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Unstable GoDaddy IMAP email in Outlook 2010 RRS feed

  • Question

  • We've been plagued with intermittent, bizarre IMAP email behaviors over the past few months.  The provider is GoDaddy.  The problems seem to be most prevalent on our most active email address account, and shows up most frequently on a machine running Outlook 2010.

    We've had emails reappear in the inbox that we deleted, causing multiple attempts at deletion, and also emails come into the inbox then vanish.  Sometimes emails take up to an hour to arrive.  Just recently, the Outlook 2010 client lost the password for the account plus one other.

    Thinking that this account's pst file is corrupt, I deleted the account on this machine and recreated it last night which took hours - the account has 1.3 GB of email with multiple sub-folders (I have the accounts in Outlook set to download the full contents of each email instead of just the headers because we have an archiving program on the machine that requires it).  So far this morning, things are stable.

    However, I'm thinking that this is just a band-aid and there is something else going on.  GoDaddy's tech support is useless here.  Their position is that if they "check" the account and see no problems, if the webmail portal is working ok, an email they send appears in the inbox in the webmail portal, and if the Outlook settings are ok, then it is not their problem - it is a client issue.  Perhaps, perhaps not, but it would make sense to be able to offer some additional support for email clients when things like this start to happen.  GoDaddy's only solution here is to "re-sync" the account(s).

    Anyway, here is our configuration:

    1) All communications on all machines/devices are SSL (ports 993/465)

    2) Two Outlook 2007 clients - 8 IMAP accounts on one, 3 on another

    3) One Outlook 2010 client - 5 IMAP accounts (this is the client/machine where most of the problems are occurring)

    4) One Thunderbird client on a laptop - 8 IMAP accounts

    5) Three K-9 clients on three Android smartphones - 6 IMAP accounts on one, 1 IMAP account on the other two

    6) iPad using stock email client - 8 IMAP accounts

    The devices/machines run a mix of anti-malware suites - F-Secure on the office machines, Norton on the laptop, and Lookout on the Android phones.  F-Secure's email filtering is turned off since it was causing issues earlier.

    So, I'm at a loss to pinpoint what is causing this behavior.  Is it a bad IMAP client on one of the machines or devices not following the IMAP protocol?  Is it purely pst file corruption?  Too many devices? 

    If anyone has any ideas, they would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!


    • Edited by Sysadmin_Ed Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:39 PM
    Thursday, February 14, 2013 6:25 PM

Answers

All replies

  • All 5 imap accounts are with godaddy? Try making 2 send and receive groups with odd check every xx times (like 11 and 13 minutes).  3 accounts per server is the most I like to use in a SR group.

    I have not noticed problems with a godaddy imap, but it doesn't get a lot of mail either. I have seen others complain of problems with godaddy imap in Outlook 2013 and I'm trying to repro.



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Outlook Tips
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    Friday, February 15, 2013 3:56 AM
  • Thanks, Diane.  Yes, all 5 accounts are with GoDaddy.  I'll make your suggested modification the next time I have a window of time to work on this machine.

    Do Outlook pst files need any kind of routine maintenance apart from the scanpst utility to fix them?  For example, Thunderbird requires that the folders be compacted regularly to prevent corruption.  I've never seen any similar maintenance advice for pst files.  I assume they would become corrupt over time without some type of routine maintenance. 

    I'd still like to hear from anyone with thoughts on my original question.

    Thanks.

    Sunday, February 17, 2013 6:06 PM
  • I split the send/receive groups into priority (every 15 mins) and non-priority (every 31 mins) as Diane suggested.

    I looked deeper into the pst "maintenance" aspect and I discovered that the pst files on this computer are not being compacted automatically as advertised by Microsoft.  I don't know what's stopping this automatic process. I ran compaction on all five accounts and pst file sizes were reduced by over 250MB.

    Does a send/receive (either automatic or manually-initiated) interrupt the automatic compaction? 

    Can a lack of compaction result in the IMAP instability we've been experiencing?




    • Edited by Sysadmin_Ed Sunday, February 17, 2013 7:48 PM
    Sunday, February 17, 2013 7:15 PM
  • compacting wont hurt but its not necessarily the cause of your problems. Outlook will compact automatically after 20% 'white space' is available, so its possible they hadn't hit the magic number.



