Alexander: The mystery of the disappearing e-mail

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 7, 2013 - 6:49 PM

Q: I received nine e-mails with photos from a relative in Puerto Rico. When I opened the first one, it suddenly disappeared from view. I thought that I had inadvertently deleted it in some way and checked in the “trash” file, but it wasn’t there. So I went back to the “inbox” to open the second e-mail, and to my surprise, none of the eight remaining e-mails were there. However, all other e-mails I had received were still there, and my computer is otherwise working perfectly. What happened?

ANDY FUERTES, Miami

A: I suspect that a computer glitch at your e-mail provider caused your e-mail to disappear.

While your e-mail provider is bellsouth.net, it is owned by AT&T, which in turn outsources its consumer e-mail accounts to Yahoo. Yahoo’s e-mail software was upgraded in April, and following that there were scattered reports of people mysteriously losing e-mail from their accounts.

You can take your particular problem directly to Yahoo by typing in “e-mail is disappearing” at tinyurl.com/bp2omd9. You’ll be asked to sign in to your e-mail, then allowed to describe your problem in more detail.

Yahoo also offers a help page for people who have lost e-mails (see tinyurl.com/d9p96u3) that suggests ways to search your other e-mail folders for missing messages. It also tells you what to do if you believe your e-mail account has been hacked.

Q: I had problems with your explanation two weeks ago of how to get rid of the browser hijacking program “start.search.us.com.” When I went to the website you recommended and downloaded the “free” software there, it turned out to be software that cost me $30 and showed that I had 553 errors on my computer. When I called to “activate” the software, a technician urged me to pay another $200 to clean up the computer problems.

When recommending software, you should check out these people.

Dewayne Moss, Mishawaka, Ind.

A: I’m afraid you downloaded the wrong software, but it’s partly my fault. I should have warned readers that these free advice websites are often cluttered with advertisements for related software, not all of it reputable. As a result, it’s easy to click on the wrong software download, as I believe you did. I apologize for that.

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