s not great if you can’t make your email software send your message. So before you pick up the phone, try these fixes and see if these could solve your problem:

 

Quick Fixes


  • Check you have the correct email address for the receiver, spelled correctly!

  • Try sending it again from another device that has access to your email.

  • Send an email to a different email account that you own, and make sure it's your problem and not the receiver's.

  • Visit your email service’s website and send your email from there.

  • Delete anything in your emails that's older than 3 years to free up space.


Medium Fixes


  • Make sure your internet access is stable. Try connecting using a cable or following this Guide to Maximizing Your Internet Connection Speed.

  • Check the server status for your email provider by entering “<email provider name> server status” into a search engine. If the email servers are not working (down) you will need to use a different email address to send your message.


Slow Fixes


  • Contact your email service provider for help if you have tried all the quicker fixes. There might be a problem with your account.


You Can’t Find an Email


Sometimes you know you have an email, you've read the email, but it is nowhere to be found in your busy inbox. When that email contains important interview information, this is a stressful problem. Let's look at how to fix this:

 

 

Quick Fixes


  • Most emailing apps and sites have a ‘search’ function. Search for a word you are sure is in the email, or search using the sender or recipient's name or address. Make sure you search all mailboxes.

  • Check your junk, spam, and deleted folders.

  • Check any folders called ‘starred’ or ‘archived’.

  • Make sure you are checking the correct email account!

  • Check your drafts folder if you're looking for an email you sent. It might not have been sent successfully.


Medium Fixes


  • Go to your email service’s website and search for it directly on their servers (if you were using a desktop email client).


Slow Fixes


  • Ask the sender or recipient to send you the email so that you have a copy.


The Email App Crashes


Unexpected crashes or closes can happen with any software, but it’s especially annoying when you are in the middle of some important emailing in Outlook, Mail, or Thunderbird. Don’t worry, here are some fixes you can try that will get things running again:

Quick Fixes


  • Restart the software and see if it happens again.

  • Try viewing your emails through the web browser software instead.

  • Close all non-essential programs and restart the software.

  • Restart the software as an administrator.

  • Restart the software in compatibility mode.

  • Close all background processes related to your email app and then restart it.

  • Check if your antivirus program is scanning your system, and stop the scan if it is.


Medium Fixes



Slow Fixes


  • Upgrade your operating system (if not the newest version).

  • Check your email app’s publishing website and ask for customer support.


Note: If you are using a web browser to read your emails, this is a web browser problem and not an emailing app problem. Take a look at Troubleshooting Problems with Web Browsing Software for more help on web browser crashes.


I’ve Forgotten My Password


Don’t worry, we all forget our passwords. It’s so common most websites have an “I forgot my password” process on their website. That’s always a good place to start, but there are some other helpful fixes below that might help you too:

 

Quick Fixes


  • Go to your email service’s website and look for the login area. Click on ‘Forgot my password’ and follow the instructions.

  • Use another device you have saved your password on to view your email. Then you should change your password to something you can remember!


Medium Fixes


  • Contact your email service provider using webchat or telephone. Contact details are usually available under ‘contact us’ on the company website.

  • If you have an email address attached to your current job, call your IT support team for help, or use their password refreshing option on the intranet if one is available.


Wrap Up


If something is going wrong with your email software, the most important thing to do is stay calm. These are very common problems, and there will be a solution. Everything you learn from fixing it this time will help you when you have problems in the future. And, think about bookmarking this article and your email service provider's website, so you can quickly troubleshoot any time you need to. Most emailing problems are fixed in under 5 minutes, so hold on, be strong, and troubleshoot!


Helpful Links


 

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