Computer Related > Virgin email issues Miscellaneous
Thread Author: Bobby Replies: 34

 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Anyone else here with virgin email and have experienced the issues they have had last 48 hours.

Can’t believe it hasn’t had any media coverage. I am cynical as to what the issue was that a company the size of virgin lost email services for two days.

And yet again concerns me that I don’t have all my virgin emails backed up somewhere. Any suggestions what to do? I only use it in my phone and have it on browser on laptop. Could maybe periodically open up Outlook on my laptop and download everything to there but not sure if that would then remove them from the webmail itself?

I Do also have a gmail account which I don’t really use, that if there was an easy way of importing all my emails and folders into that?
 Virgin email issues - Duncan
On another car based forum, there is a 4 post discussion about this. Last poster says move away from VM. Yes, it's a nuisance, but you will be much better off in the long run.
 Virgin email issues - Rudedog
Any idea what the problem was?

I still have my NTL email address that was taken over by VM and noticed that everything seemed to stop some time Monday..... seems to be back to normal now but I guess any emails not received during the downtime are lost or held somewhere? I thought they might have been resent?

Just happened that I was expecting two confirmation emails on Monday which haven't turned up.
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
No idea what the issue was.
I THiNK all emails eventually came through, based on the fact that I had to reset two passwords for accounts and of course the link was sent to my email to do the reset. These eventually appeared though were time bound so no good to me.
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
I like Virgin email, probably my comfort zone of having it full of folders and sub folders.
On the rare occasion I use my gmail I always have to remind myself how its flag system works.
Wonder if I could export, folder by folder from virgin to gmail? Must take a look at some point.
 Virgin email issues - smokie
I'm with Virgin and didn't notice any problem, and had emails flowing in at usual pace yesterday. They have been known to have localised problems with quite a broad but not necessarily a national coverage.

One or two blokes on a forum doesn't persuade me it's time to move away from Virgin. Not for this kind of reason anyway. A lot of people have an anti-Virgin mindset for no good reason - as a general point, when you get to the bottom of the issues some people are having with their ISP, it is actually their own problem in some way but they are somewhat reluctant to admit it (or are somewhat oblivious to their own shortcomings).

In my experience Virgin are generally pretty robust and I don't see how one would know whether they are better or worse than the next ISP for likelihood of losing all your data for some reason.

However not having a backup of important emails is somewhat risky. I use Outlook which as my s in them it no longer matters what happens to the ISP. I guess if you found a client app which supports your gmail and Virgin mail you could simply drag the items from your Virgin folder to your Google folder. I think on the PC Thunderbird would do it (as would Outlook, but that costs). Then you'd need to work out how to maintain it.
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Yeah cheers Smokie. I think the backup is my priority. Every so often I look into it and scratch my head and leave it again.

Not sure if it’s true but previously been told if you ever leave Virgin as your broadband supplier, you lose access to your email?

I already have Outlook on my laptop, so would be willing to fire that up and download everything as a backup but I wouldn’t want to clear out my webmail. Years ago when I used to use Outlook , every time you synched it basically took everything from your webmail and downloaded it so if I then went onto my email on my phone nothing would be there. I would want to avoid that but am guessing that is maybe just a setting somewhere?
 Virgin email issues - Rudedog
I still seem to have a gap of emails from Monday lunchtime onwards - three emails for the whole of the 19th is odd for me so they must be somewhere - hopefully they'll appear soon.
 Virgin email issues - Kevin
>In my experience Virgin are generally pretty robust...

Pre-pandemic I spent two days in one of their data centers upgrading a Hadoop cluster. It was the worst environment I've ever seen in a DC. Filthy, aircon and power overloaded, old kit left running because they didn't know what it did, local console access(KVM) broken etc. etc.

If their other DCs are in the same state it wouldn't surprise me if the recent warm weather has had something to do with it.
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional
>> And yet again concerns me that I don’t have all my virgin emails backed up
>> somewhere. Any suggestions what to do? I only use it in my phone and have
>> it on browser on laptop. Could maybe periodically open up Outlook on my laptop and
>> download everything to there but not sure if that would then remove them from the
>> webmail itself?

