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Google mail folders dissapeared

Bing a Virginmedia customer since Telewest days, I have LOADS of emails for everything from moving house to changing jobs, all stored in folders (cabinets). However, this morning, the number of folders has dropped from the 30+ I had to less than 10. The others are there in my client but greyed out, however online they aren't there at all, just the 10 I have left.

It's not me, I haven't done anything (if I had accidentally deleted them, the contents would be in the trash and thats not the case). I'm not sure how to contact anyone because if I phone the helpdesk, I'l get through to an overseas contact centre that only know how to test broadband.

Any thoughts or suggestions please as Virgin have lost years worth of emails 😞

thanks

Nick

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

Hello

The ones that are greyed out are more than likely not stored on the server but on the computer, which client are you using ?

When creating a folder on a client normally stores this locally on the computer and not on the server.

Regards Mike

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

No, promise, they were on the server. Under My Folders, Google Mail, Cabinet.

When I look at the properties of one of the greyed out ones it shows as its path:

imap://my-email-address.blueyonder.co.uk@imap.virginmedia.com/%5BGoogle%20Mail%5D/Cabinet

But to answer your question, mixed clients. Thunderbird on my desktop pc, gmail on my tablet, samsung mail on my phone and they showed up on all devices yesterday, but on no devices today. I wouldn't be able to see them across all devices if they were local.

 

Nick

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

 

VM’s Acceptable Use Policy has always made it perfectly clear that it is the customer’s responsibility to back up their emails.

See - https://www.virginmedia.com/shop/the-legal-stuff/acceptable-use-policy

Paragraph 6.5 in particular.

None of the large-scale (free) email providers offers a recovery service at individual file or folder level. Why? - probably because it’s very expensive to both provide one and service it on a large scale (some users would report inadvertent data deletion every week I suspect) – and it would make the providers liable to potential legal damage claims if the recovery fails.

That said, your case seems somewhat different from the average. A few thoughts -

a) You suggest that all your missing folders were subfolders within the (Google Mail) folder set. Yes/No? My recollection is that the Google Mail set was provided as a transition aid for the migration process to VM Webmail and any data in these folders should have been moved (by you) to new named folders set up under My Folders (I certainly did). I don’t think VM has ever clarified what you should do with the Google Mail folders after the migration so it shouldn’t be a factor really.

b) Are/were you anywhere near your Mail Quota of 25Gb (bottom left under folder list)?

c) losing a single folder can happen quite easily, but losing 20+ is decidedy strange.

If you reply to my observations, I’ll escalate this for attention by the Forum Team.

 

 

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

I was a Telewest user, then they merged with NTL, then Virginmedia. I always had iMap folders. I didn't put them in the "google" folder, Virginmedia did during one of their several migrations. However, they also didn't ask me to ever move them or put them somewhere different.

Either way, all of them were under "Cabinet" under My Folders, Google. But only 2/3rds of them have dissapeared, not all of them. I do backup my pc, but since email is imap based, they never really exist locally, so there would be no point in me doing a restore because I'd only have cached emails locally and the second my client connected, it would re-sync and they'd be gone again. So I do back up, particularly photos, but backing up an imap mail service isn't something that is practical and nor to VM provide a backup method for imap. I would have to use pop3 and download everything locally in order to be responsible for my own data security so the AUP you reference isn't particularly helpful.

I'm not at my quota - well not now at least. It shows 1.74GB of 25GB used. There would have been more, but certainly less than 8gb.

Hope that clarifies things....

Nick

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

Backing up IMAP-connected emails is absolutely possible and strongly adviseable. The emails are all in one place – on the server – and can be accessed by multiple remote devices. To backup emails which are on the VM servers you need to use a specialist backup utility – google this - “email backup software” - and read all about it. I use Mailstore Home (free to individual home users).

Debating who should have said or done what on migration from Google Mail is history.

If all the missing emails disappeared overnight, can you say which device you last accessed the missing “Cabinet” emails from at that time?

 

 

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

Yes, my desktop that I use 99% of the time, using the thunderbird client. It started up this morning and gave an error that it couldn't access some folders. I checked on my phone and no error, just no folders. Logged in to webmail (which I never use) and no folders.

I also checked the obvious like they hadn't been dragged and dropped somewhere.

Re backup, regardless of their AUP, I wouldn't expect a mail provider to lose a customers emails. One would expect a company as large as VM to look after them. With other email providers (eg Microsoft), you have online tools to manage and recover deleted emails and even if I'd deleted them (which I haven't), I'd expect to be able to recover them from trash.

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Message 8 of 12
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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

This is beginning to sound like a T-Bird problem which is not my specialist subject, so I’ll throw it open for comments from The Forum Team and any others.

@NikTheGeek – wait here for for further responses.

 

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

In Thunderbird, try:

  • right click on mailbox folder and select Subscribe… from pop-up menu
  • if shown select all selectable folders under [Gmail]
  • select OK

If the [Gmail] folder is not shown then it likely no longer exists on the email server.To re-affirm this enter the following command in a a terminal / command shell window; where username:password is your email address, colon, password, for example richard.branson@virginmedia.com:Xy3a2siz:

 curl imaps://imap.virginmedia.com -u username:password

Is the [Gmail] folder listed in the resulting output?

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Re: Google mail folders dissapeared

Genius!! That was the issue. They were unsubscribed. They were all there in the subscription list, but most of them were unticked. I ticked them and then they showed up in Thunderbird and all the mail downloaded and was visible again. So in short, I haven't lost a thing. They also now show up in webmail too which they didn't before.

No idea how it happened but to be honest I don't care as long as its now back - and at least I know what to look for if it ever happens again.

I'm very grateful to you and Bill for taking the time to respond to me.

Kind regards,

Nick

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