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Village Setup

The need

 
Unfortunately (because Google doesn't implement their POP3 solution well), accessing email from a village often requires the use of a POP3 connection for the following reasons:
  • Unstable internet connection-  this can result in frequent failure to down emails, causing repeated re-downloads of the same email
  • Great expense
More details about POP3 are found here.

Avoiding unnecessary downloads

A frequent request is how to block the download of large emails. 
  • Most email services (not Google) easily allow you to move large emails out of the Inbox and into a separate folder.  Since a POP3 email client usually only looks at the Inbox for messages to be downloaded, these large email are safely retained online until you return to good connectivity and able to read/respond the large emails.
    • Google looks at the "All Mail" folder when a POP3 email client connects, so moving an email out of the Inbox has no effect.
    • You will need to choose one of two approaches (below) to handle this need in Google
  • Additionally, most users traditionally sent an auto-reply to the sender, letting them know that the email was too large to download while in a remote area and to not expect an immediate reply.
    • You will not be able to satisfy the second need.

Approach #1:  Downloading headers of large emails

This solution only works with Thunderbird and with Outlook.  Google says this same approach works for Apple Mail but we have tested nor documented this yet.  Windows Live Mail does not support this approach.

The process is to change a setting to download only message headers (From, Date, Subject) and block downloading the message itself.  These email clients each provide a simple way to then download a large messgae on a case-by-case basis.
 
Recommended:  Though this does not address blocking the download of large emails per se, consider keeping your Inbox looking "clean" and easier to find/process later.
  1. Access your account's mail by logging in online
  2. Create a new label, perhaps "Large Messages"
  3. Go to Email settings using the Gearbox
  4. Select Filters and Blocked Addresses
  5. Select Create a new filter
  6. Enter an asterisk ( * ) in the From field
  7. Select Create filter with this search.  If presented with a "Confirm creating filter" warning box, click OK.
  8. Select Skip the Inbox,
  9. Select Apply the label: and select the label just created
  10. Click Update filter
Blocking large downloads using Thunderbird
  1. Open Thunderbird
  2. Chose Edit > Account Settings > <POP3 account name> > Disk Space
  3. Select Messages larger than and enter the size limit you wish. A typical number might be 250 KB but this is your decision.
  4. Click OK
Email Results: What will happen
Any sent email that is larger than the size you specify will download into Thunderbird's Inbox and appear as follows:

Notice the option to download the rest of the message, including any attachments, over your POP3 connection.  The email will remain online, available for you to read later.


Blocking large downloads using Outlook
  1. Open Outlook
  2. Chose Send/Receive > Send/Receive Groups > Define Send/Receive Groups.
  3. There is normally only one item in the list:  "All Accounts".  Select Edit..."
  4. Select the account you want to restrict downloads for.
  5. Ensure the Download complete item including attachments is selected
  6. Select Download only headers for items larger than option
  7. Enter the size limit you wish. A typical number might be 250 KB but this is your decision.
  8. Click OK and then Close

Email Results: What will happen

Any sent email that is larger than the size you specify will download into Outlook's Inbox and appear as follows: 

Notice that, because only headers were downloaded, the reading pane can only display "This item cannot be displayed...".  Double clicking the email pops up the "Remote Item Header" window, allowing you to take actions, including downloading the email, including attachments over your POP3 connection.

Approach #2:  Forwarding large emails to another account

This solution is not the preferred approach but works for any email client.  The process is to create an online Gmail filter (rule) to forward large emails to another account that you own but do not intend on checking until you return to good internet connectivity.
 
Steps
  1. Access your account's mail by logging in online
  2. Go to Email settings using the Gearbox
  3. Select Forwarding and POP/IMAP.  Ensure POP is enabled
    1. If the correct forwarding address is not set up yet, select Add a forwarding address.
    2. Enter the address the large emails are to be sent to and click Next, Proceed and then OK
    3. When you receive the verification code in the new address, copy the code, paste it into the "confirmation code" field and click Verify.  Alternatively the sent email includes a link that can be used.
  4. Select Filters and Blocked Address
    1. Select Create a new filter
    2. Enter an asterisk ( * ) in the From field
    3. Select the size limit in the last field, ensuring you correctly select the measurement.  Those in remote areas might enter 250 KB (kilobytes).  MB = megabytes;  Use of Bytes is rare.
    4. Select Create filter with this search.  If presented with a "Confirm creating filter" warning box, click OK.
    5. Select Skip the Inbox,
    6. Select Forward it to: and select the forwarding address just configured
    7. Select Delete it
    8. Click Update filter
  5. Test the filter by sending an email to this account that is larger than the size limit you set up.