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I'm Missing Email! What should I do?

This is an article about what you should do if if you aren't receiving or cannot locate some email. It assumes that you are using MIT Microsoft Exchange, and that you don't know where your mail went.

Step One: Where Do You See Your Mail?

If you are getting many "message could not be delivered" bounce messages, or if a very large amount of mail has vanished mysteriously from your mail box, you should consider these events "suspicious activity." They might indicate that someone has broken into your email. You should visit mit.edu/password and change your password immediately, so that they aren't able to interfere with your mail any more.

If there is no suspicious activity, think about all the tools you use to read your email. Do you log into the web interface at OWA? Do you use a computer program like Microsoft Outlook, Mail for Mac, or Mozilla Thunderbird? Do you use an app on a smart phone or other mobile device? Any of these might have connected to your mail in the wrong way, or stored your mail in the wrong place.

Step Two: Is It On The Server? Anywhere?

Log into OWA and see if you can find the mail anywhere. If you can, it should be a simple matter to move it to your Inbox or another folder.

A. Make sure to look in Junk Mail and Deleted Items.

B. Check the "Recover Deleted Items" area, which is somewhat hidden in the Outlook Web App.

C. Try searching in the "Search Entire Mailbox" field for the From address or part of the Subject line, in case the mail's been hidden in some strange folder.

D. Check your Outlook Web App Rules. Particularly if your mail turned up in a strange folder, your mail was deleted, or you have noticed suspicious activity, you should investigate whether Rules are the culprit. On the upper-right corner of the screen, near your name, you should see an "Options" button. Select "Options" then "See All Options" then "Organize E-Mail." Select Inbox Rules to learn more about them, and delete any Inbox Rules you don't want.

Step Three: Was It Filtered?

If you know the mail is not appearing in your mailbox on the server at all, it's possible that the mail got filtered by MIT's spam filtering software. Please log into Spam Quarantine to check the spam filter for the missing messages, and to adjust your spam filtering settings.

Step Four: Is The Server Misbehaving?

If none of this has helped, it's possible that either our MIT Exchange Server or your sender's server is having a problem. Please contact the IS&T Help Desk at 617-253-1101 or helpdesk@mit.edu at your earliest convenience.

IF YOUR MIT EMAIL ISN'T WORKING, MAKE SURE TO PROVIDE THE HELP DESK WITH A WAY TO CONTACT YOU BESIDES YOUR MIT EMAIL, SUCH AS AN ALTERNATE EMAIL OR A PHONE NUMBER.

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Documentation and information provided by the MIT Community


Last Modified:

September 16, 2014

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