Downloading emails from the Yahoo! server to Windows Mobile via POP3
- This message may be of interest to you if you use POP3 access to
download emails to a PDA/palmtop/smartphone and you find that your
emails sometimes disappear from the Yahoo! server.
It seems that Windows Mobile is set up so it always leaves a copy of
emails on the Yahoo! server when it downloads them via POP3. This
can be seen by downloading emails into Windows Mobile and then
logging into Yahoo! via the web. You should see that the emails are
still in your inbox.
The disappearing emails problem only arises when you delete emails on
your PDA and the `Deleted Items' folder on the PDA is emptied. When
this happens it seems that an `instruction to delete' is created by
Windows Mobile and the next time it connects to the Yahoo! Server via
POP3 it gives this instruction to the server and the relevant emails
are deleted from the server.
Disappearing emails are not so much of a problem for Outlook users.
This is because Outlook has 2 tick boxes: "Remove from the server
when deleted from `Deleted Items'" and "Remove from the server after
[ ] days". These can be found in the `Advanced' tab in the email
account settings. If both boxes are unticked, you can therefore
delete emails from Outlook without deleting them from the Yahoo!
Server. However, at present, Windows Mobile doesn't have this option
so when you delete emails from your PDA they are also deleted from
the server (as described above).
What I've found is that when the Windows Mobile inbox has a lot of
messages in it, it's tempting to start deleting them (or move them to
another folder and then delete them later). However, if you don't
want to delete emails from the server, you should avoid `managing'
your emails from the Windows Mobile inbox. Instead, you should use
Yahoo! Go or wait until you can log into Yahoo! mail via the web
(which you may or may not be able to do with your PDA). Once you've
done this, you will see that the next time you connect via POP3 the
Windows Mobile inbox clears to the extent you `managed' it via Yahoo!
Go or the web.
If your inbox becomes so full that your PDA stops working you can use
the `Clear All' instruction in the `Services' menu. This will delete
all the emails from Windows Mobile on your PDA but not send
an `instruction to delete' to the server. However this is only a
temporary fix as the next time you do a POP3 download all the emails
will be downloaded again. You will therefore need to `manage' your
inbox via Yahoo! Go or the web (as discussed above) before connecting
again via POP3.
If you're not going to use your PDA for a while it's sensible to use
the `Clear All' process before you put it away. As detailed above,
this will clear all the emails from the PDA but not delete them from
the server. This will prevent them from being deleted accidentally
in the future.
If you've deleted emails by mistake you may be able to recover the
situation. You should first check whether they're still in
the `Deleted Items' folder. If they are, you just need to move them
back into your inbox. If not (i.e. the `Deleted Items' folder has
been emptied) you need to make sure that the `instruction to delete'
the emails doesn't make it through to the emails on the server. This
can be done by:
1. Deleting the Yahoo! POP3 account on your PDA (before it
connects to the server) and then setting it up again. This should
make the `instruction to delete' requests disappear so, in theory,
they will never make it through to the server.
2. Logging in to Yahoo! mail via Yahoo! Go or the web (before
the PDA makes another POP3 connection) and moving the relevant emails
out of your inbox to another folder. This should prevent
the `instruction to delete' requests finding the emails (as POP3 only
synchronises inboxes). However the problem with this method is that
the `instructions to delete' sit on the server for a while (if not
indefinitely) so if you move the emails back into the inbox they are
likely to disappear at that point.
Email providers sometimes keep deleted emails for a while before
removing them completely from their servers. Therefore, as a last
resort, you could try contacting the email provider and asking for
the deleted emails to be restored.
POP3 access only synchronises inboxes so when you send emails from
Windows Mobile the `Sent' file on the Yahoo! server will not be
updated. To keep a record on the server you will therefore need to
copy yourself into the email.
An alternative approach to accessing your mail when roaming is to not
use POP3 access for your main Yahoo! mail account. Instead, you
could set up a separate mail account for POP3 access and then use
Yahoo! Go to review emails in your main account and forward them to
and from the second account where necessary (e.g. for downloading