General Question

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

Why am I unable to receive email but can send email?

Asked by Raggedy_Ann (455points) September 29th, 2011

Since the first part of September we have not been able to receive emails. We can send but if some tries to email us it bounces back. Our provider is Qwest but we access through MSN. Hubby tried called Qwest tech support with no luck.

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18 Answers

blueiiznh's avatar

What type of email client are you using. I assume not browser based.

Do they get a bounce if they send a new item to you and it is only a reply that bounces.
If that is the case, then your default name is wrong.

funkdaddy's avatar

Our provider is Qwest but we access through MSN.

This is probably your key, your Qwest account information probably isn’t set up correctly with MSN (Hotmail is their email service I believe, is that what you’re using?), you can send because you’re sending through the MSN servers instead.

Try setting up your account separately with an email client and make sure everything is working there (your account login for instance)... here are some instructions from Qwest. Their tech support can probably help you with this part if you run into trouble.

Once you have that working and know the information is correct, then try to set it up with MSN again. They’ve got a couple different flavors of hotmail out there right now. But these instructions might help if you’re using the “Windows Live” version.

edit: and Microsoft has some additional info here regarding pulling together your email addresses.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

@funkdaddy, you are right, it’s through hotmail. I should have mentioned that we have had this email account for a couple of years, since purchasing the computer about 4 to 5 years ago. Our email ends in I can’t help but think that recently they (Qwest) became part of Century Link.

robmandu's avatar

Check if your email client (Hotmail, right?) is setting a “reply-to” address that is no longer valid or otherwise incorrect.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

@robmandu, how do I do that? I’m pretty good with figuring things out once I have a basic idea of what I need to do.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Some of your settings may be off. Depending on your system and your POP you might have to reconfigure your preferences or reset your computers settings?

Google whatever error message you’re getting or whatever is happening and it will usually take you to the place where the information you need to fix it is.

robmandu's avatar

1. go to your Hotmail inbox
2. on the right, under your name, click the Options link > More options…
3. under the Writing Email section, check your setting for Reply-to Address

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

@robmandu I checked my reply-to address and it’s correct. So now what?

HungryGuy's avatar

All good answers, but also check that the name of your servers are correct in your client configurations. There is no one email server. There are two. Outgoing mail is usually sent to an SMTP server, while incoming mail is usually received from a POP server. There are a few other types as well, that are less common, but still used often enough. You have to configure both connections to the two different servers separately.

CWOTUS's avatar

What are the chances that your storage space is full? When you use 100% of the free space that’s allotted, then every email that attempts to get into your Inbox after that will be bounced.

Neophyte's avatar

Check your POP (or IMAP) server. That is the one that deals with incoming e-mail.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

Again, to everyone, thanks for the information. However, your throwing things at me (POP, SMTP and IMAP) that make no sense to me. Capacity being full? Very possible. What does not make sense is that we have had this email address for at least 4 if not 5 years and all of a sudden this happens. Is it possible it’s been hacked? And if so, would I just be better off establishing a new email address and basically starting over?

CWOTUS's avatar

@Raggedy_Ann if you’ve had the address “for years” (and if it’s a free account), and especially if you’re not diligent about deleting old mail, not saving copies of all the “sent” mails (which some systems do by default), etc. then you may have simply used all of the free storage space that’s available to you.

Normally there’s an indicator of how much capacity is available to you, and how much you’ve used, such as what GMail provides on its system. (I’ll look for a link to send so that you can see what I mean.)

Edit: Here you go. This is a screenshot of the GMail screen from its Wikipedia entry. Notice the “0% full” at the bottom left of the Inbox square. Your system should be showing you something like this, somewhere.

robmandu's avatar

Turns out the message people get back is:

The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.1.1 Recipient (RaggedyAnn’s handle) does not exist here

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

Our provider is Qwest so it is not a free one. As for showing our capacity being full I don’t believe I’ve seen. @robmandu, would that mean that it’s been closed/deleted?

robmandu's avatar

It just means that the email server at q .com does not recognize your handle.

If I sent an email to ThisAddressIsFake@q .com, I’d expect to get the same kind of reply.

robmandu's avatar

@Raggedy_Ann, go back into Hotmail and into the Options page.

Under the Managing Your Accounts section, go into Sending/receiving email from other accounts.

My guess is that you’re signing into your q .com account with a different handle than what your email address is. Perhaps it’s just a simple misspelling in your Reply-to address? Maybe a couple of letters have been transposed? Look for anything that appears different.

Raggedy_Ann's avatar

@robmandu If I’m looking at the right things (sending/receiving emails from other accounts) it is correct. As is “you can send email from these accounts”. I’m just totally baffled.

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