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New IMAP account - email filters causing messages to bounce back


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#1 wonderland78

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 12:06 PM

So I just set up my first IMAP account after being stuck with POP for a long time.

 

I use Windows Live Mail and had tons of folders and message rules which I'm now trying to replicate for IMAP. I had to decide between local email rules or server based rules/filters. I went with the latter so it would be all done at the source.

 

I set up a new filter to put anything from my hotmail email into a folder called 'Test'. Pretty simple.

 

But upon sending the test email from hotmail to my new IMAP account, it bounces back with the following error:

 

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its

recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

  "info+Test"@ (insert my IMAP account domain here)
    (generated from info@(insert my IMAP account domain here))
    No Such User Here

 

So it's just butchering the email address it seems. Weird. Any thoughts on this? I've been back and forth with the host admins and they've been pretty useless.



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#2 britechguy

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 01:12 PM

You'd have to post the actual filter you're using.   I have never seen an IMAP filter result in an "alternate e-mail address" such as "info+Test."

 

It should simply be set up such that upon receipt if the sender is {insert your hotmail address here} or if your sender contains "hotmail.com" [if you want to cast a broad net] then move the message to the Test folder.

 

Screen shots of the filter rule set up as you create it at each step of the dialog, with the personal bits redacted, of course, would be most helpful as a starting point.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

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#3 wonderland78

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:01 PM

I took a screenshot here. I think just the one shot gets all the info across...

 

(it won't let me post imgur links but if you go there and then /a/FaYNW you should see it. Unless there's a better way to show an image here)

 

Pretty straightforward. Weird situation though. 

 

My only notion is that I have two accounts set up, one POP and one IMAP and that's causing some kind of confusion. But... changing the email address itself is a weird one.



#4 britechguy

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 07:32 PM

You can absolutely post imgur.com links here, people do it all the time, but I did find the image.

 

What are the options in the "Actions" dropdown?

 

Also, what shows up when you choose to Browse for a location?   I have to believe that if you're on the web interface for your e-mail service it has to be referring to its own IMAP folders that you create on the server, but that "./Test" strikes me as slightly odd.

 

I will also have to ask someone I know who's running an online list service that can be accessed via the web as well.  A great many of the e-mail addresses used for various purposes are of the X+Y format and I'd like to know what that equates to.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
              

 


#5 wonderland78

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 08:06 PM

The actions in the drop down are:

 

Discard Message

Redirect to Email

Fail with Message

Stop Processing Rules

Deliver to Folder

Pipe to a Program.

 

The Browse just shows a folder tree with all my current folders, inbox, junk, sent, Test etc.

 

I created the Test folder within Windows Live Mail and it then just propagated so it was visible everywhere. Been back and forth for almost a week with the tech support and they're taking more than 24 hours to reply, after which they tell me its fixed and then describe a totally different scenario that's been fixed - not my actual problem.



#6 wonderland78

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 02:58 PM

here's what the latest tech support said:

 

The IMAP account would sync and replicate the mail folders on our server or in your webmail interface to your mail client.

Pop3 accounts only sync the inbox and download these mails to your local machine.

With this type of setup I don't believe you can setup multiple folder and sync those.

 

 

To be honest, I'm not even sure what that last line means? It is normal to have folders/subfolders and server-side message rules though right? or am I some kind of mad person who's way ahead of his time??



#7 britechguy

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 06:15 PM

The way I interpret the above from tech support is that the second and third sentences should be one paragraph and taken as a unit.

 

POP does not use server side folders, but client side folders.

 

IMAP uses server side folders that are "mirrored" (for lack of a better term) on all devices that access the same account using IMAP.

 

I still have no response from the query about the "+{folder name here}" convention from the acquaintance that I've asked.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
              

 


#8 wonderland78

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 07:03 PM

yeah it's odd because I'm fully aware that you CAN have folders for IMAP and you can also have filters. But I feel that there's some kind of broken code on the sever side and the tech support folk just do not understand my problem - I simply want to have certain incoming messages moved to designated folders. 

 

thanks for trying with the guy you know. I had no idea switching from POP to IMAP could be so stubborn. It's not even complicated.



#9 britechguy

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Posted 02 November 2017 - 08:18 PM

The guy I know says the + format has absolutely nothing to do with IMAP in his system setup and, in fact, they don't even use it.

 

The only other thing I can suggest is that you try setting up your folders and filters using your e-mail client on the "master machine" before setting up the account for IMAP access on other devices.   These days any contemporary e-mail client is actually doing the creation by working in concert with the e-mail server.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
              

 


#10 wonderland78

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:52 AM

Hmmm. 

