Monday, January 25, 2010

blueyonder e-mail migration FAQ

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to give us some feedback on the blueyonder migrations to Google so far.

We've now uploaded some answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which can be found here and are repeated below:

Note: In general this advice also applies to and e-mail addresses, although those customers have been on the Google platform for some time.

We recommend all customers use Webmail as their main way of accessing their e-mail as you can only access the advanced features of Virgin Media Mail like chat and the advanced search function via Webmail.

    Why am I receiving old mails when migrated?

    A fundamental goal of the migration is to try and ensure that emails present in the old mailboxes are migrated to the new mailboxes and that no email is lost during the migration process.

    What we’ve found is that some email client software used by customers over the years has left some emails on the email servers by mistake when the email client software should have deleted them.

    As it is impossible for us to identify all of the various email clients in use and their particular behaviour, these emails are also being moved to the new mailboxes to ensure that no emails are lost.

    Also any emails previously sent using webmail are also being moved to the new mailboxes.

    If you do not want these e-mails any longer, we suggest logging in to webmail and deleting them.

    Do I need to make any changes to access my mail from multiple PC’s or devices?

    This depends on how you’re accessing your email from multiple PC’s or devices.

    If you are using POP (which most e-mail software is configured to use), or a combination of POP and webmail, to access your emails then you need to enable something called recent: mode on all the PC’s or devices (e.g. mobile phones) where you are using POP to access your email so that any emails received in the last 30 days can be seen from them all.

    More information on this can be found on our help pages and in this forum sticky post.

    If you are using IMAP, or a combination of IMAP and webmail, on all of the PC’s or devices then you should not have to change anything.

    If you are using a combination of POP and IMAP then we would recommend configuring all the PC’s or devices to use IMAP where possible. If your device does not support IMAP then configure POP for that device with recent: mode as described above.

    If you are using webmail on multiple devices or machines, you don't need to enable recent: mode or make any other settings changes.

    Do I need to change any other settings in my email client software?

    Not right now. While we’ve added additional email security features with new settings to use on the new platform your old settings will continue to work for now.

    The new security settings will be required later, but we’ll be in touch with more information before that happens and a tool that’ll make the changes for you if you want.

    You can take advantage of the new security features now if you want, you just need to switch to the new settings detailed in this forum sticky post.

    If you need help with your settings remember there are plenty of step-by-step guides in our knowledge base.

    Why am I seeing e-mails disappearing?

    This is normally a symptom caused by accessing your mailbox from multiple PC’s or devices.

    Check the 'Do I need to change any other settings in my email client software?‘ FAQ answer above for the changes you need to make to stop this happening.

    Why am I getting an error when trying to login?

    In the last year we’ve been standardising the way all Virgin Media Internet customers log in to My Virgin Media to simplify the process for everyone.

    Previously customers have been able to log in using any email address (email alias) associated with a mailbox. Now the primary email address of that mailbox must be used to login to My Virgin Media and webmail.

    If you are not sure of what the primary e-mail address on your mailbox is, there is a tool that will help you find this on the Webmail login page. The tool can also be accessed here.

    Note that this email address can also be used to login to POP or IMAP as the Username configured in an email client. This is the recommended setting for this although the existing Username configured in your email client will continue to work until we require some additional new security settings to be used at some point in the future. We’ll be contacting you at that point with more information about this, along with a tool that will make the required changes for you if you wish.

    If you want to take advantage of the new additional security features right now you can modify you current settings to the new settings. Details of the new settings can be found in this forum sticky post.

    If you need help with your email software, remember there are plenty of step-by-step guides in our knowledge base.

    If you are using the correct e-mail address and still having problems accessing your e-mail from Webmail (and any e-mail software) you might want to try resetting your password in My Virgin Media to see if that helps.

    What if the primary email address of the mailbox isn’t the one that I want to use?

    Unfortunately you can’t change this right now as Google only introduced a capability to change the primary mailbox address quite recently and we are still looking into how to best implement this for our customers.

    If you are using webmail to send and receive emails you can however ensure that the email address you use to send and receive emails is set to your primary email address by selecting the “Account” option in Webmail settings and selecting your primary email address as the default “Send mail as:” address.

    How do I turn off the spam filter?

    The Google platform has advanced spam filtering which will pick up the vast majority of junk mail, but you will need to tune the filter for your mailbox to maximise its effectiveness (so that it knows what you consider to be spam and not spam).

