I am receiving duplicate messages

Duplicate Emails Explained

There are multiple scenarios that can result in you receiving multiple copies of the same email. Find the scenario below that best matches what you're experiencing for more information.

I get duplicate copies of every email

The first thing you should do is determine whether these duplicates are occurring on the server, or just on your mail client or device. 

Log in to your mailbox via the web access at https://webmail.thexyz.com. Are the duplicates there?

If you do not see duplicates on the server, this issue may be isolated to your mail client or device. Check to make sure that you do not have your mailbox configured multiple times on the same device, as this can lead to multiple copies being downloaded.

If your entire mailbox is downloading again, you may be using a POP connection to download your mail and are saving copies of downloaded mail on the server. Clients connecting via POP will attempt to remember the mail that has already been downloaded, but in some cases, this can be reset. When this happens, the mail client will treat all of the mail on the server as "new" and attempt to re-download it.

Follow these instructions to stop the client from re-downloading all of your mail again:

  1. In your email client, take that account offline or quit the mail application as soon as possible. 
  2. Access your mailbox via the web at https://webmail.thexyz.com.
  3. You can either remove all of the contents of the "Inbox" folder or, if you still wish to retain that data on the server, you can move them into a sub-folder. We recommend that you create a new sub-folder for these messages that you can easily identify later.
  4. Re-connect your mail client or device.

With those messages moved out of the "Inbox" folder on the server, the mail client will no longer be able to download them. New messages, however, will continue to download into the client.

To prevent this from occurring again, you may want to configure your client to delete mail after a certain number of days (this can usually be found in the advanced settings), or you may want to re-configure your account as IMAP instead of POP. IMAP connections stay in sync with the server, so you won't ever have to worry about there being multiple copies being downloaded to your client.

There are duplicate copies on the server

This can occur if you have your mail set to forward to another email address, which in turn forwards back to your mailbox. This causes a loop, and once it's gone on long enough, the servers will eventually stop sending copies of that message. The sender might also receive a bounce-back or rejection notice saying that there was a loop detected.

You might want to check your client for any rules or filters that are forwarding mail to another address. Double-check that other address and make sure it is not configured to forward to your mailbox as well.

You may also need to check with your administrator and see if there are any forwarding rules enabled on the server for your mailbox.

Finally, if your email client is set up as IMAP, it's possible that the email client is duplicating the emails and then pushing them back up to the server. If the timestamp is the same for the emails, it's possible that this may be the case. Removing and readding the IMAP connection can sometimes fix this.

I continue to receive multiple copies of the same message

In this case, it is likely that the sender's mail client is duplicating these messages. That message may be stuck in their Outbox, which is getting re-sent every time their client tries to send mail. 

This is usually caused by some form of connectivity issue with the sender's client and their outgoing server. Most of the time, it's temporary and simply removing the message from their Outbox will prevent it from getting re-sent. However, if the client has a slow connection, or perhaps has any extra scanning software installed (like anti-virus scanning) it can maybe result in a more frequent occurrence.

Unfortunately, as the recipient, there's very little you can do. The best way to stop these duplicates from occurring is to have the sender delete that message from their Outbox and investigate solutions on their end on how to prevent it from occurring again. 

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