Using WELL email
The WELL's mail server on iris.well.com is powered by an open-source platform called Zimbra. You can either use your favorite email program and/or simply use your web browser to read and send mail. With your browser, you can also manage your mail quota (storage limit), your shared documents and a private calendar.
Web browsers on mobile devices that point to the iris mail server should automatically go to the mobile version of the web based Zimbra platform, if you like to use your web browser for email, or you can use the FAQ below to configure the Mail program on your phone or tablet, just as you can for your computer. (Some older desktop/laptop browser versions may also work better with the direct mobile Zimbra link.)
Before we get to the FAQ, here are some quick set up tips.
Step One: When you set up the mail programs on your own computers or phones, choose either IMAP or POP, and then stick with it. Almost without exception, IMAP will be the modern set-up you want for all of these mail clients. However, some members who use an external webmail service such as Gmail to read their well.com emails must only use POP. If that is not enough to decide, see "Is IMAP always best?" below. (If you will only use your web browser to directly manage, read and send all mail while at iris.well.com, or if you simply wish to set up forwarding at iris.well.com, you do not need to concern yourself with IMAP or POP settings.)
Step Two: Confirm you are now active on the Iris server and you know your password by logging in to iris.well.com with your web browser. If you can't connect, contact helpdesk. See the footer of this page.
Step Three: Find your settings in the FAQ below to configure the mail programs on your desktop or mobile devices.Frequently Asked Questions:
Basic configurations. Select and stick to just one incoming mail method to avoid damaging your email files.
Incoming mail-- IMAP method
Incoming Mail-- POP3 method:
Outgoing mail settings (Both outgoing choices will work with either IMAP or POP for incoming strategies, and you may switch back and forth between outgoing methods)
See also specific detailed configurations for specific popular email programs on the Settings for IMAP and POP Clients page.
What programs can I use to manage mail on my computer or mobile device? (IMAP or POP)
You may use any up-to-date desktop email application to pull in mail using either IMAP or POP connections. "Thunderbird," "Outlook Express," Apple's "Mail" and other email applications will accept settings for either IMAP, or for POP. Please be sure you have an up-to-date version.
Is IMAP always best?
Choose IMAP settings if:
Choose POP settings if:
What is my Quota for mail left on the server, and will my incoming mail bounce if I exceed it?
There is a limit for the amount of email you can leave on the server. Most modern email services allow a set "bucket" of disk space by using a quota, and when the quota is reached, the mailbox is "full." Your default quota is 500MB. Up to 500MB in disk space on the iris.well.com server is exclusively reserved for your email. This quota may be increased if you choose. (Note to long time WELL members: For many years we charged a surcharge that sometimes caught people unawares. With a quota, you will never get a mail storage charge that you have not pre-authorized. The old storage surcharge scenario will still apply for files in your home and web directories if you still keep some there, but not for files on the mail server, where quota is now in place.)
Can I read my mail with my iphone?
On a mobile device with a mail application, usually you will set it up using the IMAP instructions for Apple. In many cases you can also point your device's browser at https://iris.well.com/, and you will be shown the mobile browser version. If not, try manually selecting the mobile version of Zimbra at login time to read your mail. IPad users will do better using their Mail application with IMAP settings rather than logging in to iris with their particular version of Safari.
Where do I change my password?
To change your password for email and all services, log in to the Billing Information Center. If you don't know your current password, generate a link to make a new one at https://www.well.com/newpass/. The link will be sent to your off-well email address that you have provided.
Can I forward my well.com mail to another address?
Before you forward your mail from The WELL to another Internet mailbox, please consider the fact that some email providers can interpret any mail that comes through a WELL account from a spammer someplace else to originate from The WELL. These email providers have at times blocked all mail from The WELL, imagining there to be spammers here.
If the email provider you're considering forwarding to provides a system to fetch mail from our server, you should use that procedure. For example, to read your WELL email at Gmail, you should use Gmail's mail POP fetching function using the instructions on their site at POP Download. Use "Check mail from other accounts (using POP3):" to set it up. This provides the benefits of forwarding without the downsides.
If you still want to forward your WELL mail to another Internet mailbox (not at Gmail), log in to iris.well.com via your Web browser, go to Preferences in the top toolbar and select Mail, highlighting the closed envelope icon in the left-side column. Return your cursor to the center pane, scroll down to Receiving Messages. Enter the email address you want to forward to in the appropriate box. Check the box instructing Zimbra not to leave a copy on the server unless you plan to pick up and sort through the same batch of mail a second time on iris.well.com. Save using the small disk icon above. Note that if you play around with creating Filters from the choices to the left, you may forward just part of your email, from some addresses and not others.
Can I add more email addresses to my WELL account?
