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 POP3 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.
Open up your command console - in most versions of Windows, click Start, then Run, type cmd and hit Enter.
Enter the text as shown in the example command box below, hitting Enter at the end of each line. For each successful command you issue, the server will return the message '+OK' indicating you should proceed to the next command.
telnet pop.123-reg.co.uk 110
+OK Hello there.
+OK Password required.
+OK 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.
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.