How can I use Telnet to test my IMAP e-mail account is working?

This article applies to 123-reg email accounts.

This article explains how to use the telnet command in your command prompt console to establish whether your e-mail account is accepting connections.

In circumstances where your usual e-mail client software is not connecting to your IMAP mailbox, using telnet helps you to perform a basic assessment of whether your mailbox is functional. This can help you to eliminate your local software as an issue in being unable to receive your mail.

Please be aware that for Windows Vista & Windows 7, the telnet function is by default disabled and therefore it must be turned on from the Windows Features menu within the control panel.

1

Open up your command console - in most versions of Windows, click Start, then Run, type cmd and hit Enter.

2

Enter only the text in bold as shown in the example command box below, hitting Enter at the end of each line.

telnet imap.123-reg.co.uk 143

* OK [CAPABILITY IMAP4rev1 SASL-IR SORT THREAD=REFERENCES MULTIAPPEND UNSELECT LITERAL+ IDLE CHILDREN NAMESPACE LOGIN-REFERRALS UIDPLUS LIST-EXTENDED I18NLEVEL= 1 AUTH=PLAIN] ATLAS/WebFusion Mail Server

01 LOGIN username@domain.com password



01 OK [CAPABILITY IMAP4rev1 SASL-IR SORT THREAD=REFERENCES MULTIAPPEND UNSELECT LITERAL+ IDLE CHILDREN NAMESPACE LOGIN-REFERRALS UIDPLUS LIST-EXTENDED I18NLEVEL =1 AUTH=PLAIN] Logged in.

 

This test will indicate whether or not you are able to connect successfully to your e-mail account. If you are able to connect successfully using telnet, but not through your regular e-mail client, this suggests the issue may be caused by your local software and you should re-check account settings in your e-mail client in accordance with the vendors help documentation and our e-mail support pages.

If you would like to view all folders within a mailbox you can use the below command when connected via telnet to the IMAP server.

. list "" "*"


Please note: In the code example above, generic values have been used for the mailbox usernames and passwords.

When testing your e-mail account connection using telnet, please ensure you have the correct e-mail account username and e-mail account password to hand.

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