Every so often, I receive duplicate copies of certain e-mails. Why does this happen and is there any way I can prevent it from happening again?
Surprisingly, this is a common problem and it has happened to all of us at one time or another. It’s happened to me several times and I know that whenever it happens to some of you, you e-mail me and tell me. Yes, we all receive duplicate e-mails every once in awhile. It may be every once in a great while or it might be all the time. Either way, let’s see what might be causing this.
First of all, if you are getting duplicate copies of any newsletters or other mailing list subscriptions that you are signed up for, you may be registered for it more than once. If so, contact the provider and ask them to check your account. If you are in their database twice, they can delete one entry and you’ll go back to getting those e-mails only once.
Okay, that takes care of any mailing lists you may be a part of, but what about regular e-mails that come from your friends and family? Well, there just so happens to be a couple more suggestions for this problem. First off, the problem could lie within the network server of the e-mail sender. Chances are, the sender is having some technical difficulties with their server and it’s causing trouble within the delivery path. There may be a connection problem or if one of the computers along the path is really slow, it could cause system problems as well.
When this happens, most e-mail delivery clients will send the message again if they’re unsure if the first attempt went through or not. In most cases, the problems get worked out and the message usually sends correctly, but that second attempt is still made. The second attempt then makes another copy of the same e-mail and sends it out again. Therefore, you receive two copies of the same exact e-mail.
To explain it a little better, when an e-mail is sent out, it goes through several computers before it lands at its final destination (which would be your Inbox). Because of this, the network or server problem could lie within any of those computers. It’s hard to tell which one will cause a problem beforehand, so when an e-mail delivery protocol is unsure of a successful delivery, they go ahead and send the same e-mail out again. They always want to make sure you get your e-mail, so they’ll do whatever they deem necessary to get that job done. Yes, it may be annoying to get more than one of the same e-mail, but isn’t that better than not getting it at all?
Another common cause of the multiple e-mail syndrome is a forwarding loop problem. We all like to send forwards to our friends, but sometimes we don’t realize that we may be causing some trouble. (Well, nothing too serious, but trouble nonetheless!) When you forward an e-mail from your computer to another, you must have a set final destination in place for that e-mail. If you don’t, the message will get bounced back to you. If you don’t have a destination in mind, you create a forwarding loop that will end up sending out duplicate copies of the e-mail. To prevent this, just make sure you include the correct addresses you want the e-mail to go to and if they’re right, you should have no loopy problems anymore!
Those are the major causes of the duplication problem. Of course, you could always send out multiple messages on accident, but we won’t go into that one! Hopefully this helps clear up the problem as to why you’re getting more than one copy of certain e-mails. It shouldn’t be too big of a problem, but if it does happen to you again, you’ll know why and possibly how to fix it from now on!