Does My ISP Keep a Copy of My Email?


Episode 1836

Ed from Aliso Viejo, CA

Ed wants to know if his ISP keeps his email. Leo says it does if he's using IMAP. So if you are using Outlook and you're using IMAP, it will download a copy of the email and keep a copy on the server. And they have to for several years by law. POP3, by contrast, downloads the mail to your computer and deletes it from its server space.  Leo really isn't a fan of keeping your ISP as your main email service. He uses a third-party payment service called FastMail. That way, he can change ISPs at any time, and it doesn't affect his email at all. And it's not that expensive either.

Why Does a Email Form Say “Invalid Email” as I’m Typing the Address?


Episode 1836

Ed from United Kingdom

Ed is having a weird experience when he types in an email address and gets "invalid email address" after just a few characters. But if he pastes in the email, it's fine. Leo says that there's code in an email form that is constantly checking for legitimate emails. It should do it after you type it in, but it's doing it on each letter, and that's clearly a bug. But if you keep typing, it should just nag you until you're gone inputting the email address. So it's either a bug or just plain bad form design.

Assign a Recovery Email or Phone Number for Your Account

For important email addresses, make sure you have a recovery email or phone number set up. Email access is important, and if you forget your password, the service is going to need to contact you somehow. Treat email with respect, because losing the ability to log in can be devastating in many ways. Phone numbers can be used to get texts with an emergency 6-digit number (or something like that), which can help begin the new password process. If you don't have multiple email accounts, set one up with Gmail or another known service.

Why Can’t I Fill In a Form Online With an Email Address?


Episode 1832

Mike from San Luis Obispo, CA

Mike keeps having problems where online forms won't accept his email address, saying it's not a valid email. It doesn't matter what browser or computer he uses. What gives? Leo says to make sure you're using a US region keyboard in the regional settings. It may have been changed unwittingly. It also could be an issue with your keyboard driver. Gmail also acknowledges dots and dashes in an email, while some websites do not. So if you have, Gmail will accept that, but a form may not. 

How Can I Get Rid of Spam?


Episode 1831

Bill from Whitchita, TX

Bill keeps getting a ton of spam. If he clicks on unsubscribe, will that end it? Leo says not likely. More likely it'll just confirm he's a real person. He can use the spam filter in the email, but often a false positive will mean he can lose an email he actually wants. The best way to do it is to check and see if the service offers antispam at the server level. That way he will never see it. So check with the ISP.  Leo used to use Gmail, which has some really good spam filters. So that's an option. Can I block the sender?

Can I Switch My Email Address Without Losing Data?


Episode 1829

Scott from Hesperia, CA

Scott wants to switch from an alma mater email account to a new one without losing the data on his phone. He wants to rename it. Leo says that Google may allow him to change it on the phone. But there are limits. He can't go from one Gmail account to another, for instance. Here are the details -

Should I Buy My Email Service?


Episode 1817

Micah from Maine

Micah is about to move out of Maine and wants to be able to move his email to a reliable provider. Leo says that email is too important to rely on free email. Leo recommends paying for the service. He uses FastMail. The cost is about $230 for three years (or $80 a year). Leo also recommends getting his own domain name for it. That way, if he changes providers, it doesn't impact his email. He can use Hover to register the domain.

Why Can't I Log Into My Verizon Account?


Episode 1815

Stan from Huntington Beach, CA

Stan has an email account with, but now he can't log into it. Leo says that Verizon bought Yahoo and then recently sold it, and since then, people have been having trouble logging into their accounts. It may also be that since Stan's account is a very old account, and he has since canceled the phone service, it may be that the company simply turned it off. Or turned the servers off. Verizon has retired its email service as well. Either way, this is becoming a common problem.

Why Can't I Log Into My SBC Email Account?


Episode 1813

Cheryl from California

Cheryl is having trouble logging into her SBC email. Leo says that Cheryl has a "legacy email," with SBCGlobal, which was sold to AT&T and then outsourced to Yahoo. As such, Leo just thinks that the SBC log-in has expired and is no longer working. So Cheryl will likely have to transition to for all her email needs if she wants to stick with that company. Try going to AT&T's web portal and try signing in with the same credentials.

Why Am I Missing Some of My Email?


Episode 1811

Rich from Tuscon, AZ

Rich has two domains registered at Hover. One personal and one business. He then uses it with Gmail and his Apple Mail client. But recently, several emails have been lost in transit. Some are personal, some are business. Leo says that there are "black holes" in the system, due to spam filtering. It's possible that is what is happening between Gmail and Hover. If the carrier judges that the sending IP address may be a spammer, then the email will simply vanish. Or it could be intercepted by the spam filters. Gmail is very aggressive about fraudulent emails.