Computer News No. 114 Mar.-Apr. 2005

From the Help Desk - How to Read Your Email Faster

    1. Why is it slow to read my email via webmail or other email programs?
    2. Delete unwanted email using webmail 
    3. New feature in webmail: Move read email from INBOX
    4. Move email to your PC for permanent storage

1. Why is it slow to read my email via webmail or other email programs?

We often hear our users complain about the slowness of the webmail.  After some investigation, we have found that most of these users that encounter this problem often keep a large volume of emails in their INBOX after the messages have already been read.  There could be other reasons why the email server is slow, e.g. the email server may be overloaded from excessive virus or spam checking, or there may be excessive downloading of large files on the network.  However, a large INBOX will take a long time to open because the email server has to extract the senders, dates and subjects etc. to display in the subject index page.  This time lag is more pronounced with webmail and other IMAP programs.  

To alleviate this problem so that the INBOX can be opened faster, users should reduce their emails in their INBOX to a minimum.  You can delete unwanted emails from the INBOX, or move emails that have been read to other folders waiting to be responded, or even save them to your PC for permanent storage. 

2. Delete unwanted email using webmail

In webmail, you can delete individual messages from the INBOX. You may wish to display more messages in the subject index page than the default setting of 12 so that you can view more messages in your INBOX at one time. Click here to follow the instructions to do that. You may also wish to delete an entire folder (e.g. the spam folders) without having to select all the messages first. Click here to see how to delete an entire email folder.  

3. New feature in webmail: Move read email from INBOX

Computer Centre has implemented a new feature in webmail to help you move your read messages into another folder. You can click on the link "Move read mail from INBOX" at the top of the subject index page.  You will be asked to confirm.  If you click "OK", all the email messages on the current subject index page that have been read will be moved to the folder "read-inbox" and deleted from your INBOX.  If you keep the habit of clicking this link every time after you read your email, only your new messages will be kept in the INBOX which will open much faster the next time you access webmail.

Note: You can view more messages per subject index page as follows:
click "Options" icon on the top => click "Display Options" entry on the right => change the "Messages per page in the mailbox view" (e.g. change to display 999 messages) => click "Save Options" button

4. Move email to your PC for permanent storage

As you accumulate your email by moving them from the INBOX to other folders, the disk space in your account is being used up and you may soon run out of disk space.  You may consider moving some email to your PC and delete them permanently from the email server so that you can free up the disk space.  You can do so using an email client by setting the access mode to IMAP. Click here to see how you can move email from the server to your PC using the Outlook Express email client.  

If you have any questions regarding how to manage your email, or how to query your disk quota usage, you may browse the FAQ's or send email to ithelp@hku.hk, or contact the undersigned.