General Question

Firedancerdmb's avatar

How long can emails stay in "limbo" and where do they go?

Asked by Firedancerdmb (25 points ) January 23rd, 2013 from iPhone

My husband has a blackberry. Lately he has been getting incomming messages that are years old. Today he just received an email from a friend who sent the message in janurary of 2007 (according to the phone). Looking back it is true that the email came in nearly 7 years later. Where was it that whole time?

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7 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Spam filters and servers in between. I’m waiting for an email my wife sent from work on Monday morning. Not here yet . . .

seekingwolf's avatar

Did he ever get the email back then? Or maybe he had already seen it and the severs just churned it up again.

I used BlackBerry for years and all I can say is that their servers are screwed up. RIM has had a lot of server failures and down times. I just don’t think they are that reliable anymore.

anartist's avatar

Amazing. But maybe someone was clearing out email somewhere. I was clearing out about 1 year’s worth of spam from a client’s web email recently and sorting his good messages from the crap. Tedious. And while I was doing it I sent along copies of good messages just in case some spam filter somewhere had stopped them—then I moved them into a subfolder on the server to make it clear they had been dealt with. Then I finally set up his spam filters [I did not know there were none in place].

Maybe something like this happened??

Firedancerdmb's avatar

Unfortunetly he has no way of seeing if he actually recirved the message back in 2007. Thanks gor ur responses!!

downtide's avatar

Usually if a mail is not delivered after 24 hours, it’s returned to the sender with a failure message. I would guess that he’s received those emails before and for some reason his email server has had a funny turn and decided to send them out again.

njnyjobs's avatar

Email does not travel in space where it could get hanged up somewhere.
It is possible that the sender had an incorrect date/time on its sending device, thus showing such date/time on the receiving device. Actual date/time stamps of email messages can be verified by reading the message header, which will show timestamps from the smtp server, isp and receiving mailserver.

njnyjobs's avatar

There are also instances when a mailserver needed to be restored from backup files thus populating the mailbox again of messages that were caught during the backup.

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