End email frustration: The top 3 email problems we see, and how to fix them

 In Hardware and Software

Email is the backbone of modern office life. If yours isn’t working then, chances are, neither are you.

Email is usually the first program you open in the morning and the last one you close before shutting down for the day.

I see a lot of common issues with email that hold up the flow of a day’s work, here are a few that come up over and over again.

My attachment is too big and my email won’t send!

There are better ways to share files; and email is one of the least secure methods of sending content online. Use DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive or SharePoint instead. All of these platforms offer a certain amount of free online storage – so it won’t even cost you anything!

My Outlook keeps freezing and/or all my folders go missing

If you’ve been sending and receiving large attachments, it’s no wonder! But that’s not the only cause.

Outlook is the most common email software we see and it allows you to create many folders and store lots of emails, but there are limits to what it can do.

In particular with Office 365 and Exchange there are some limits as to the number of items you can file in each folder and the number of folders you can have in total.

  • All versions of Outlook limit folders to 500 total
  • Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2010 allow 100,000 items per folder
  • Outlook 2007 allows 50,000 items per folder

In addition, the total size of all your email content (your .pst or .ost file) will affect the way your email behaves. Your Outlook file can only get so big before it starts choking. The size your file can reach before you notice any slowdown will depend on the type of email client you’re running as well as the hardware you’re using.

Here are some simple things that you can do to avoid these problems without calling in IT support:

  • Limit the size of your email file by not sending and receiving large attachments
  • If you do send or receive attachments, consider deleting the attachments once saved elsewhere and just keeping the email itself as a record
  • Delete emails you no longer need and empty your deleted items folder regularly
  • Archive old emails or folders you no longer need frequent access to.

My emails are bouncing/not sending

There are two main reasons for emails bouncing:

SPF errors

The problem with email is that you can send one claiming to be anyone you like – including claiming to be someone else who already legitimately owns a particular email address. That’s called “spoofing”, and it’s one method spammers can use to get you to click on their dodgy emails.

To get around this, email systems check SPF records to make sure that incoming mail from a domain comes from a host authorised by that domain’s administrators. If your email server settings aren’t correct then, when a receiving server checks to see if your email is legit, you will fail this test and your email will get blocked.

To solve this problem, contact your email administrator or IT support.

Email blacklists

If you’re using a shared email service (e.g. one that comes with your web hosting) and someone else on that server is sending out spam, or if you still use an email exchange server and you’ve got a virus that’s spamming people; you might end up on an email blacklist which will result in all your emails bouncing.

You can request removal of the server from the blacklist; but this only works if you have eliminated the spam problem. If you haven’t, you’ll just end up back on the list and it’ll be harder to get yourself removed the next time.

What’s your problem?

If you’re having problems with your email system and none of the above helps, get in contact. There’s always a way to make your it work for you instead of against.

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