    You do this by accessing your mailbox via Webmail and clicking on the 'Report Spam' button for mail in your inbox that you consider to be junk mail. Similarly you should also periodically check the 'Spam' folder in Webmail and click on the 'Not Spam' button for any e-mails you consider to be genuine.

    If you already have a preferred anti-spam system configured on your email client and want to use this instead of the advanced Google anti-spam system you can do so by using the filter settings in webmail.

    The instructions on how to do this are here, and the filter you need is:

    Matches: is:spam
    Do this: Never send it to Spam

    When setting up this particular filter a warning message will be displayed. In this instance the warning message should be ignored as it is not applicable for this particular filter.

    Once configured, this filter setting will continue to deliver spam to the inbox of your email client software where it can then be handled by your existing anti-spam system.

    How can I set up another mailbox?

    Once your existing mailboxes have been migrated to the new Google platform any new mailboxes created by you will be mailboxes rather than mailboxes.

    We’ve also increased the number of individual mailboxes that you can create from 5 to 10.

    Why are there three screens before I get to my Webmail

    While the accounts are being migrated to the new platform we need an additional step in place during the Webmail login process. This is required so to ensure that you access your email at the old platform or the Google one dependent on whether you have been migrated or not.

    Once the migration process has been completed, this additional step will be removed as this check will no be longer required.

    Why are messages still on the server even though I have deleted them with my e-mail software?

    Messages are now kept on the server by default so that these can also be accessed from Webmail if the user wishes to do so. With the storage allocation of mailboxes having been increased from 30MB to 7GB the previous default behaviour of deleting emails to avoid filling up mailboxes is no longer required.

    If you wish to change this default behaviour, login to Webmail, choose ‘Settings’ and then ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’. In the ‘POP Download’ section, option number 2 has a dropdown menu in it. Select ‘delete Virgin Media’s copy’ and save the setting. However please bear in mind that if you choose this option the only emails you will have access to in your inbox in Webmail will be the ones that you have not downloaded to your PC or other device.

    Alternately, if you are accessing your mailbox from multiple PC’s or devices and are using the recent: setting, this will keep your emails on the server for 30 days making them accessible from multiple PC’s and devices.

    Why is an e-mail put in the bin folder of Webmail when I delete it from my e-mail software?

    The bin folder is the equivalent of a “deleted items” or “trash” folder in email clients. Deleted items are placed in the bin folder to make them accessible from webmail or from e-mail software using the IMAP method of accessing the mailbox. Emails are automatically deleted from the bin folder 30 days after having been placed there.

    Why does an e-mail stay in the ‘All Email’ folder when I delete it from my e-mail software?

    This behaviour is specific to use of IMAP within email clients. Further details on this behaviour can be found here.

    To fully delete the message in IMAP drag the message from the All Mail folder into the bin folder, delete it (will appear with strike through) and then purge the folder using the purge option (e.g. ‘Empty Deleted Items’) of your email software.

    When do I get migrated to Google?

    Many customers have already been moved to the Google platform, but those who have not done so yet (with addresses) will be moved over coming weeks.

    Customers with e-mail addresses will be moved over to Google when we’ve finished the migration. We will be writing to these customers with more information ahead of them being moved to the Google platform.

    Can I use the name I use in my e-mail address with as well?

    At the moment you cannot use the name you use in your email address with as well.

    While any new e-mail addresses created end with, we have 'reserved' any existing names used in email addresses in the three 'old' e-mail domains so that they cannot be allocated to any other customer.

    For example, if the name richard.branson existed in the domain no new customer would be able to use the same name ending in, as it is allocated for Richard to use it should he decide to when we offer this opportunity later this year.

    If the name exists in more than one domain – e.g. if the name richard.branson also exists in the domain – both address owners will be given an equal opportunity to have the address allocated to them.

    We will be writing to customers with more information on this once the migration to Google has been completed.

    In the meantime if you try to get new names ending that are the same as your name in one of the ‘old’ e-mail domains in My Virgin Media you will see a message saying the name has already been taken.

    When I can use my email name with will the address still work?

    Yes, you will still be able to use the old email address to receive emails into the associated mailbox. Note that the new email address will be the one used to login to the mailbox.


  1. Hi Alex,

    FAQ's are a definite improvement, however with reference to the particular question:

    "What if the primary email address of the mailbox isn’t the one that I want to use?"

    There is an answer regarding ensuring the correct email address is used for webmail users, but what about those of us who are still (very legitimately) using mail clients? Can we still easily choose an alias for the email to be sent from?


  2. Hi Steve

    Yes, configure your preferred email alias as the “Email Address” and the “Reply To” address in the appropriate client account for that mailbox.

