Daily Email Problems And How To Minimise Them

Daily Email Problems And How To Minimise Them

Everyone who uses email daily agrees it’s easy, quick, and effective, but it comes with its frustrations. When it works smoothly, all is good, but it’s when things go wrong, don’t work, or just…stop, that tensions can mount. From email, calendar, and contact syncing issues to security or even migrating to another provider, we look at the most common daily email and related problems and how to minimise them.

Why aren’t my calendar and contacts syncing between my PC and all my devices?

Calendars are an essential part of office life, and you need to see your appointments instantly, especially if you’re a manager or director who has their time booked well in advance. Likewise, your contacts list needs to be available to you at the touch of a button. You need to be connected to your workplace and your contacts all the time, so it’s crucial that everything syncs across all your devices. But what about when it can’t or won’t sync? Here’s how you can fix it on some of the most commonly used apps.

Outlook App

  1. Calendar
  2. Go to Calendar and tap the three lines 
  3. Under your email account, make sure Calendar is selected


  1. (iOS): Go to Settings > Outlook > Contacts and make sure Background App Refresh is on
  2. (Android): Go to Settings > Applications > Outlook > make sure Contacts is on > open your Outlook app > go to Settings > Your account > tap Sync contacts

Gmail App

  1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Exchange > tap the email address that’s not syncing
  2. Make sure both Calendar and Contacts are both turned on before checking they work

iOS Mail App

  1. Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts > Exchange > tap the email address that’s not syncing
  2. Make sure both Calendar and Contacts are both turned on before checking they work

Samsung Email App

  1. Go to Settings > Accounts > Exchange > tap the email address that’s not syncing
  2. Make sure both Calendar and Contacts are both turned on before checking they work

It’s worth noting that it might not be set up to sync if your email address isn’t showing in these settings. You’ll need to delete your account and add it again using POP (rather than IMAP) mail settings. For Gmail apps, you may also need to ensure it has permission to access both your calendar and contacts. And of course, different devices may have different set-up processes if your app or system software is an older version. 

If you’re having difficulties, a short term workaround is to remotely access your work computer from wherever you are, giving you full access to your calendar and contacts. But syncing issues can get confusing, so if in doubt, book an appointment with us to go through it with you for a long-term fix.

How to set up and use your spam filter

No one likes being bombarded with spam emails. Whether they’re designed to rip you off financially or offering you some ‘too good to be true’ offer, the best place for them is inside your spam or junk folder.

On a commercial email system, spam filters will usually be handled by your IT dept. But if you’re using a free provider like Gmail or Outlook, they come automatically set up for you. You can easily change and adjust spam filter settings by using your desktop versions (or apps if applicable) to fine-tune them and cut down on the amount of spam that makes it through – here’s how:

Outlook webmail

  1. Go to Settings > View all Outlook settings > Mail > Junk email
  2. Change your settings and click save

Gmail webmail

  1. Click the cog icon > click ‘See all settings’
  2. Click on ‘Filters and blocked address’ at the top > click ‘Create a new filter’
  3. Fill in the relevant details > click ‘Create filter

Apple Mail desktop

  1. Go to Mail > Preferences > Junk Mail
  2. Make sure ‘Enable junk mail filtering’ is checked and select options below
  3. Check ‘Perform custom actions’ and click ‘Advanced…’ to create new filter settings

Samsung Email app

  1. Click any email from a spam sender
  2. Tap the dots (…) at the top of the screen
  3. Tap ‘Mark as spam’

My sent emails are going into the recipient’s junk folder – how do I solve this?

There are few problems more frustrating than one of your emails going directly into the recipient’s junk or spam folder – especially if you’ve sent to them before. There are several reasons why this might happen, including inaccurate info, using words or punctuation that can trigger spam filters, or even sending certain attachments. Here’s how you can fix it:

1. Spot potential issues before you send

Just because your email looks OK to you, doesn’t mean it will get through everyone’s spam filter. Using a site like Mail Tester will analyse every part of your email and tell you where it might be failing.

2. Set up email authentication

If your email address is based on a custom domain name (rather than a Gmail, Yahoo, or similar email), email authentication methods need to be in place so your email looks trustworthy to spam filters.

3. Use a separate email sending (SMTP) server

If you’re having issues with emails from your website, rather than relying on your host’s SMTP server, you can use a (usually) free plugin that should improve deliverability. This one can be trickier to implement, but book an appointment with us and we can talk you through it.

4. Keep your email simple

The content and design of your email can also work against spam filters. To increase your chances of getting through, avoid overly large images, don’t use spammy text, don’t include dubious links, and make sure your sender info is included.

5. Get recipients to add approve your email

A good coverall to avoid your emails go straight to spam is to ask your recipients to ‘whitelist’ (or ‘safelist’) your email address by adding it into their contact list or address book.

How to whitelist an email address or domain

Adding email addresses to a safelist is an ideal way to completely avoid the risk of good emails going to bad places – yours included. This is perfect when you need to ask customers or colleagues to whitelist your email as well as putting it in place so you get theirs.

