Fixing problems sending or receiving email

If ever you run into a situation where your email has stopped working, the steps below should help you resolve the majority of errors.

Quick ckeck list:

  • What does the error message say?
  • Can your colleagues send and receive email?
  • Have you forgotten your password?
  • Can you connect to your mailbox via WebMail?

Consider the error message

Whenever your email client (e.g. Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, etc.) fails send or receive email, it will display an error message. The error message if often something like the following "POPserver:'mail', Error Number: 0x800ccc0d". Please do look up this error as it will often explain what has gone wrong, e.g. authentication failed (likely an incorrect password), or the server is unavailable (a connection problem with the server).

Check with your colleagues

Please inquire with you colleagues at the same or other location whether they are experiencing similar problems. More often than not, problems with sending and receiving email are limited to one computer only. There are many factors that can play into this. Please read on...

Did you perhaps do something wrong?

If you have had multiple login failures in the past 30 minutes (e.g. you forgot your password and guessed it wrong a couple of times), it is quite likely that our firewall detected this and temporarily blocked your connection to the server (in case it was an attempt by a criminal to break in to your mailbox). If so, our firewall will automatically remove the block again after 30 minutes and allow you normal access to the server again. So, go have a cup of coffee and try again in a couple of minutes.

Debugging authentication problems

If the error suggests an authentication failure, please check your username and password:

  • Username: Use your email address to log in to your mailbox.
  • Password: If you have forgotten your password, then log in to your cPanel at http://webmail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your actual domain name) to set a new password.
  • If you believe that you are using the correct username and password but still cannot send and receive email, then verify this by logging in to your webmail at http://webmail.yourdomain.com (replace yourdomain.com with your domain name).

Debugging connection problems

If the error suggests a connection problem, then verify your Internet connection:

  • Check that you have a working Internet connection by opening a major website like www.google.com or www.microsoft.com in your web browser.
  • Verify that you can connect to your own website by opening it in your web browser.
  • If you can browse other websites but not your own, there may be a network problem somewhere between you and the server, or possibly even a problem with the server itself. We recommend performing a tracing the route to the server to determine where the problem is. More information.

Debug the email connection problems

If you can receive email but not send, then the problem is likely one of two things:

  • You do not have SMTP authentication enabled. To be able to send email through the server, you must use authentication (log in). More information.
  • Your ISP may be preventing you from sending email through a SMTP server other than theirs using port 25. This is typical for many ISPs in North America and Europe, as well as some 3G and ADSL providers in South Africa. To work around this limitation, change the SMTP port from 25 to 587. More information about setting port 587 in Outlook, Windows Mail, Mac Mail and Android and iOS email apps.

If you cannot receive email, consider the following:

  • Modern anti-virus software shields your computer from harm by creating a proxy between you and the server. These proxy connection sometime go haywire. Reboot your computer and try again. If still no joy, temporarily disable your anti-virus software and try again.
  • Email accounts in Microsoft Outlook can get corrupted when used in conjunction with anti-virus software (this is rare). Deleting the email account in Outlook and creating it from scratch again may solve connectivity issues.

Requesting technical support

If you have work through all of the above and are still unable to send or receive email, then we would like to assist you is solving the problem. Please contact us for technical assistance.

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