 

So I know windows live mail doesn't let you create message rules for IMAP, but Thunderbird does. Are you suggesting that rules created using the thunderbird software would then be mirrored back up to the server and subsequently any devices that accesses it?

 

I know I could probably have some local filters on a computer, but I'd hate to then check in online (through webmail) and have all email be in the inbox. I don't think that's what you're suggesting though, right?


Edited by wonderland78, 03 November 2017 - 12:53 AM.


#11 britechguy

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 10:40 AM

That is what I'm suggesting, but I've just done my experiment with Thunderbird and things don't work as expected.

 

If you set up a message filter in Thunderbird and it remains up and running and a message arrives that you tell Tbird to move to one of your IMAP folders the message does, indeed end up in that IMAP folder on the web interface to the same e-mail account.

 

However, if you then shut Tbird down, and send a subsequent message that meets the filter criteria, it does not end up in the correct IMAP folder when received at the web interface.   This tells you that the Tbird message filter is being run on the client side, and only the client side, so that the filtering will not be the same across devices unless you were to have Tbird running all the time.

 

The next time I fire up Tbird and it does it's first send/receive it recognizes those messages and filters them appropriately, and the messages are moved to the correct folder locations on the web interface as well.

 

This all tells me that Tbird is not setting up remote filtering in concert with the server, but is setting up local filtering (though I'm using IMAP folders as my move-to destinations), and that unless Tbird has received the e-mail, run it's filters, and moved the messages they will sit in the inbox elsewhere until it does.  This is clearly not what is wanted.

 

I actually want to thank you very much for forcing me (so to speak) to do this experiment to confirm the precise interactions between the e-mail client and the IMAP server.   I have to presume that there exists an e-mail client that would work in concert with an IMAP server to create the filters on the server side, but that client is not Thunderbird.   I have always done what you are attempting to do and set up my folders and filters entirely on the server side and let it do the filtering and moving of messages to the appropriate folders.   When this is done the results are always automatically reflected on every device that accesses the account via IMAP the moment it does it's next sync (send/receive) with the IMAP email server.   This behavior is one of the major things one hopes to get out of an IMAP access arrangement.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
              

 


#12 wonderland78

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:25 AM

most welcome :P now you know I guess!

 

yeah the thing I'm trying to do seems pretty simple and standard. Latest from the tech support guys is that they acknowledge an error and are in contact with their official cPanel support to address it. Finally. Here's what the code looks like (note this is a GLOBAL email filter for every account I own so at this level there's another check to make sure it's going to my business email):

 

==========================
#from (hotmail) to (business)
if
$header_from: contains "(insert my test hotmail account)"
or $header_to: contains "(insert my business email - info@businessemail.com)"
then
deliver "\"info+Test\"@businessemail.com"
endif
==========================

 

Where Test is the folder. Also, I guess that should be 'and' rather than 'or'.


Edited by wonderland78, 03 November 2017 - 11:26 AM.


#13 britechguy

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:54 AM

To be perfectly honest, I think the syntax for the "deliver" part is where the error is.

 

What you've described up to this point (and the 'if' syntax mirrors) is that if a specific message comes from a specific e-mail account or has been sent to a specific e-mail account then you want that message placed in a specific folder.  That placement is most commonly done with a 'move' command or similar.  I can't say whether the logical operator should be OR or AND, as this would be determined by exactly how you set up the filter criteria.  If you use the "if any are true" it will be an "OR" and if you used "if all are true" it would be AND.

 

'Deliver' has the clear meaning of sending it as an e-mail message to the address "info+Test"@businessemail.com  [note that the quotes around the part before the at sign are escaped, so would actually be included].   This makes no sense, at least to me if what you actually intend is just to plonk the message in the IMAP folder named Test if either one of the if conditions is met.

 

Something's definitely not right here.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website address in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose
              

 


#14 wonderland78

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 12:04 PM

yeah it's that plus which is messing it up. It should read something along the lines of:

 

deliver (or move as it were) to "\Test".

 

you would not believe how many times it took to explain the gist of this.

 

Just for a laugh, here's a rough transcript of one of the dialogues:

 

1. I explain my problem

2. They say: well have you tried turning those filters off and seeing if it sends/receives ok without them?

3. Yes I did this, it sends and receives without the filters. Then I turn the filters back on, and the message fail with the following error.

4. Glad it fixed the problem and you can now send and receive ok, let us know if you have any more questions.

 

Face palm.






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