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
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    • Marked as answer by Tony Chen CHN Tuesday, February 26, 2013 9:39 AM
    Monday, February 18, 2013 5:16 AM
  • I have been having this exact problem for months and it is driving me nuts, I hope you can find a solution and post it.
    Saturday, March 23, 2013 9:56 PM
  • Todd,

    Unfortunately there has been no solution forthcoming from anyone.  I don't know if this is a problem with Outlook or GoDaddy, but I'm beginning to suspect GoDaddy's lack of IMAP IDLE PUSH may be at the root of it.

    However, I've been watching this problem closely and it is clearly a synchronization/timing issue between the various IMAP clients and the server and somewhere confusion occurs as to what is deleted and what is not.

    For example, if I delete an email in the inbox and don't switch folders, sometimes it will reappear, probably when another email client does a send/receive.  However, if I delete an email in the inbox and switch folders immediately after, wait for the sync to occur, and then switch back to the inbox, the deleted email doesn't come back, from what I've observed.  It appears that by switching folders the IMAP server is sync'd properly.

    Try switching folders as described above, and let me know if this helps you or not.


    Monday, March 25, 2013 1:30 AM
  • Hello All,

    I guess I am not alone... I have an office of approx. a dozen users....

    All using Outlook 2010, IMAP to Godaddy accounts.....If they ALL use the web or their smart phones.... email works fine....

    However, 2 of them have the above issues when using their Outlook Client.... the other 10 do not.

    I have re-created their profiles....

    limited the Inbox size....

    still get intermittent issues...

    I called godaddy, but they point to microsoft....

    I have not call MS yet....

    any ideas?

    thanks

    TFI


    Don at TryandFindIt

    Thursday, December 5, 2013 6:38 PM
  • Don,

    It's not you or Microsoft who has the problem.  I finally was forced to move all of my client's email to another provider, Bluehost, one weekend in desperation after GoDaddy's services became unusable.  Email would simply stop on peak days and times (usually Mondays and Thursdays) - Outlook send/receives would time out, Outlook would hang, the smartphones' email client, K-9, would hang, and when it was working we were having a host of bizarre issues such as deleted emails reappearing, emails vanishing, etc.

    Complaining to GoDaddy was worse than useless.  It was exasperating.  As my client's business ground to a halt, GoDaddy was telling me that it was my problem or Outlook's or K-9's problem, and no, they couldn't help me in the least with these clients.  They said that since their webmail didn't show any issues, they weren't having a problem.  I pointed out that this was not a valid comparison, that using webmail is not the same as engaging in an IMAP protocol between the client and the server, etc., but it didn't matter.

    Oh, they said, we can upgrade you to hosted Exchange and these problems will go away.  Hmmm, now it's all making sense to me... hosted Exchange is a money maker for them, but these cheap, piddly little IMAP accounts aren't  It's all economics.  Screw up your IMAP services or refuse to address the problems and push their customers to Exchange.

    When I pointed out to them that these issues didn't happen outside of peak hours, that there must be some sort of bandwidth issues or bottlenecks within GoDaddy's servers, they ignored me.  When I was asked to be escalated to level two support, the responses were the same.

    I can say that after switching to Bluehost months ago, we haven't had any service issues.  Email flows at the same speed regardless of the day or time.  Things don't reappear or disappear.  Given the complexity of the IMAP protocol, and with the amount of shared email accounts that we have, that is saying a lot.  One of our email address is shared across six clients (a mix of Outlook 2010 and K-9 clients) and it has never had a glitch.

    My advice to you is to migrate to Bluehost's email.  Their tech support is friendly and absolutely stellar.  They will stay with you and answer all of your questions intelligently without any attitude.  Their prices are right, too.  I can't be happier.






    • Edited by Sysadmin_Ed Friday, December 6, 2013 3:55 AM
    Friday, December 6, 2013 3:48 AM
  • Thank you for your response.... Sounds like you made a good move.

    I can't believe it! I got the same run around.... and you are correct... web mail is not the same ....

    I will look into Bluehost as GD almost had me moving to Exchange to fix the problem....

    Funny, seems like "the fix" these days.... is "Oh, buy this product from me and you won't have to worry about the last product that I sold you that isn't working..."

    thanks again,

    if I get this corrected I will let you know... but looks like I may need a different hosting company.

    thanks!

    don


    Don at TryandFindIt

    Friday, December 6, 2013 5:09 AM
  • Rule #1: Never upgrade in the hopes it will fix a problem - upgrading rarely fixes problems.