..If you have Outlook that would probably be viable. I believe Virgin supports POP3 for mail, and if you add an account definition using this (not IMAP) then Outlook will download and maintain email copies locally.

Note that in order to retain the current functionality of your browser based access, you need to tick the box "Leave a copy of messages on the server" in the Outlook account, or they will disappear from there once downloaded to Outlook.

(I suspect that deletions carried out on the browser based versions won't be replicated in Outlook, which will have to be "weeded" separately once it has an email copy).
 Virgin email issues - Zero
I never use the ISP provided email service. It makes it much easier to move ISPs
 Virgin email issues - smokie
"I never use the ISP provided email service. It makes it much easier to move ISPs"

Ah yes, that explains why I didn't see a problem and my service is generally pretty good. Nor do I - senior moment, ignore my earlier post LOL
 Virgin email issues - Robbie34
I am with Virgin and my email went down on Monday and came back at about 4.00pm yesterday.
I then had over one thousand mails that consisted of forty-three repeats of every mail. Then, every mail was flagged as junk. It took me ages to delete all of the repeats. Again, this morning a lot of my mails were again flagged as junk.
 Virgin email issues - Rudedog
Looks like it's down again.

They did send out a warning last night of 'planned' work but they have now admitted that there are issues bringing the service back up today.

 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Definitely think I want to do something about this. Priority is backup of all my emails and folders that I currently have and then ultimately transfer them all to my gmail.

Anyone able to give me step by step for downloading to Outlook on laptop starting from scratch? And I wouldn’t want this to delete all the folders and emails from my webmail.

Have seen various websites that claim to be able to transfer from virgin to gmail via a third party software but very wary of paying for this service and also putting email logins and passwords into these other websites!
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Edit- just searched for outlook on my laptop and I think it’s now called Mail?
 Virgin email issues - sooty123
This might be a stupid and i may have missed/misunderstood, can't you send the emails you want from bobby@virgin to bobby@outlook by just clicking on the all the ones you want to keep and send them to the outlook account?
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Sooty I tried experimenting with that and they all come through as one email with attachments (think that’s best way to explain it)
I need to send one by one if I want the email to appear on its own in my gmail account.
 Virgin email issues - sooty123
I need to send one by one if I want the email to appear on
>> its own in my gmail account.

I take it there's quite a few?
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Yeah it’s not just my inbox, it’s all my folders
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional

I'm a bit wary of this, because I haven't done it for a while, and if done wrongly there is a chance of deleting mail from the server (meaning you won't be able to reference via webmail).

There is also scope for some confusion.

Originally, eMail tended to use the POP3 protocol for access. Under this method, mail was downloaded to the local machine and (by default) deleted from the hosting mail server. It was generally used when only one device was used for mail access.

Over the years, with the onset of accessing mail from multiple devices, much has moved to the IMAP protocol, where the mail is maintained on the server, and access and changes from multiple devices are reflected back to the server, and synchronised around those multiple devices.

If you define an account in Outlook for your VM mail, it will likely default to IMAP, maintaining the data on the server, and withall the issues you're experiencing when the server copy is borked.

From research, it would appear that VM will still support POP3, and this could be usable in Outlook (as a backup method).

Essentially, it would (at the point you do a send/receive folder(s) download/update a copy of the mail server's contents to a local version in Outlook). This would ensure you have a local copy (to the point of last send/receive) that you can refer to offline, even if the server is borked. Any resulting .pst file can also be backed up for future restoration.

It needs care in use, and frankly, alongside the preferred IMAP access from other devices (or through webmail on the "Outlook device), I would only use it for a security copy, doing a folder refresh say daily but not actively sending/receiving mail in normal use.

NOTE The POP3 account must be set up to "Leave a copy of all messages on the server" (it's a tick-box option) otherwise an outlook send/receive will remove said messages as it downloads them, rendering them unavailable to IMAP access from elsewhere (webmail, etc).