If you would like more email addresses at The WELL, sign in to the Billing Information Center to sign up for an ExtraMail account. Discounted introductory plans are not eligible for ExtraMail addresses. If you wish to add an ExtraMail address, first contact Helpdesk to convert from an introductory-priced plan to either a full-priced monthly Complete plan or an annual Complete plan.
What can I do about spam?
When you decide a message in your list of mail is spam, highlight the mail and hit the SPAM button in the Mail toolbar. The mail goes into your Iris Junk folder and our mail service learns to move similar future mail into your Junk folder. Zimbra builds individualized spam rules for your inbox. Complete the custom "training" of the mail program by occasionally looking at the Junk folder to catch any good mail it may have misfiled. Mark any mistakes as Not Spam if appropriate. If you know a piece of email is legitimate but you don't just want to read it, Delete it rather than pressing the SPAM button to keep the training as accurate as possible.
Greylisting is available from our Utilities tool set if you want to bring out even bigger guns against spam.
How do I read my mail with my Web browser?
Wherever you are, if you can get to the Web, you can read your mail by logging in to iris.well.com, powered by Zimbra. You may use this secure service as a stand-alone web email service if you choose. It is also where you can make adjustments, see how close you are to your mail quota, set up mail forwarding if you wish, or set up a vacation message and manage your mail filters.
Can I whitelist or blacklist addresses?
Whitelists and blacklists are available. Log in to Iris via your Web browser, go to Preferences in the top toolbar, select Mail, highlighting the closed envelope icon in the side column, returning your cursor to the center pane, scroll down to Spam Mail Options. Enter the email addresses of people from whom you either never want to receive mail or always want to receive mail. You can also whitelist or black list entire domains with the format: @domain (Note that if you use whitelist with a whole domain, that could sometimes allow spam with forged return addresses that might otherwise be detected.)
How do I remove mail copies from iris.well.com?
When you go to iris.well.com with your Web browser to view your mail, mail you can see and respond to in your inbox is actually on The WELL's Iris mail server. Watch the quota bar just below your name in the upper right corner of the application. If you hold your cursor over your name, you'll see the percentage of your disk space quota. If you exceed the quota, your email will bounce until you download and delete or bump up your quota level. Simply delete on the web, or launch your desktop program in order to download into a "local folder" with your IMAP configured mail program. Making the special "local folder" allows you to drag email around, to free up space on iris.well.com and avoid charges.
If you habitually do not delete mail, or you forward your mail, or use POP3 to collect your mail and you leave a copy on our server, the copies will eventually reach your mail quota, and mail will begin to bounce back to its sender. You can either set your mail to *not leave a copy on the server*, or you can periodically delete mail copies.
If you've set up checkboxes in your Inbox, you can place a check in the box next to mail you wish to delete, right-click, and click Delete. Use Shift-delete to delete contiguous messages or Control-delete to delete non-contiguous messages. To set up checkboxes, click Preferences in toolbar, select Mail from left-frame list, click Other and Settings.
If you have no checkboxes next to messages in your Inbox, highlight by clicking a message and selecting delete, or right-click, and click Delete. Highlight a message and Shift-click at a lower message to highlight all messages between, or Control-click each message to highlight non-contiguous messages. Delete highlighted messages with the Delete button or the right-click menu or the button above the email list.
How can I recover deleted mail?
Every email that has been deleted via the trash or downloaded and deleted via POP3 is retained for at least five days and can be recovered via the web interface. (Right Click on Trash, "Recover Deleted Items"). This mail is not counted in your mail quota. If you wish to change the number of days mail is retained to 0 days or any other reasonable number of days or hours, please contact Helpdesk.
How do I use the older UNIX-based mail programs?
One older UNIX program has been upgaded and configured for ongoing use. That is Pine, now Alpine. If you ever intend to use it you must set up all other email programs and devices as IMAP. Here's the scoop.
Why am I seeing a mostly blank page when logged in to iris.well.com?
We have conformed reports that some older versions of Safari will not display content properly when logged in to iris.well.com. The work-around is to point your old Safari browser directly at the mobile version of the web based Zimbra platform, or to use a mail program instead of a browser.
Is there a manual for the mail system?
When you log in to iris.well.com, you will find the generic Zimbra help near the top of your screen, as well as the link to WELL email help under The WELL logo, leading here. Click Help in the upper right corner of your the Zimbra web page to go to an extensive online Zimbra manual. Note that some of the features in use at other sites are not in place at The WELL, but the resource will be very useful for all those that are.
Is email even included with my membership plan?
Every Complete Plan membership includes an email address at The WELL. (To determine which membership plan you have, log into the Billing Information Center.) Your membership plan is shown at the bottom of the Personal page.
Where can I learn about the new features in Zimbra8?
A summary list of Zimbra8's new features can be found in the WELLtech Conference.
For Further Information...
For information about The WELL or for WELL Customer Support, use the Helpdesk contact information on the footer of this page.
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