email address

  Ttesting 20:26 07 Jun 2010

Could you tell me please. I sent an email to someone email address which is an old one. The email went but I have not had a reply. Could this be that the email is no longer in use, The email I sent didn't come back to me.

  wiz-king 20:30 07 Jun 2010

It depends. If the account has been closed it should notify you almost immediatly, but if the account is just not used you might never know. Your maile could be sitting in the inbox for years. Some people do not check their old email adresses for months.

  T I M B O 21:28 07 Jun 2010

I think it's 6 months or something like that, i hope somebody can put me right on this. With hotmail or msn accounts, if they have not been used for 6 months i think it is, microsoft switch them off but they can be re activated but no emails will be there.

  birdface 22:41 07 Jun 2010

If the e-mail address in no longer in use you should have your e-mail returned to you.
It has always been within 4 days with mine.
Not sure if every ISP is different.
Now I am going back about 4 years since I had one returned maybe things have changed since then.

  birdface 22:43 07 Jun 2010

Sorry if I remember right the answer was the computer that you sent the e-mail to has not been used in 4 days so E-mail message has been returned.

  Ttesting 23:41 07 Jun 2010

The email address was working 4 years ago. Not sure if the person still has the same address. I wondered if not, would it be sent back to me or would my email be in thin air, and not going any where or should it should be returned to me?

  T I M B O 01:04 08 Jun 2010

All i can say for certain is, if its an old hotmail or msn account, you will get a bounce back saying there is no such mailbox. I cant speak for other email address like or

  Taff™ 08:50 08 Jun 2010

I regularly e-mail over 400 members of a Society and have done so for several years. Here`s my experience in relation to the above:

The mail will bounce back with a message as to why if a) the address is wrong or malformed b) the account no longer exists or c) the mailbox is full. Bounce backs can take a few minutes or a few days but the majority of mine appear the same day usually within an hour.

If a member closes his account with an ISP and moves to another provider which happens quite frequently these days, the original provider may de-activate the mailbox within a certain time frame which they decide. For example Virgin Media (Blueyonder and NTL) it is immediately a customer notifies of a switch of provider, even if they technically have a month prepaid!

This does not affect web based mail accounts like Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail etc which you can keep whoever is your ISP.

It would help if we knew what the domain mailbox was in this case. (The bit after the @....Please don`t post back the full e-mail address)

Now lets suppose the e-mail recipient has several e-mail addresses and you have e-mailed one that they don`t regularly use or check any more. In this case, over 4 years, the mailbox would become full and you would be notified or as suggested above after 3/6 months (depending on the provider the account becomes suspended and e-mails will bounce and eventually deleted.

If the e-mail address was to a company or other business and that person has left them, the IT administrators may well have kept the mailbox live and all e-mails to it will be redirected to a central "Catch All" mailbox which they will monitor for any business related mail. In this situation you have no way of knowing if the original recipient will receive it.

  Ttesting 21:38 17 Jun 2010

Thank you for your reply. The email address was

I took a chance on a reply as I was asking after someone I once knew and I only think this hotmail person might know of the male / femail that I was enquiring after, but so far I haven't heard any news. Not too surprizing as I do not know the person I sent the email to.

  Furkin 07:37 18 Jun 2010

Of course it could be that the recipient just didn't want to reply !

Not nice,,,, but it happens a lot.

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