Q: Over the last month, some of my incoming Gmail has bypassed my inbox and gone directly to my “all mail” box. Replies to my e-mails have been bypassing the inbox and going directly to my “sent” box. At first, I thought the problem might lie with the “eMCQ Client” mail software on my computer, through which I view Gmail. But when I saw that the same e-mail misrouting had occurred in Gmail, I decided the issue originated there. How can I fix this?

Michael Gonzalez, Arden Hills


A: Gmail normally wouldn’t bypass your “inbox” and send incoming e-mails directly to the “all mail” or “sent” folders. But it might if you have set up an “e-mail filter,” which is a rule that tells Gmail to handle certain types of mail differently.

To find out if you have any such filters running in Gmail, click the settings icon at the upper right (it looks like a gear wheel.) In the resulting menu, click “settings,” then click “filters and blocked addresses.”

If there are any filters active, delete them (you can always replace them later.) When you see the message “confirm filter deletion,” click “OK.”

If the Gmail changes don’t solve the problem, it’s possible that an eM e-mail filter is at fault. Why? If you have an IMAP e-mail account (internet Message Access Protocol, see tinyurl.com/yxuf4c7t) any mail-sorting done by eM might be passed on to Gmail through the mailbox synchronization process.

To check eM’s mail filters, go to “menu” and select “tools.” In the following list, select “rules” (eM’s name for filters.) In the next menu, alter or delete any existing rules to see whether that solves the problem.

If the changes to Gmail and eM don’t help, it’s possible there is some other software conflict between the two programs. To find out, close eM (click the eM symbol at the top left of the screen and choose “close”), then get your mail from Gmail’s website for a few days to see whether the problem goes away.


Q: I purchased an iPhone 6 Plus, but in the process of activating it someone incorrectly entered my phone number. As a result, Apple has the wrong “trusted phone number” for my secure logins to my Apple account. How can I fix this?

Philip Hilton, Baton Rouge, La.


A: You are in a difficult situation. From a computer security standpoint, you did the right thing by activating two-factor authentication. It protects your Apple ID account by requiring you to sign in with both a password and a temporary six-digit code that Apple sends to your phone via text or automated call.

But giving Apple the wrong phone number has created a significant problem: You can’t use your phone to sign in to your Apple ID account, because Apple can’t send the code to your phone. And there’s no easy way to correct your phone number in Apple’s account system.

As a result, you will have to contact Apple another way. Go to tinyurl.com/qfzt9be and click “iPhone.” In the next menu, select “Apple ID and iCloud,” then choose the box “the topic is not listed.” In the resulting text box, describe your problem and click “continue.”


E-mail tech questions to steve.j.alexander@gmail.com or write to Tech Q&A, 650 3rd Av. S., Suite 1300, ­Minneapolis, MN 55488. Include name, city and telephone number.