Why can't I download my mail via POP3?

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Question

Sometimes when attempting to download mail, my mail client gives an error like this:

Your server has unexpectedly terminated the connection.
 Possible causes for this include server problems, network
 problems, or a long period of inactivity. Account:
 'account', Server: 'mail.domain.dom', Protocol: POP3,
 Server Response: '+OK 777 octets.', Port: 110, Secure(SSL):
No, Error Number: 0x800CCC0F

What does this error mean?

Answer

We have determined that if you are running Norton Anti-virus on the desktop computer in question, it can cause this error to occur if a message contains no body section. This is a perfectly legitimate message, but Norton is unable to download these emails, and so causes the error to occur.

If you turn off scanning of incoming email within Norton, you should find that you can then download your mail.

This is not a problem with GMS Mail but rather is a problem with Norton Anti-virus, and is covered in the Symantec Knowledge base here.

Norton seem to be aware of the problem, however we have informed them of the additional details we have found. At this time we have received no response from Norton.

To prevent these problem messages arriving in your mailbox, you can go to the Mail > System > Compliance page and enable the "Enforce RFC822 Header" option. In our experience, the majority of these messages do not conform to RFC822, so they can be succesfully blocked using this option.

Keywords:POP, Outlook, Norton, Octets

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