Thursday, August 1, 2002

Where’d my POP3 information go?


By Diane Poremsky

A common problem with all versions of Outlook is the loss of POP3 server information. Users complain that they correct the server entries but something keeps changing the entries back. Depending on the antivirus program used, the server name may be changed to, localhost, or the email address is appended to the server name.

Here's what's happening: back when antivirus software first began scanning mail as it arrived, a process was used that's sometimes known as "pop proxy" and used a proxy server process to download the mail. The email program collected the mail from the antivirus program's proxy server, not the regular mail server.

Many newer versions of antivirus software hook into the mail client's download process and scan the mail as it is downloaded, before it is placed in the inbox. This process don't affect your mail server settings and causes fewer problems for the most part.

If your antivirus software uses the pop proxy method and it's affecting your ability to download mail, you have two choices: disable email scanning or use an updated antivirus program. If you keep your antivirus software set on auto protect and if you have the latest Internet Explorer and Outlook security patches, you can probably safely disable email scanning, the only benefit is earlier notification of virus-infected messages.

Diane Poremsky is the president of CDOLive LLC and a Microsoft Outlook MVP. She's coauthor of Word 2002: The Complete Reference (Osborne, 2001) and Beginning Visual Basic 6 Application Development (for Wrox Press). For questions or suggestions for future columns, write her at