At IU, why am I receiving only some of my email, and where is the rest?
There are several reasons why you may not receive all of the email sent to your Indiana University email account:
The email has been misdirected. This may happen
if you inadvertently set up a mail forwarding loop, have an Exchange
account that is not your preferred email address, or if the sender
uses a Unix mail program.
- The email has been blocked. This may happen if your email account exceeds its size limit, an email message contains an attachment that is blocked by your mail filter, or the sender exceeds the UITS bandwidth limit.
Preferred address or mail forwarding loop
Email messages that are addressed to your IU email address (e.g.,
email@example.com ), and email messages
sent from on campus addressed to your username only, are automatically
sent to your preferred address, as registered with the Account
Management Service (AMS).
If your preferred email address is not correctly listed in your campus's address database, you will not receive mail. The following are possible causes for the problem:
- You may have inadvertently caused a mail forwarding loop by
setting your preferred email address in such a way that there is no
final destination for email sent to you.
Note: A mail forwarding loop is very likely if those who are trying to send you email get bounce-back messages mentioning an "excessive recursion".
- Problems in the database can occur if you encountered an error while using the AMS to create your accounts, or if you left the university temporarily and had to have your accounts re-enabled.
To fix these problems, make sure you properly set up your preferred email address; see At IU, how do I choose my primary email address and preferred email account? or At IU, how do I forward my email?
Note: The preferred address database is updated overnight, so any changes you make in AMS may not appear in the database until the next day.
At IU, if your Exchange account is not set as your default forwarding location, you may notice certain email messages are not arriving in your preferred mailbox. Most likely, these messages will be from IU faculty or staff members, sent from their IU Exchange accounts. This is due to the way the IU Exchange server handles mail forwarding (email sent from an IU Exchange account to a user with an IU Exchange account ignores your preferred email forwarding). To avoid this problem, set a forward rule on the Exchange server; see In Microsoft Outlook for Windows, or in Outlook Web App (OWA), how do I automatically forward all of my IU email to another address?
Unix mail programs
With most Unix mail programs, when you send mail to an
email address that consists only of a username (i.e.,
dvader as opposed to
firstname.lastname@example.org ), the mail will be sent to a
user on the same system, bypassing the user's preferred address
settings. If the user doesn't have an account on the system, the
message will go undelivered and you will receive an error message. If
the user has an account on the system but has not set a forward on it,
the mail will go unnoticed until the user checks mail on the system.
To avoid this situation, set a forward for all your computer accounts at which you can receive mail; see How do I forward my mail from a Unix account?
Exceeded storage space
If you exceed your email account storage space, you cannot receive email until you either clean out your account or request an increase. For help correcting such problems, see the appropriate instructions for your mail system:
- If you use Cyrus mail (e.g., through IU
Webmail), see About your Cyrus mail storage space.
- If you use Exchange, see About your storage space on the Exchange server
Blocked attachments in email message
UITS maintains mail filters that block attachments that commonly contain viruses, or that are protected or contain protected content. This blocking behavior varies, depending on the attachment's origin, so it is sometimes possible to receive messages with these types of attachments; see At IU, what types of attachments are blocked from my email account?
One of the ways IU protects its email system from huge volumes of spam is by limiting each host to sending only several hundred messages per minute. If someone is trying to send email to you from a non-IU host that has exceeded its message limit, that email may not get through to you; see What does IU do to protect users from spam and virus-infected email?
The architecture of IU email systems separates internal university mail flow from the rest of the Internet, providing a layer of protection that allows IU email to flow reliably between its students, faculty, and staff members. For this reason, it is expected that all official university email is sent via the IU system, and not through external, non-IU hosts; see At IU, what is the policy about official communications from the university to students?
Last modified on May 12, 2011.