Accessing Clogged Email
September 18, 2004 11:07 AM   Subscribe

I've got a disused email account that I haven't used for about a year. I used to get quite a bit of spam, so I imagine it's clogged. For reasons to tedious to explain, I think an email I need to read has been mistakenly sent there. When I try to log on (via a POP3 server, which is the only option) my email program crashes. Are there any programs which do a good job of accessing clogged accounts?
posted by ascullion to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
does the account have a web-based option for reading/sending/etc them? most if not all isps do.
posted by amberglow at 11:26 AM on September 18, 2004

If the mail host supports it, webmail is probably your best option, as it'll avoid having to download a whole year of spam just to read that one message. Also, some webmail hosts, like Yahoo, allow you to check 3rd-party POP mail hosts through their webmail. BTW, what email program were you using that crashed?
posted by boaz at 11:28 AM on September 18, 2004


USER ascullion
TOP 666
RETR 666
DELE 666

where 666 is the number of the message you wish to scan (TOP of message) / read (RETuRn) / delete (DELEte) as LISTed from the list command. STATus returns how many messages you have to contend with.

More can be discovered from the POP3 RFC.
posted by shepd at 11:44 AM on September 18, 2004

Isn't RETR short for "retrieve"?
posted by mrgavins at 12:17 PM on September 18, 2004

Webmail isn't an option - the ISPs webmail service fails to respond when i try to log in. But thanks for the suggestion.

I was using Outlook, and then I downloaded pegasus and had the same issue.

Shepd - I'll investigate further..

Thanks for the tips.
posted by ascullion at 12:27 PM on September 18, 2004

>Isn't RETR short for "retrieve"?

Probably. Then again, programmers are famously bad spellers, and retrieve has an "ie" combination...
posted by shepd at 12:52 PM on September 18, 2004

For an obvious hint, many mail clients have an option to retrieve only the first 1k or something of a message. If huge HTML emails are part of the problem, that'd be an incremental solution.
posted by stet at 12:56 PM on September 18, 2004

I got an email from a nice lurker recommending something: would solve his problem, it's a Webmail type site,
but for ANY email, not one in particular. So his ISP doesn't have to have
webmail, he can check it there.
posted by amberglow at 2:19 PM on September 18, 2004

i got another email from another nice lurker about this: I've used a POP3 mail checker called Magic Mail for years. Basically,
it's a GUI interface for the same telnet commands shepd posted in the
thread. I've used it several times to remove large, nasty, html mails
with attachments that would otherwise choke Thunderbird or Pegasus.
It's available here:
posted by amberglow at 5:02 PM on September 18, 2004

I'd try using PocoMail with the "View Mail on Server" option. It's not a great mail client all-told, but it's nice that you can see all of your messages and sort them nicely before you actually download any of them.
posted by TurkishGolds at 6:04 PM on September 18, 2004

posted by sugarfish at 9:25 AM on September 20, 2004

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