It is unlikely that deletions carried out via webmail will be replicated in the Outlook copy, and, I suspect, but can't remember, that sent messages from Outlook will not hit webmail copies (which is why I'd use it only as a backup).

It's a bit limited, but what it does do is keep you a local, referenceable copy of everything just in case your ISP screws up.

 Virgin email issues - smokie
Good plan but wouldn't an easier method be to just set up Outlook with the Virgin mail (still using IMAP) and then set up an offline data file (pst) and drag the folders across once in a while (maybe delete the folder before dragging to prevent duplication within folders). ? And back up the pst file in the interim.

And, as I think you are intimating, don't send mail from Outlook as it wouldn't be properly "filed" automatically.
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional's not a method I've used, but at first glance I'd be concerned that the drag process would remove the server originals when putting them in the offline file?

You can certainly archive (automatically if wished) to a local copy, but AIUI this also removes the server copy.

I wanted to leave the IMAP functionality from other devices unaffected.

Running POP3 in parallel (with care) gives you an immediately referenceable and usable copy without further work if the server copies are unavailable (subject to size constraints and care with any interim use).

Some time back, when Bobby "repaired/upgraded" his laptop, he mentioned finding a version of Office, but he now may not have it (and Outlook) since he mentions Windows Mail. A quick check indicates (though there are various opinions) that this doesn't allow one to keep a copy on the server using POP3, so wouldn't be viable. Thunderbird is free, and would appear to support it, though.
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Cheers TnE, out tonight but will take a look at this on my return.
I definitely still have that copy of MS Office, whatever version it is I’m not sure!
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional
...You'd need the VM POP3/SMTP settings.

This appears to give you the appropriate info, and highlights some of the issues of mixing POP3 and IMAP.

Don't forget the "leave messages on server"!
 Virgin email issues - smokie
Yep, maybe dragging isn't the right way but you can copy a folder to elsewhere (in another mail store if you like) by right click then it asks you for the destination.
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional
....having had a play, and considering "safety" aspects, then I think there may be a better way.

Patently, any local copy of data and any migration will only be an option once and if the data is restored to the server, and can be retrieved.

The following might work better for Bobby, and be safer:

Connect to the VM account in Outlook using IMAP, and set the data synchronisation period to "All" such that the full history is available in Outlook.

Outlook can then be used entirely normally as an additional, fully synchronised mail client alongside 'phone, webmail, etc.

Then i)

Periodically, "export" that Outlook VM account to to a .pst file, which will keep a backup local and offline. (I think it's possible to increment an existing export, but for safety I'd keep dated full copies, throwing -2 away when the current one is finished).

If/when required, that exported .pst file can be opened from within Outlook. I've just done it, and all the items are there, but what you can do mail-wise might be constrained. You can certainly read inbox/sent message contents, etc. but I doubt you can process mail via send/receive.

In the event of long term outage, a .pst export could be (re-)imported into an Outlook POP3 account (not necessarily of the same name, though it must be a valid account as Outlook won't set up without contacting the account - I've also done that in the past with some of my archived mail, and my Outlook has that now).

All the above is relatively easy to do, and is less likely to result in potentially catastrophic errors than mixed POP3/IMAP working.

Or ii)

Interestingly enough, having got the data into a .pst, (via export as above) it would appear there should be a method of transferring that to Gmail using Google's free migration tool. I can't vouch for any of it (don't use Gmail) but the methodology is outlined here:

The link to the migration tool in the webpage is certainly "live" and the instructions seem relatively straightforward. This might well be a way to achieve the one-off migration from VM to Gmail, and abandon VM mail.

 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Ok, I checked and I had Outlook 2013 so set it up with my email address and it seemed to do everything else itself. I could not find any box to tick to keep emails on the virgin webmail. IMAP seemed to be the default setting?

Anyway I now have an Outlook back up of all my emails and folders which was the first priority so thanks for your help in achieving that. And I still seem to have all my folders and emails still on my webmail and my mail app on my iPhone so that’s a good result.