    Obviously, hosted Exchange would "fix" the problem, because its not imap, but would you rather pay $8.95/mo to godaddy for a small mailbox or $6/mo to Microsoft for a huge mailbox on Office365? Costs aside, who do you think knows more about exchange?



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
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    Friday, December 6, 2013 5:21 AM
  • Don,

    I thought of a few things after I wrote.  One thing is that the standard Bluehost account allows for a max of only 20 IMAP connections to exist simultaneously per IP address.  If you have a dozen Outlooks running in one office they will be under one IP address and you may have resource contention here, depending upon how many IMAP email addresses are in use per client. 

    When no send/receives are occurring, you will have one or two IMAP persistent connections existing per Outlook instance.  When send/receives occur, the number of IMAP connections temporarily increase dramatically per client, again depending upon how many email addresses are being synced.

    For example, one of our Outlook instances has seven IMAP email addresses, and when a send/receive occurs on this instance, the count of the IMAP connections reaches 15 for the time it takes to perform the send/receive.  After the send/receive is finished, the IMAP connections are closed and returns to one or two for the instance.

    My client has four Outlooks running in the office, each with a varying number of IMAP email addresses (four, two, four, and seven, respectively).  To avoid resource contention, I have arranged all Outlooks to stagger their send/receives by dividing the send/receive groups into priority accounts (every 31 minutes) and non-priority (every 57 minutes).  On the rare occasion that I exceed the 20 connection limit, an Outlook instance simply waits a few minutes for an available connection.

    I've found that scheduled send/receives are really not necessary as the client syncs with the server whenever you click into a particular folder, whether it be an inbox or other folder.  You just wouldn't get a notification that new mail has arrived until you click into that particular inbox.

    Bluehost does offer a dedicated "box" for customers (a virtual machine) that doesn't have this limitation, but the price is a little steep.

    Additionally, any Outlook IMAP client will begin to have issues when the local PSTs grow over 3GB in size, regardless of the hosting company.  This is an outlook thing.  I keep my client's PSTs below this by enforcing that they do something with their old emails, either by archiving them to local PSTs or archive them to PDFs using DocumentExporter.  I also compact the PSTs manually on a regular basis (although Outlook advertises that it automatically compacts them, I've never seen this happen, probably because it takes time and send/receives interrupt the process).

    So consider this carefully before you take a plunge with Bluehost.  Again, their tech support can advise if you if they think that you would have resource contention with a dozen Outlook clients.

    Friday, December 6, 2013 2:40 PM
  • Diane,

    FYI - We considered Exchange Online as an alternative to IMAP and I went as far as opening a "test" account and loading up 5 email addresses with email and simulating a "production" environment with multiple Outlook instances running.  I tested with the local caching option turned off (i.e., no local OST files) and Exchange Online worked beautifully.

    I chose no local caching after I reviewed sporadic reports of syncing problems occurring with sub-folders when local OSTs are present.

    It all went into a ditch when I started testing Exchange email apps for Android, as they need Exchange email on their Android phones.  I tested all of the apps that I could find in the Google Play store, and none of them worked well with multiple email accounts.  Touchdown was the best of the bunch, but handling multiple email accounts was extremely awkward and unacceptable.  The rest of the apps had various problems even with basic IMAP functions such as staying in sync properly with even a single account.

    I didn't test with iPhone apps since we don't use any IOS devices.


    • Edited by Sysadmin_Ed Friday, December 6, 2013 2:55 PM
    Friday, December 6, 2013 2:54 PM
  • >>>

    When send/receives occur, the number of IMAP connections temporarily increase dramatically per client, again depending upon how many email addresses are being synced.

    >>>

    You can mitigate this to some extent by putting each account in a different send and receive group, each with a different 'check every nn' time (I use odd numbers so they overlap less frequently). Of course, if you don't need new mail notifications, just check the folders regularly.



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Outlook Tips
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Friday, December 6, 2013 5:24 PM
  • I've never had a problem with cached mode - it really is better with remote exchange. As for iPhone/ipad apps, exchange works great with the native mail app - no problems with multiple mailboxes. It's the same with windows phone, although i think the iPhone/ipad app is a little nicer, more configurable.


    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Outlook Tips
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Friday, December 6, 2013 5:27 PM
  • Thanks, Diane.

    I'm doing what you described:

    "To avoid resource contention, I have arranged all Outlooks to stagger their send/receives by dividing the send/receive groups into priority accounts (every 31 minutes) and non-priority (every 57 minutes)."

