Email Troubleshooting - Send/Receive Errors

When working correctly, email can be a fun way to communicate with friends and loved ones, but when it's not working correctly, nothing can be more frustrating. This section of our website deals with Outlook Express and email connection problems. Consider the following three situations:

  • I can send mail fine, but I'm not receiving my messages
  • I can receive mail fine, but I keep getting a "Server not available" message when trying to send mail
  • I can't send or receive mail

Believe it or not, all three of these issues are inter-related, and all three of these issues can be fixed by using one of two methods. If using a single USA2net email address, an easy way to correct these issues would be to simply run the USA2net installation CD. However, this does not always work well when using multiple email addresses, especially if you have different identities setup within Outlook Express. So we move onto the more involved repair process outlined below:

First, you need to open your Outlook Express program (you don't have to be online to do this - simply clear away the dialup connection box and/or any error messages that come up). Once on the Outlook Express main screen, click on Tools, then Accounts. This should bring up the Internet Accounts window which should look something like this:

Click on the Mail tab to bring your email accounts to the forefront, highlight your email account by clicking on it once, then click on the Properties button to the right. Clicking on the Properties button brings up the Properties window for that account.

As you can see from this example, there are five tabs at the top of the window: General, Servers, Connection, Security, and Advanced. We need to verify the information in all tabs except for the Security tab in order to correct any connection issues you are having with your email. In the General Tab pictured above, verify that your settings (outside of username/password) match what you see in the various screens.

The Servers tab pictured above is probably the most important when troubleshooting mail server connection issues such as "Host unreachable," etc. Verify that your settings, outside of the Account Name and Password, match the above screen EXACTLY. Also note that your Account Name and Password must be typed in lower-case letters - capital letters are not accepted by our mail server.

For the Connection tab, it is usually best to uncheck the "Always connect..." checkbox simply because this allows Outlook Express to utilize any available internet connection.

We will not be discussing the Security tab because default settings are fine for this. For the Advanced tab, pictured below, verify that your port numbers for Outgoing mail and Incoming mail match the screen below, and verify that the first three checkboxes are unchecked.

Normally, we would have you leave all of the checkboxes on this screen unchecked, however, if you also check mail from work as well as from home, there is a way to receive all of your messages at work, and to also receive all of the messages at home as well. This is accomplished by placing a check in the "Leave a copy of messages on server" checkbox under Delivery on one of the computers you're checking mail with. By doing this on your work computer, you will receive all of your messages at work, and a copy of those messages will remain on the USA2net mail server. Once you get home and check mail from there, any messages on the USA2net mail server will be downloaded to your home computer. As always, it's important to note that once messages have been downloaded to a computer, they are no longer existent on the USA2net mail server.

Now click Apply, then OK and you should be set! To learn how to configure Outlook Express for multiple accounts, each having separate inboxes, click here.


More advanced Outlook Express configurations can be found here.

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