Now if I could somehow export these to my gmail it would be a double result but I think what we have said earlier is this isn’t possible, am I right?
 Virgin email issues - Bobby
And just to add, I deleted two emails from my inbox on outlook as a test and they deleted from the webmail as well.
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional
...yes, the default will be IMAP, which will work fully synchronised.

The problem with going IMAP, and why I first recommended POP3, is that though you now have local copies, if the server gets emptied by a problem, the next time you connect and synchronise it is liable to remove all your local copies at that point (making it look like what is on the server - i.e. nowt).

So, though it provides you an offline copy, it doesn't provide a safe local backup.

Having rethought things after Smokie's input, however, I had already recommend a way using IMAP/Outlook, and since you now have it, I'd strongly recommend it.

See my last post above, which gives you a method of taking a safe backup at intervals that you can safely reference even if the server gets emptied (Export to .pst). It is very easy from where you've got to. An exported .pst can be opened from within Outlook (Export and Open are both under the "file" option on the menu bar)

Alternatively, with an exported .pst there appears to be a relatively easy way of importing into Gmail using Google's own free migration tool.

Export doesn't remove the "master" copy.

 Virgin email issues - Bobby
Cheers again TnE, will take a look at that and get back to you. On first reading the migration tool looks doable but I just want to check, and double check that not open will I not lose info, I don't want to end up with duplicate after duplicate of the same thing.

In fact you know something, as I type this, I think before I do anymore, I will go through my emails and folders and actually delete what I will never need again.

This may be a scary experience ......... will report back when done.

Cheers again.
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional
...the export to .pst is read-only, and definitely shouldn't lose anything from your existing data. I haven't/can't test the migration tool, so can't vouch for the fact that it will successfully transfer everything to Gmail (though you would think it's in Google's interest to make it work).

The "open .pst" option from within Outlook looks OK (I've exported to .pst one of my "minor" accounts, and then opened the results in Outlook. It loads separately from existing accounts, and it looks usable - it can be removed from outlook simply by closing the file (right-click option) - the file itself is not deleted).

The export process simply requires you to select export under the file menu, and follow the instructions. (Export to a File/.pst - select the account and include subfolders).
 Virgin email issues - smokie
Are we thinking you'll set up the GMail in Outlook, for that's what I do (along with my mods email account here, and my ISP account).

I can easily move stuff manually between folders in any of the accounts, either "copying" or "moving" as I want.

Because I have the accounts set up fully on Outlook, when I draft and email I have a choice which account to send it from. It defaults to my ISP account.

The pst files are all in a folder called My Email files in My Documents, which I can back up - but I have to make sure I'm not in Outlook otherwise my sync program skips them (with an appropriate error message, but I usually ignore them :-) ).

All of the GMail folders are still on the GMail server (thus available to me when I'm out and about) but I do trust Google somewhat more than Virgin or any other ISP to not lose data! So for instance I have folder for each holiday, as I have mails with flight bookings, accommodation, car hire etc etc. All the sending and receipt off emails takes place through my ISP account but I file the stuff to the Gmail account so it is with me when I'm away. I wouldn't want a copy in my local store as well. Similarly there us stuff I don't need while I'm away for which I have folders in the ISP store.
 Virgin email issues - tyrednemotional
>> Are we thinking you'll set up the GMail in Outlook, for that's what I do
>> (along with my mods email account here, and my ISP account).

I interpreted that Bobby would ideally prefer to continue his current practice (largely webmail/Gmail App) without the added daily intervention of Outlook.

There was also a flavour of entirely ditching VM mail if he could get everything natively into his Gmail account.

The migration process might well give him the latter. If he didn't then trust Gmail to be reliable (it is likely to be more so than VM) then he could simply add his Gmail account to Outlook and ignore it other than periodically synchronising it and exporting a .pst as a backup. If he did chose to trust it, then he could de-install Outlook and simply rely on Gmail.
 Virgin email issues - smokie
Ah OK, I've not re-read it but I thought he said he already had Outlook.

Losing VM completely would mean a new email address wouldn't it? I think they let them drag on for 6 months after you close the account but I know my mate's was cut off fairly quickly, much to his disgust!!
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