Monday, September 6, 2010

Email Passwords – BIG Annoyance

One of the most annoying questions I get all too often is something like:

I installed the new version of xyz (any email program here) and the program asks me for an email password. Can you help?

NO, I do not know your email password! I should not know it, it is your password! And actually I do not want to know your email password! 

The other annoying statement in this context is:

“I never had to type a password for my email; I don’t have one and never had one!?”

In my admittedly limited knowledge EVERY email account worldwide has a password. If you don’t know the password it is comparable to not knowing your home address or your birthday!

If I have set up your email account (the account, not the email program!) you may be lucky if you find a file name similar to “_Email Settings.txt” in your Documents folder; look there. 

If you use Thunderbird as your email program you may be lucky if you look in Tools, Options, Passwords, Saved Passwords, Show Passwords. This is for Thunderbird version 3.*!

Oh, and the part with “and never had one” is plainly wrong. Again, in my admittedly limited knowledge EVERY email account worldwide has a password.

This whole issue demonstrates excellently how much we have come to rely on our artificial memories, the computers. You definitely have typed your email password at least once and then set the email program to remember it. So you never got asked again and you forgot that you even have an email password. 

I am truly sorry, but I can’t help if you “forgot” your email password.

If you are seriously stuck you will have to call your ISP and ask for an email password reset. Write this new password down, precisely, including upper- and lower case! If you have trouble getting that into your email program I am glad to help. We can do that remotely!

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

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