Email Notification Troubleshooting

Troubleshoot issues with email notifications

Email, a seemingly simple tool, can occasionally present complex issues with duplicate messages, unreceived messages, and message delays. This article addresses a few of the most common email issues, and how to resolve them.

Email Duplication

  • Network Issues: There may be a network connectivity issue, or an issue with a server along the delivery path. Most email delivery protocols tend to take a more cautious approach, i.e., if the system sending the message is unsure whether the email was successfully delivered, it will re-attempt the delivery. If the delivery was actually successful the first time, the second attempt will produce a duplicate email message.
  • POP3: Protocols like POP3, while convenient, can lead to duplicate messages if configured to "leave a copy on the server."
  • Forwarding Loops: A forwarding loop occurs when an email is forwarded to an address that forwards the message back to the original address, creating an infinite email forwarding loop.
  • Group Emails: Adding an email address multiple times to a group list can cause duplicate messages to be sent to the recipient.
  • Syncing Across Devices and Accounts: Synchronizing emails across multiple devices or accounts can inadvertently lead to duplicate messages.

Email was not Received

  • Spam Folder: Spam filters can mistakenly categorize email messages as junk, and send the message to the spam folder.
  • Folder Misdirection: Emails might land in unexpected folders like "Promotions" or "Social," bypassing the primary inbox. Additionally, there may be some rules that automatically move messages to certain folders based on specific conditions.
  • Firewall Security Rules: Firewalls, while essential for security, can sometimes block incoming emails, particularly from unfamiliar senders.
  • Email Filters: Overly aggressive email filters, either set by you or your email administrator, can inadvertently discard desired messages.
  • Domain Restrictions: Some email systems can be configured to only allow incoming messages from specific domains.
  • Auto-delete Message: There may be some settings or rules that auto-delete certain messages.

Email Delays

  • Overloaded server: The email server might be busy or overloaded, or there may not be enough system resources to process incoming emails. Server outages and disruptions can also cause email delays.
  • Anti-virus/spam filters: Email messages may be delayed while the anti-malware software scans the message for threats.
  • Send/receive cycle: Some email platforms can be configured to check the email server at specific intervals (send and receive intervals). If your email platform isn't set to check the email server regularly for new messages, there may be a delay in receiving incoming messages.

Email Server Logs

Your email administrator may be able to review the email server logs, to check if there are any records related to the email issue that you are experiencing.