Google’s free online email program Gmail (gmail.com) offers a great deal in the way of web email services. First, you get a lot of space for your emails, currently 7,250 MB (7+ Gigabytes!).
Gmail has great spam filtering, with few false negatives — that is, Gmail seldomly thinks that spam isn’t spam. Unfortunately, I can’t really comment on false positives, as I don’t use Gmail enough to know how many emails it thinks are spam that really aren’t.
Many people use Gmail for their various mailing lists, as it’s reading interface does an excellent job of grouping related messages.
Google also offers, for free, the ability to download emails from Gmail to your favorite POP3 email client (Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Eudora, etc.). Even more amazing, it offers outbound SMTP mail service, too.
This week, Charlie K. wrote me to ask about troubles he was having with Outlook and Gmail:
I have a G-mail address which I access via Outlook using POP3.
That all works well, except when I email myself (I often cc myself as a reminder on mails I have sent).
When I do that the email arrives in my G-Mail inbox OK, but accessing via POP3 does not get the mail downloaded to Outlook.
Is there some fault on my part – or is this just a “feature” of Google’s mail service??
I wrote back to Charlie that I hadn’t experienced the problem, but that I did not use Gmail’s POP3 (download emails to my computer) functions. I tried emailing my Gmail account, using a From address that matched my To address at gmail.com. The message showed up as new and unread, exactly as I expected.
Charlie wrote back with some more critical information, and the logical answer, too:
Thanks for the very quick reply.
I think I have resolved the problem via the Google Mail Help Group.
To paraphrase a response to a similar question to mine
"if you are sending from Outlook via your Gmail account (i.e. using
smtp.gmail.com), then the cc will appear to Gmail as a "send to yourself".
Gmail ignores such messages as it sees the sent copy as sufficient.
Pretty sure that is my situation.
Incidentally, that is what happens if I send via the G-Mail account, but if
I send via my ISP’s mail server, then it all works normally.
In other words, Charlie was using Gmail both as his inbound email server (where he gets his emails) and his outbound email server (the one he uses to send emails).
Since his From address ended "@gmail.com", Gmail considered that he had read the email he sent, so it did not deliver it when he downloaded his new emails.
That makes perfect sense.