What to do if your emails go missing or a mouse behaves badly | Q&A with Patrick Marshall


Question: In the past two weeks, emails from two senders disappeared from my Whidbey Telecom mail server several hours or days before appearing in my Outlook 2010 inbox. In the case of emails from nwpathology.com , the delay was a little over two hours. In the case of emails from redistricting.wa.gov, the delays were three or four days. The rest of my inbound email seems to be timely.

I called Whidbey Telecom tech support about this and was told that since I have a POP account, emails that are no longer on the server must be somewhere in my email client ( Outlook). After looking for one of them in each folder, I couldn’t find it.

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Any ideas why this is happening? I’m reluctant to subscribe to Office 365, or switch to a Whidbey Telecom IMAP account, due to the many correspondents and services I would have to notify with a new email address.

?? Mary Hollen, Greenbank

A: The support person is correct that with POP3 accounts, by default, emails are deleted from the server and downloaded to your computer when you log in. Why they don’t appear right away in your Outlook inbox is a puzzle I don’t have a sure answer for. I suspect there is a processing conflict in your service provider’s servers.

But there is good news. Most email service providers, including Whidbey Telecom, support POP3 and IMAP. You can change your email account from POP3 to IMAP without changing your email address. Here are the instructions: https://www.whidbeytel.com/faq/email-setup/.

And once you switch to IMAP messages, stay on the server until you delete them. Best of all, you can access messages from different devices and when an email is deleted on one device, it will be deleted on all devices. In short, your email is synced across all your devices.

If you still want to keep your mailbox configured as a POP3 account, you might want to configure it to leave messages on the server.

Here’s how:

1. After opening Outlook, click the File tab> Account Settings> Account Settings.

2. Highlight your current POP3 account and click Edit.

3. Choose More Settings and click Advanced.

4. You should see a checkbox titled: Leave a copy of messages on the server.

5. Check the box to enable Leave a copy of the message on the server.

Question: I fall into this dangerous field of knowing the basics and not knowing enough about computer technology. This particular issue is not a big deal, as I have discovered a workaround, but it still bothers me when things don’t work the way they should.

When I try to sign in to Windows 10, the sign in button doesn’t respond to mouse click, no password field shows up, and it appears slightly askew in its area. Playing around with it I learned that if I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del it would respond, give me the password field, and I can log in.

Kevin howard

A: Whenever a device does not perform as expected or desired, the first thing I would do is verify that the latest driver is installed for the device. It is possible that a Windows update resulted in some incompatibility and this could have been resolved in a driver update by the mouse manufacturer.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, I would either replace the batteries or charge the mouse. And if that doesn’t fix the problem, I would try another mouse.


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