Q: In the last couple of weeks I have had emails from two senders disappear from my Whidbey Telecom email server several hours or days before appearing in my Outlook 2010 inbox. In the case of emails from nwpathology.com the delay was just more than two hours. In the case of emails from redistricting.wa.gov the delays have been three or four days. The rest of my incoming email appears to be timely. 

I’ve called Whidbey Telecom tech support about this and was told that since I have a POP account, the emails no longer on the server must be someplace in my email client (Outlook). After searching every folder for one of them I was unable to find it. 

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Any ideas why this is happening? I’m reluctant to subscribe to Office 365, or to change to a Whidbey Telecom IMAP account, on account of the many correspondents and services I would have to notify of a new email address. 

Mary Hollen, Greenbank

A: The support person is correct that with POP3 accounts by default the emails are removed from the server and downloaded to your computer when you connect. Why they are not showing up right away in your Outlook inbox is a puzzle I don’t have a sure answer for. I would suspect that there’s a processing conflict in your service provider’s servers.

But there’s good news. Most email service providers, including Whidbey Telecom, support both POP3 and IMAP. You can change your email account from POP3 to IMAP without changing your email address. Here are instructions: https://www.whidbeytel.com/faq/email-setup/.

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And once you change to IMAP messages stay on the server until you delete them. Even better you can access messages from different devices and when an email is deleted on one device it will be deleted on all devices. In short, your email is synced across your devices.

If you nevertheless want to keep your email configured as a POP3 account you may want to configure it to leave messages on the server.

Here’s how:

1. After opening Outlook, click the File tab > Account settings > Account settings.

2. Highlight your current POP3 account and click Change.

3. Choose More settings and click Advanced.

4. You should see a check box titled: Leave a copy of messages on the server.

5. Check the box to enable Leave a copy of the message on the server.

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When I try to log on to Windows 10, the log on button doesn’t respond to the mouse click, no password field shows, and it appears slightly skewed within its box. Through fiddling with it, I’ve learned that if I hit Ctrl-Alt-Del, it will respond, give me the password field and I can log on.

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