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Why can't Outlook XP collect from multiple accounts at once?


Outlook XP gives the following error message when you attempt to collect email from several accounts at the same time

"Your incoming (POP3) e-mail server has reported an internal error. If you continue to receive this message, contact your server administrator or Internet service provider (ISP). The server responded: -ERR Busy – please try later."


Outlook XP attempts to make multiple connections to GMS Mail concurrently in order to collect email from multiple accounts. There is no technical reason why Outlook should do this – running multiple connections simultaneously rather the consecutively will not yield a performance benefit against high performance mail servers such as GMS Mail.

GMS Mail has anti-abuse software installed to prevent clients from making multiple connections to your server. This feature prevents errant people causing a denial of service attack by tying up all your resources.

Outlook XP’s first connection is successful. When Outlook XP attempts to make the second, third, etc. connections, GMS Mail correctly rejects the connection immediately with the error "-ERR Busy – please try later.&quot. This is the expected result.

There are two solutions:

  • Configure Outlook XP to check the accounts consecutively.
  • Reduce the protection provided by GMS Mail. In order to reduce protection, go to the Security > Sessions section of the GUI and set the limit on the number of POP sessions to a new maximum (default is 1) dependant on the number of simultaneous connections you wish to allow.

Keywords:Outlook, XP, POP, collect, collection, busy, try, later, POP3, mail bagging

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