    "I've found that scheduled send/receives are really not necessary as the client syncs with the server whenever you click into a particular folder, whether it be an inbox or other folder.  You just wouldn't get a notification that new mail has arrived until you click into that particular inbox."

    Friday, December 6, 2013 5:43 PM
  • It's regrettable that we're an Android shop in this respect!
    Friday, December 6, 2013 5:45 PM
  • Good Evening All,

    Well, I haven't given up.... but I am running out of hair!

    A few questions:

    Is there a maximum size for pst files with outlook 2010?

    I am updating my NIC drivers, but don't think that will help?

    What if I apply SP2 for MS Office 2010?

    Does it matter if I use a SSL connection or not with godaddy?

    As I said, I have some folks not having any issues...

    Unfortuneately, I just found out that another person has been having issues, but decided not to use Outlook and just uses the Webemail for godaddy....

    The two users that are / want to use Outlook, is because they use the calendar of outlook.... Any ideas on options?

    Each of these users has only one imap email account setup. It is their main email only that they are using..

    I am still working on this... if anyone has any ideas, let me know...

    Oh, yeah, I removed Norton 360...... seemed to work... but then the user told me the next day it failed again....

    signed,

    hopeful (or just a gluten for punishment)


    Don at TryandFindIt

    Sunday, December 8, 2013 10:17 PM
  • Max size: it depends. If you created the account in Outlook 2010, it should use Unicode. If you upgraded, it might be using an ANSI pst.

    I don't know if SP2 will fix it, but you should install it.

    SSL: you should use it for security reasons. It might help this problem, it might not, but your mail will be more secure.

    How large is the godaddy mailbox? I've tried repro'ing this problem several times and it always works for me.



    Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]
    Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center
    Outlook Tips
    Subscribe to Exchange Messaging Outlook weekly newsletter

    Monday, December 9, 2013 4:44 PM
  • Okay, did I say I haven't given up yet?.....

    Okay I spent the day with Microsoft Tech Support, ran "Scanpst" and fixed some errors in the *.pst files.

    We re-created the Profile on a different Windows Profile (mine actually)....

    We were able to sync, send, receive, all work fine..... well most of the time...

    We did still get some "disconnect" errors.... only one or two during the whole day.

    We did, at the MS Tech's suggestion, change out ports from 143/80 to 143/3535 on the Outlook client.

    Next contacted Godaddy again, gave them all of my client's children's names, ages, how much money I made in 1984, etc..... Once they would actually talk to me, they suggested there were no issues on their end. I should contact Microsoft about Outlook.....

    I then contacted my ISP, Verizon..... I think over the last 10 years I have talked to, dialed in on, been transfered.... to every employee, extention, and phone number ever owned by Verizon. Frustrated?.....Naaahhhhhhh... I know I am really determined... Verizon did test the lines and found nothing.... suggested replacing the DSL filter or buying a DSL router from them. They could not get into my router to tell me what HEC errors (364) Downstream / 0 upstream or LCD errors (55) Downstream / 0 upstream mean.... nor could they tell me what the "timeout" column meant in NAT Table information.... They sent me to the Mfg. Actiontec.... who sent me back to Verizon..... in the end, neither could tell me what these numbers mean! I am glad my family is not going to rely on them to pay my life insurance benefit!

    I did just find out that the phone line that feeds the copier / fax machine, may not have a filter on it. (unless it is in the back room by the wiring closet).

    So next steps are to check in to see how today went, then purchase a filter and make sure it is installed corrrectly.... and possibly try a different DSL modem.... maybe Cisco / Linksys where I can get tech support when needed! (unless anyone here likes something else better?)

    more updates to follow....

    Enjoy the Snow!


    Don at TryandFindIt

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013 6:53 PM
  • After re-installing Office too many times, Don's suggestion to change out ports from 143/80 to 143/3535 on the Outlook client appears to have worked for my machine.  I'm happy(ier) for now.  Thanks.
    Thursday, January 23, 2014 8:50 PM
  • I have Comcast and AT&T at home and at work.  I have been having email problems for couple of months now.  At first I thought it was my Outlook 2010, so I upgraded to Outlook 365.  The problem has remained.  Same problem if I used a different computer.  I am wondering if Godaddy have become to big.

    I do have exchange.  still have the same problems.

    Monday, May 12, 2014 3:13 PM