    Also ensure that this address is set as the default “Send As” address in your webmail account settings.

    You will then be able to send and receive emails on this address either using an email client or webmail.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Thanks, I think I may have misled you with my question. Rather than meaning whether we could easily choose a particular email alias to send from 'for evermore', I meant whether mail client users will still be able to easily chop and change the alias that it is sent from, like we can now, even if they are just aliases on a single mailbox.

    I have a number of aliases on my mail mailbox, and I (and other members of the family) can easily select who to send an email from just by clicking on a drop down.


  4. I'm not sure I get what you are asking?

    Are you saying that you have configured separate email accounts in your software using the same mailbox login details but have different Sender and Reply To addresses set up on them, and then you select which Sender to send as by selecting the appropriate account from a drop down when sending emails? Can you give more details on how exactly you currently do this?

    If you are doing this using the separate accounts using the same mailbox configured in your mail software as described above then I don't believe that this will be possible any longer when using the Google SMTP servers to send emails as the default "Send As" sender and "Reply To" addresses configured via the Webmail account settings interface will be the details used when sending from an individual mailbox.

    If you can confirm more details on how you are currently doing this I should hopefully be able to help further.

    Have a brilliant weekend.


  5. Yes, exactly like that! I have all the aliases set up in Outlook with the same login details (the original ab0123h45@blueyonder format) but with different sender names and reply email address (i.e. all the aliases on the account). It means I can rapidly choose the account I want email to go from without having to log in separately etc. I am happy to send you my mailbox details but not sure how best to go about it. I will not be happy if we cannot have our email set up this way with Google. My wife and family are very happy using the one mailbox and separate aliases, all accessible via Outlook with one click to open Outlook, not opening webpages and then having to open separate Google mailboxes for us all - a backward step!

    By the way, if you're reading this on Friday night, I have had no email access for over 6 hours now - no mail problems on the status page and the error messages coming back through Outlook say my mailbox is being migrated, and when I try to login via webmail it says that I'm being upgraded and may be 3 hours without email (what happened to the 15 minutes?) - it's been saying that for 6+ hours now. What's happening?

  6. Hi Steve

    It sounds like you're using a single mailbox shared between the whole family and using aliases to identify the users when sending mails - which really isn't the right way to be using e-mail in the first place!

    Each individual user should really be using a separate mailbox, which is easy enough to setup in Outlook - although given that alias management isn't quite at full functionality at the moment I realise this isn't very practical if you want to use the same addresses right now.

    We're working on some additional user management functionality for My Virgin Media at the moment - the developers are working on it - which should make life a bit easier in this approach.

    I'll also pass some of your feedback onto Google about their functionality.

    Are you still getting error messages, as there's no issues at the moment I'm aware of?



  7. Hi Alex,

    I'll gloss over you telling me how I should be using my email accounts if you don't mind! Let's just say that the way we have it set up is perfectly legitimate and I know from a number of forum posts I'm not alone in having it set up this way. If this is going to cause difficulty in GMail, then I have no real issue in setting up new mailboxes for each member of the family, but I need to know if existing aliases on my main mailbox can be converted into mailboxes for the family members, or are they going to lose their 'email address' because they are all aliases on the main mailbox?

    As for error messages, yes I still can't get access (10.45pm Saturday night). If I use Outlook, the server returns error messages saying that I'm being migrated and to try again later, and if I try webmail I get a similar error message about migration but says it should take max 3 hours - it's now 30!

    I did manage to fool my way into my webmail (original version, not Google) by getting past the first 'migration checker' login by using the login for the second mailbox that I have set up, and then once I got to, I used my primary mailbox login and noted that there were a number of unread emails from Friday but that they stop at 6.15pm on Friday and nothing since. I know this is incorrect as I regularly get 100+ emails per day. So it seems that not only does it seem that my account could have been half-migrated and got stuck somewhere, but also that there does not seem to be any trace of any email for the last 24 hours or more. All I can hope is that you have this on a server somewhere and it's just not showing in webmail for some reason.

    I really do need my email back, and my missing emails, and the full use of my legitimate aliases - not that much to ask for from the ISP that I pay to give me the service is it?

  8. Morning Steve

    Well that's a decidedly odd one.

    I see you've posted on the forums also - can you private message me some details there so I can get the migration team to take a look at it.

    We'll take a look at the edge case scenario you describe around e-mail alias usage also, as the service was designed around the model of family members using individual mailboxes rather than aliases. This will be more of a longer term thing if we do decide to make any changes.