Email POP Error Messages

Understanding Email POP Error Messages

People dislike having error messages, especially when it is computer-related. In case of emails, especially those that are configured or set to use the Pose Office Protocol (POP), it can be somehow devastating. Since most people only know the computer usage basics, they usually don’t know what the error message means, let alone what POP is.

Email POP Error Messages
Email POP Error Messages


When it comes to downloading email in your mailbox, some things can go wrong. These errors could either be the cause of your computer settings or maybe, your email password is wrong, which occurs most of the time. The server also could experience some internal problems, therefore sending you an error message.


A POP server, fortunately, is very clear when it comes to its status. As a basic, it only knows two definite replies: the positive +OK and the negative –ERR status. However, the –ERR is somewhat unspecified, therefore leaves you wondering whether it’s you or them that has gone wrong. But also, it turns out that +OK and –ERR are new codes you have to learn if you want to understand what POP error messages mean.  It somehow encouraging that it’s somehow written in English, provided that you understand the language well.


When it comes to –ERR messages, the first thing that can go wrong is the POP server does not recognize your name. There are three known things that can cause this problem: maybe you had typed your credentials wrong, maybe the identification server is down or, in worst case, a TCP Ping Flood had destroyed your ISP’s storage where the mail, including yours, are being kept.


If your POP Server doesn’t recognize your name, it will display this error message: -ERR mailbox unknown. If your password is wrong, it will display this one: “-ERR invalid password”.


Always keep in your mind that the POP Sever can only be accessed by one incoming connection at a time. So if you’re email checker has already logged you in, your email program cannot access it at the same time. In this case, this message will be displayed, somehow: “-ERR unable to lock mailbox”.


When the POP Client has successfully logged into your account, it will start retrieving messages, one at a time. In this case, a possible error message will appear: “ -ERR no such message. Looks like the client has a problem”. This problem usually occurs when you try to move or delete a message that doesn’t exist or is already deleted.


However, when a POP session cannot remove all messages (possibly because of an internal error), it will reply with this one: “-ERR some deleted messages not removed”.