Sending and receiving emails is something we take for granted. We rarely think about what’s involved in the process, and we tend to assume that it’s a simple job.
The truth is, the mechanisms that enable us to communicate via email are pretty complicated and consist of many components. That’s why, if a problem occurs and you can send but not receive emails, identifying the culprit might be easier said than done. With this article, we’ll show you some of the most common problems causing failure to deliver incoming email communication. We’ll also show you the tools ScalaHosting gives you to fix the issues.
Troubleshooting problems with incoming email messages
Many different factors may prevent you from receiving emails. Depending on your personal setup, you may need to look into various components of the service and the mechanisms that keep it going.
There is no single step-by-step guide, but if you take a look at some of the following scenarios, you should be able to figure out what went wrong exactly.
Your email address isn’t added to cPanel/SPanel
Suppose you’re recently switched from a different host to ScalaHosting, and you’ve decided not to have your account transferred by our technical support specialists. In that case, you need to recreate your email addresses in cPanel or SPanel. If you don’t, you’ll experience mail delivery problems, which could be amplified by the fact that you’re switching from one hosting provider to another.
Regardless of whether you’re using cPanel or SPanel, the utility for creating new email accounts is available on your control panel’s homepage.
The DNS changes haven’t propagated throughout the world
This is another scenario only valid if you’ve recently moved to ScalaHosting. Switching hosting providers means modifying the domain’s nameservers and DNS records. Whenever you make such changes, the DNS system needs a bit of time to apply them across the world. DNS propagation usually takes anything from a few hours to a couple of days.
If someone is trying to reach you from a part of the globe where your new records haven’t propagated yet, they may not be able to do it.
The email routing isn’t correctly set up
You have to make sure the correct mail exchanger is selected in your control panel. For cPanel users, this means going to Email Routing from the control panel’s homepage, selecting Local Mail Exchanger, and saving the changes. If you use SPanel, the tool is called Mail Route.
Your MX settings aren’t correctly configured
If you use the same server for website and email hosting, usually all you need to do is change the domain’s nameservers, and you’re good to go. However, if you want to have the emails processed by a third party, you need to change the domain’s MX (mail exchange) records. If these aren’t set correctly, you will have mail delivery problems.
Some of your incoming mail communication is blocked by email filters
Email filters may be blocking some of your incoming emails for some reason. cPanel has filters that can be applied to individual inboxes or all email accounts hosted on the domain. Check them to see if they aren’t stopping some of the messages from appearing in your inbox.
Incoming messages may also be flagged as spam. Always be sure to check your Spam and Junk folders, and if you use SPanel, you can try temporarily disabling SpamAssassin from the control panel’s homepage to see if it makes a difference.
Your email client may also have built-in filters that prevent incoming messages from being displayed, so it’s best to check them as well in case everything else looks fine.
You have exceeded your quota
cPanel and SPanel give you the option of setting disk space quotas for individual inboxes. If it’s exceeded, incoming messages will not be delivered. To fix the problem, you can either increase the quota or delete old emails and free up some space.
You will have problems if you fill up your account’s quota as well. Information on your account’s disk usage is available on your control panel’s homepage.
If freeing up storage space isn’t an option, changing individual accounts’ quotas is possible via WHM and SPanel’s Admin Interface.
Your email client isn’t correctly configured
An email client won’t display the contents of your inbox unless it’s correctly set up. Thankfully, all the information you need is available in the Welcome Email you receive after activating your account.
If you no longer have access to the Welcome Email itself, you can view it under the My Details > Email History section of your Client Area.
If you’re still unable to fix an issue regarding your incoming email communication, you can always get in touch with our technical support specialists, who will investigate the matter further and provide you with a solution.