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Staying Connected: How to See all E-mail, All the Time

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RISMEDIA, Jan. 26, 2008-(MCT)-Q: I have begun to check my e-mail from work as well as from home. The problem is that after I check my e-mail at work, the messages do not show up when I check my e-mail at home. How can I see all my mail in both locations?

A: When people send you e-mails, they are delivered from their PCs to their mail servers. These servers then connect to your mail server and deliver the messages. There the messages wait until you connect to the Internet and check your mail.

By default your mail program is probably set up to connect to your mail server, log in and retrieve the messages, then delete the mail from your mail server.

In order to have your mail be on the server after you check it from one location, you need to change the setting in your mail program that controls this.

For Outlook Express, click on Tools, Accounts, and then select the Mail tab. Find your mail account, and select the Properties button. Under the Advanced tab there is a selection box to check that will leave a copy of the e-mail on the mail server.

A word of advice. You should go ahead and check the box that removes mail from the server after a set number of days. What this does is each time you check your mail any messages that you have downloaded that are older than what you set will be deleted from the server.

Many Internet providers do not want you storing a copy of each of your e-mails on their mail servers. As a result, they usually impose a storage limit so that if you exceed your mail quota, you will stop receiving mail until you clear it.

The limit is usually high, so set to delete after the mail is 3 to 5 days old unless you get lots of attachments, in which case you should set it to remove when mail is 1 to 2 days old.

Another option is to switch to a Web-based mail system like Gmail. They are free and offer quite a bit of storage, and all of your e-mail is accessible and searchable from any Internet-connected computer.

Copyright © 2008, Houston Chronicle
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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