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I can't get into my email

Tuning in

Yesterday my email suddenly stopped working both via Windows Live Mail (asked me to sign in but that didn't work) and I couldn't access my email on webmail either. I can't change the password as I've never had a paying Virgin account so it doesn't have any security questions for me. I tried a chatbox and they said my account had been transferred to Talktalk and to contact them. Is that possible? I signed up for the free virgin email about 20 years ago. It's my main email address - with medical stuff, utility, insurance info so it's important to have access. Is there any way I can access my mailbox again?

Can someone help please?



You should read this post for more information:

If you are lucky enough to regain temporary access you should back up all your emails and prepare to migrate to another email address, preferably not one provided by an ISP.

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I Drink and I
Remember Things.

Only mark a post as helpful if your issue has been resolved.

Forum Team
Forum Team

Hi @CarolineW1952,

Thank you for your post, and welcome to our Forums.

I'm really sorry to hear you're having trouble with accessing your email. As mentioned by @Sololobo, depending on your circumstances, your email could be identified as an "Orphan Email". You have mentioned that you have never had a paying Virgin service, does this include Virgin Media?

Do you have a Broadband service with us? If you have spoken to us through our Live Chat, the agent may be referencing to a transfer of a service such as a Landline number. If you have moved to TalkTalk, your email would not have been transferred. As a result, it would have been permanently deleted 90 days after disconnection.

If this has been the case, where you have cancelled or your email is identified as an "Orphan Email", the email address will most likely have been deleted, we are unable to retrieve any contents or logins for this.



Reece - Forum Team

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Hi Reece

Thanks for your reply.

My email account was a free address over 20 years ago. I've never had a virgin media package.

I use my email all the time. It suddenly stopped working two days ago when I was trying to send an email with attachments to several people. I think maybe this was flagged as suspicious activity. The email wouldn't send and a box popped up wanting my logon details but then wouldn't recognise them.

I regularly sign in to access my email on the Virginmedia website and tried this but it said my mailbox was unavailable. I don't believe that Virginmedia just deleted my account. The error message I get mentions suspicious activity and asks me to change my password. However, I can't do this because it wants to send a link to my email account which is locked. So it's Catch 22. I can get to a further page on the website but it asks for my mother's maiden name - but it doesn't recognise my answer - perhaps because I never had to put this detail in when I set up the account 20 years ago.

I have a gmail account - could Virgin send a link to this email address to send a link for changing my password? Or is there another way my account can be unlocked? Surely there's a simple way to regain access.

Hope you have some ideas.


Hi if you no longer have a virgin account it will have most likely been deleted and there is nothing to recover it is supposed to be removed after 90days from ending your contract but often does not happen so you was lucky it was avalible longer than 90 days


I'm afraid that the advice given about is almost certainly correct and the mailbox has now been deleted. The thing is there has never been a 'free' Virgin email service, in the early days of dial-up internet, making the call cost money and Virgin got a small proportion of that call cost. This was what helped with paying  for the running of the system.

When the dial-up service was wound out many years ago all customers were informed, or at least should have been informed that their email mailboxes would be deleted after (a year, I think, off the top of my head), unless you agreed to take out a VM broadband package.

Now where VM dropped the ball was not always following through and actually deleting the mailboxes when they should have and quite a few just lingered on. Presumably the ex-customers just assumed that they would carry on working - until the day comes when a periodic cleanup of these 'orphaned' mailboxes catches up with yours and it gets deleted - and this will happen regardless of whether or not the email is actively being used.

I'm really sorry to say that the likelihood is very high that this has now happened and yours has been swept up and deleted. So the first thing you need to do is to create a new email address with another provider, Outlook or Google's Gmail are both free for personal use, and start the process of getting in touch with your contacts and inform them of the new address. In addition do you have copies of any of your emails on any devices, or did you only ever use email via the web interface? If you do have copies then I strongly suggest you go through them and print off the more important or save them somewhere else safe.

Also, alas VM aren't too inclined now to spend too much time trying to restore access to this orphaned accounts and even if they were to do so, it would absolutely be a very short-term, temporary and one-time only fix.


Just to clear a few things up, Virgin Media used to run an ADSL internet service, called, confusingly Now when VM wanted to exit this market (2015 I think), the customers were offered the opportunity to take out a VM broadband account if available or they could agree to be transferred over to TalkTalk who took on the contracts.

Although this was for the internet connection only and absolutely DID NOT include the email domain, this is one of those things that simply will not die. You will find many, many reports on here of customers being told outright by VM's customer services that 'TalkTalk have bought that email and it's down to them now' - they seem to have an immediate knee-jerk response at the first mention of the phase ''

Not too sure if this is just deliberate outright lying to get the person off the line, or hopelessly poor and incompetent training - also not too sure which one of these is the worse!

I have also lost count of the number of times that various members of the @Forum_Team and the site moderators have assured us that this issue has been escalated, proper training is in place and 'call flows' have been updated to ensure it doesn't happen again - it always happens again!

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Very Insightful Person


Can I ask that rather than simply assume that @CarolineW1952 's email has been deleted, you run checks to see whether that is the case?

The user may have been an old dial up or ADSL customer, (more likely the former IMHO), while the email addresses should have closed when those services did, many stayed open until now.  You guys do appear to be in the process of cleaning them up now.

@ModTeam can you assist Reece in finding out whether it's possible to get temporary access back for the OP?


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Dear Jem101

Thanks for taking the time to explain. All info is useful. I do already have a gmail account and have begun the  onerous task of letting contacts know. Also, I use an email client so fortunately I have most of my emails on this. Your advice to back up important mails here is also good and I'll do this.

I do hope though that at access to my account - even if temporary - can be restored.

Dear Ravenstar68

Thank you for replying and for your efforts in helping me regain access to my account. It's really appreciated.

You're right - originally it was a dial-up account.