I Can't Get My Email

Introduction

Troubleshooting why your email isn't working can be tricky, but this guide will get you on the right path to seeing if it's a problem with your computer or elsewhere.

This guide walks you through seeing what you can and cannot access, and gets you to the resources you need to help fix the problem.

 This site can't be reached.

1 Browser-Based Email Check

It's become increasingly common for people to not use a separate program to check their email, and rather just use a website instead.

The troubleshooting steps are very different if you're using a website or a specialized email program.

Browser Based Mail Email Client Program
Web-based email. Mail Program.
Mobile browser-based mail. Mobile email client.

? Do you use your browser, or a separate email program to check your mail?

  1. Browser
  2. Separate Program

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Troubleshooting why your email isn't working can be tricky, but this guide will get you on the right path to seeing if it's a problem with your computer or elsewhere.

This guide walks you through seeing what you can and cannot access, and gets you to the resources you need to help fix the problem.

 This site can't be reached.

It's become increasingly common for people to not use a separate program to check their email, and rather just use a website instead.

The troubleshooting steps are very different if you're using a website or a specialized email program.

Browser Based Mail Email Client Program
Web-based email. Mail Program.
Mobile browser-based mail. Mobile email client.
  1. Open your browser. In the address bar at the top, type in google.com, then push Enter or Return.
    Browser address bar with google dot com filled in.
  2. Make sure the Google page comes up. Type in something to search for, and select Google Search.
    Google search page with search box and Google Search button highlighted.
  3. Make sure your search results come up.
    Google search results.
  1. Attempt to access the webpage of your email provider.
    • This could be a popular free email provider such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com, AOL, etc.
    • This could also be your Internet Provider's (ISP) website.
  2. Make sure the webpage loads properly and that you don't get a "page can't be displayed" error.
  3. Attempt to log in to access your email. If you receive any sort of error message, read it carefully.

You are able to reach your email service provider, but the login credentials that are being used are not working.

This could be due to the username or password being typed incorrectly, stored credentials being old or outdated, or the account itself could be locked out.

Too many failed login attempts can cause your mail provider to lock you out of your email account temporarily. This is for security reasons, so that someone can't try to guess your password all day long.

You will need to contact your email provider and ask them for assistance with accessing your account again.

If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here

It appears there are problems accessing some websites from your device. In order to continue, it is necessary to resolve that issue.

Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

For our next step, we need to determine what kind of device you are using.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave
Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
  1. Open your email program, and try to check your mail.
    • On a Desktop or Laptop, look for one of these icons:
      macOS Mail. Outlook icon. Mozilla Thunderbird. Windows 10 Mail. Mailspring.
    • On a Smartphone or Tablet, look for one of these icons:
      Gmail. iOS Mail.
  2. Try sending a message to your email address; this tests if you can send and receive mail in a very easy way.
    Test email to yourself.
  3. Make sure you don't get any errors.
  1. Open your browser. In the address bar at the top, type in google.com, then push Enter or Return.
    Browser address bar with google dot com filled in.
  2. Make sure the Google page comes up. Type in something to search for, and select Google Search.
    Google search page with search box and Google Search button highlighted.
  3. Make sure your search results come up.
    Google search results.

There are a couple common error messages you can receive when trying to send and receive email.

  • Password Prompt

    • You are prompted for a password over and over.
      Mac Mail password prompt.
  • No Mail Ever Arrives

    • You get no errors when you send or receive your mail, but even after sending yourself a test message, no mail arrives.
  • Mail Sending Error

    • When your mail program tries to send a message, it gives an error. Usually, these are 450, 500, or 550 errors.
      550 Error.

You are able to reach your email service provider, but the login credentials that are being used are not working.

This could be due to the username or password being typed incorrectly, stored credentials being old or outdated, or the account itself could be locked out.

Too many failed login attempts can cause your mail provider to lock you out of your email account temporarily. This is for security reasons, so that someone can't try to guess your password all day long.

You will need to contact your email provider and ask them for assistance with accessing your account again.

If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here

After sending yourself a test message, it never arrived in your inbox. This indicates either your mail is being forwarded, or there is a problem with your mail provider.

You will need to contact your email provider, and ask them to check if your mail is being forwarded, or there's another problem with your mailbox itself.

One of the messages in your Outbox is having problems sending. This can be due to a problem with the message itself, or the mail server. An easy way to test is to empty your outbox manually, then send yourself another test message.

  1. Open the Outbox in your email program.
    Mail program Outbox.
  2. Move the messages listed here to a new folder in your email, or delete them if they are not needed.
  1. Open your email program, and try to check your mail.
    • On a Desktop or Laptop, look for one of these icons:
      macOS Mail. Outlook icon. Mozilla Thunderbird. Windows 10 Mail. Mailspring.
    • On a Smartphone or Tablet, look for one of these icons:
      Gmail. iOS Mail.
  2. Try sending a message to your email address; this tests if you can send and receive mail in a very easy way.
    Test email to yourself.
  3. Make sure you don't get any errors.
If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
It Can't Happen Here
Show Me How

Clicking this button will open a new guide that will provide you with steps to resolve your issue.

  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.

To continue, we need to know what Operating System your smartphone or tablet has.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for smartphones currently available, Android and iOS.

Android Smartphone
Android smartphones are produced by multiple companies, such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, Nokia, Lenovo, and HTC.Android Home Screen
iOS Smartphone
Apple is the only company that makes iOS smartphones.iOS Home Screen

Powering off an iPhone.

  1. Hold down the lock / power button.
  2. Slide to power off when prompted.
  3. Wait until the phone is off.
  4. Hold down the lock / power button until you see the Apple logo.
  1. Hold down the power button on your Android device.

    Depending on the manufacturer and model of Android device you have, the location of the power button will vary.

  2. A prompt will appear on-screen. Select Restart.
    Android Power menu with Restart highlighted.
If the Restart option doesn't show up, tap Power Off instead. Press and hold the power button to turn the device back on.

If the menu doesn't show up, continue holding the power button until the device will turns off.
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