Why You Haven’t Seen Gmails From Me – Solved!

Over the past few days I sent some emails that I thought would stimulate some discussion, but I heard no replies.  OK, well people are busy, no problem. But then when I sent something from my iPhone today, I got some pretty quick responses. After checking with a couple of folks, it became clear that they were receiving emails sent from my iPhone but not from my home computer.

Recently I migrated from a mailbox hosted at my domain name’s ISP over to Gmail. The transition was seamless, because my email address is on my “briandesousa.com” domain, giving me the ability to route it to both the ISP mailbox and to Gmail at the same time. After the transition, I continued forwarding my briandesousa.com email address to Gmail, in part so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassles of changing addresses. Although it was easy enough to update the “reply to” address, the gmail.com address is still in the headers when using the Gmail SMTP (outgoing mail) server.  The Gmail configuration has the option to use another SMTP server, so I used my ISP’s SMTP server instead of Gmail’s. No more gmail.com in the headers, problem solved.

With the transition complete, I deleted the old mailbox on the ISP. Well, there was one problem with that. My ISP’s SMTP servers require authentication. The authentication is the username and password for the mailbox. So when I deleted the mailbox, I also cut off the SMTP server access. OOPS!

Although this mistake is 100% my fault, there were a few oddities which had caused me not to pick up on this when I made that fatal error way back on January 14.  First, there was no reporting whatsoever from Google/Gmail that the SMTP server specified was invalid or unreachable. Second, any outgoing emails in which I copied myself would show up as a new unread message in my Gmail. Gmail must be set up to bypass the SMTP server if it knows the address is local.

Thankfully I didn’t have this problem with my cabin rental email address going to the same Gmail account, as I hadn’t gotten around to changing the SMTP server for that address. Yet, the fact that I could still carry on email conversations with propsective renters was another reason I didn’t pick up on the outgoing email problem for the other address!

All is fixed now, and I’ve gotten around to resending everything important from January 14 to today, February 2. But please drop me a line if you’ve been expecting a response from me but heard nothing!