How to whitelist an email address with Outlook

Outlook online has two ways to do this:

  1. Add the email to your contacts: Click the ‘Applications’ logo > select ‘People’ > enter the first and last name and the email address of the contact > click ‘Create’
  2. Add contact to safe senders: Click the cog icon > select ‘View all Outlook settings’ > select ‘Mail’ > select ‘Junk Mail’ > select ‘Safe senders and domains’ > enter the email address of the contact > press ‘Enter’ > click ‘Save’

How to whitelist an email address with Gmail

Gmail has three ways to do this:

  1. Add the email to your contacts: Click the ‘Contacts’ link in your Google Apps button > click ‘Create contact’ > add details > click ‘Save’
  2. Whitelist any emails already in spam: Click your ‘Spam’ folder > select the non-spam email to open it > click ‘Not spam’ at the top of the email
  3. Add a filter: Click the cog icon and ‘See all settings’ > Click on ‘Filters and blocked address’ at the top > click ‘Create a new filter’ > add the relevant details > click ‘Create filter > on the next form page, check the ‘Never send it to spam’ box > click ‘Create filter’

How to whitelist an email address with Apple Mail

  1. Go to Mail > Preferences > Junk Mail > click ‘Enable junk mail filtering’ > set your choice of conditions > click OK

How to whitelist an email address with Samsung email

  1. Add the email to your contacts: Select the email to open it > click the ‘From’ address > select ‘Add to contacts’ > click ‘Create contact’ > click ‘Save’

How to secure and protect my email address

Although there are certain levels of security built-in with any email client, it pays to add a couple of extra layers of security to protect your email. Not only will this ensure you’re not leaving your email account vulnerable to hackers, it will also ensure the data you send and receive is safe too. Here are a few things you can do to make your email more secure:

1. Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication means rather than just relying on one password to access your email, you need a second piece of information as well. With many email clients, like Gmail and Outlook, you can easily go into your settings and set up two-step authentication which will send a verification code to your phone each time you log in. 

2. Don’t forward emails

Forwarding group emails you’re included in is easy to do and sometimes done without a second thought. But there are certain things you should remember before doing so, such as who else will it and where is the email stored? Forwarding emails means you’re compromising your email address and data by sharing it with dozens of others on potentially insecure and unencrypted servers.

3. Add an expiration date

While email is a fast and easy way to send information, plenty of us don’t delete our emails often enough. Any email you send that has sensitive data or information included will sit in your inbox and on a server with that information still contained. By setting up an auto expiration date on any emails you send with confidential information, you can be sure the email is deleted safely and securely.

How to add an expiration date on an email with Outlook

  1. Open the properties window for the email, then click Messages > Tags
  2. This will open the Properties window for the email, which you can also do by clicking Options > More Options, or File > Properties 
  3. Switch on the ‘Expires after’ checkbox then select a suitable date and time > click ‘Close’

How to add an expiration date on an email with Gmail

  1. Click ‘Compose’
  2. At the bottom of the email window, click the ‘Confidential Mode’ icon (it looks like a padlock and a clock)
  3. Choose your expiration time from the options given. Click ‘Save’

Can I transfer my email address(es) to another provider?

In a word, yes. If you’re not happy with your current email provider for any reason, you can switch to another – and there are plenty of providers to choose from. While it might seem a little daunting to do, especially if you’ve been with your current provider for a long time, it can be done – and without losing all your emails too. Here’s how:

1. Keep your old email provider as long as possible

However you feel about your old email account, always keep it for as long as possible, just to make sure the changeover has gone smoothly. No matter how many people you tell about the change, there will always be a few emails that come in who won’t be aware of the change.

If you’re switching from a work email, they’ll have a limit on how long they will forward emails or allow your email to work before they deactivate it.

2. Create your new email account and address

When switching to a new provider, it’s best to use a free one such as Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook. Apart from being some of the most common email providers, they also have a good amount of security built-in as well. Setting up your account should be straightforward, and you’ll be asked to provide your name and what you want your new email address to be. Your first choice of address may be taken already, so have a few options that you like at the ready.

3. Forward your emails to your new account

Once you’re set up, you can now forward the emails that are in your old account into your new account. Because you’re ‘forwarding’ them, the emails will stay in your old account until you delete them or close the account.

How to forward emails to Gmail

  1. Click the cog icon and ‘See all settings’ > Click on ‘Accounts and Import’ at the top > Scroll to ‘Check email from other account’ > click ‘Add a mail account’. 
  2. Enter your old email address and make sure the ‘Treat as an alias’ box is checked so your reply will come from your new Gmail account.
  3. Make sure you keep the ‘Send through Gmail’ option selected. 
  4. Click ‘Send verification’ to prove you own your old email address.
  5. Once you’re all set, go back to ‘See all settings’ > Click on ‘Accounts and Import’ at the top > Scroll to ‘Send mail as’ > click ‘Always reply from the default address’ (which should display your new Gmail email address).

How to forward emails to Outlook

  1. Click the cog icon and scroll down to ‘View all Outlook settings’. 
  2. Click ‘Mail’ > ‘Sync email’ > Select either ‘Gmail’ or ‘Other email accounts’.
  3. Fill out your name, email address, and password and choose where your imported emails will be stored. You can then create a new folder for imported email or ‘Import into existing folders’.
  4. You should also ‘Set default From address’ which is important as you move contacts over to your new email account. 

Get email support from Geeks On Wheels

When it comes to email, whether you use it every day or not, setting up, switching providers, or any kind of troubleshooting can be hard work if you’re not sure what you’re doing. While some things might be simple for some, they can be nothing but confusing for others, so when you need some specialist advice or tech support to help you, Geeks on Wheels can get you sorted. 

Whether you’re Mac/PC or iPhone/iPad/Android user, we offer full on-site support at our premises as well as full remote support if you can’t make it in for every home or business user. Contact us today and we’ll make sure you’re email is set up smoothly, efficiently – and correctly.

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