Missing Emails

Category: Email

Sometimes I don't get certain emails, or newsletters that I signed up for. It's like they're going into a black hole. Is this a problem on the sending or receiving side?

Filters Gone Wild

Some service providers place restrictions on how they deliver email to you. Some of these restrictions could prevent you from receiving mail that you have requested, or it may be automatically filtered into a Junk, Bulk or Spam folder. Check those folders first if you're not getting an email or newsletter you signed up for. If it shows up there, and your email program has a "Not Spam" button, click it!

If messages from that sender continue to be filtered into a junk mail folder, look further into your email options to create a filter that will automatically direct those messages into a special folder you create.

Your Address Book: The Anti Anti Spam Defense

To further increase the chances that the emails you want will arrive in your inbox, you should also add the From: address of the sender to your address book or contact list. For the TOURBUS mailing list, there are TWO senders, so you should add both "bob@TOURBUS.COM" and "crispen@NETSQUIRREL.COM" to your address book. Instructions for using the address book with some popular email services are provided below.

Outlook Express

Right-click the name or address in the "From" column of your Inbox. Click on "Add to Address Book".

Microsoft Outlook

Double click the name or address in the "From" column of your Inbox. This will maximize the message. Right click on the sender name or address on the upper left corner of the message. Click "Add to Outlook Contacts", then click "OK".


Double click the name or address in the "Sender" column of your Inbox. This will open the message in a new window. Right click on the sender name or address on the upper left corner of the message. Click "Add to Address Book", then click "OK".


While viewing a message from the sender, maximize your window and locate the "Address to Address book" icon, located at the far right of your message window. Click on this icon, then Click "Save".


While viewing a message from the sender, click "Save Address" on the far right side of the toolbar, then follow the instructions provided to add to the address book.


While viewing a message from the sender, click the "Add to Address Book" icon. The sender's e-mail address will appear in a text box. Click "Add to Address Book" again.


While viewing a message from the sender, select "Add Sender". The "Add to Address Book" pop-up appears with the sender's name and e-mail address. Click "Yes".


It's not uncommon for service providers to erroneously place a newsletter sender on a blacklist, based on knee-jerk complaints from inconsiderate people who press the "Report Spam" button instead of unsubscribing. If you've tried everything else in this article and you're still not getting all your emails, contact your ISP and let them know. They may be able to add the publisher to a list of approved senders (whitelist) or work with the blacklist maintainer to get the erroneous entry removed.

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Most recent comments on "Missing Emails"

Posted by:

Sean Brady
23 Oct 2006

Most helpful advice but emails are still going missing apparently at random.

I sent the same email (X) to the same person using three different Contact addresses - call these A, B & C. I then sent a different email (A1, B1 & C1) to each of the same addresses but from a different sender (Y). The person received only X-A, Y-B1 & Y-C1. None bounced and all are shown as sent.

My conclusion is that there is something seriously wrong with the internet system and that it can no longer be relied upon to deliver emails.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I think it's spam filters gone wild. Some drop messages without sending a bounce.

Posted by:

09 Jan 2007

I have a user who's email messages go to different folders than where they should. She have drafts that will go to the unread folder then after going in the unread to pull them back they leave and go in the deleted folder. Other items that should be in sent will end up in the deleted or somewhere else also. Any help would be great.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Have you watched this actually happen? In my experience, some users are careless or impatient clickers, and blame the computer when things go wrong. If the problem cannot be reproduced when you are watching, it probably falls into that category. If the problem DOES persist, I would recommend switching to another email client such as Thunderbird.

Posted by:

brian crangle
04 May 2008

I have a similar problem which is driving me crazy. The contact is in my address book and I can email him but he can't reply to me! This applies not just to him but to everyone in his organisation. Their emails to me are rejected "the email system was unable to deliver the message but did not report a specific reason"

EDITOR'S NOTE: This looks like a spam filtering thing. You'll need to involve the sysadmin on either the sending or receiving end, depending on where the reject is happening.

Posted by:

Jeff Durkes
17 Oct 2008

Some of my emails do not get sent to me on my laptop but my BlackBerry gets them so I am forced to forward if there are graphics. And some come in many days late. This is a recent phenomenon. Any ideas?

EDITOR'S NOTE: It's most likely spam filters gone wild, either at the server level, or in your own email client. Check your spam/junk folders, and if they're not there, complain to your ISP.

Posted by:

07 Jan 2010

I have a desktop and a laptop. I have my email messages on both set up to leave a copy of my emails on the server for 10 days. It was done with the hope and expectation that each message would come to each computer.

Instead, I am receiving two copies of each email on the laptop and not at all on the desktop. How can I get each email to come to the laptop and to the desktop?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Easiest way would be to use webmail instead of a desktop email program. Then your email is available from ANY computer with an Internet connection.

Posted by:

04 Aug 2010

In like situation I was many times. But almost always I can't determined it. Luckily for me and perhaps for you I discovered a good method. I noticed - outlook recover. This utility I by accident found out at the Inet on a soft forum. To my great surprise it solved my similar email problem within the scope of minutes and ultimately without my money as I bore in mind.

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