Using WELL Email

Find your settings in the FAQ below to configure the mail programs on your desktop or mobile devices.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What are the basic settings to configure IMAP or POP?
2. What programs can I use to manage mail on my computer or mobile device? (IMAP or POP)
3. Is IMAP always best?
4. What is my quota for mail left on the server, and will my incoming mail bounce if I exceed it?
5. Can I read my mail with my iPhone or iPad?
6. Where do I change my password?
7. Can I forward my mail to another address?
8. Can I add more email addresses to my WELL Membership?
9. What can I do about spam?
10. Can I whitelist or blacklist addresses?
11. How do I read my mail at iris with a Web browser?
12. How do I remove mail copies from
13. How can I recover deleted mail?
14. Is there a manual for the mail system?
15. Is email even included with my membership plan?


1. Basic configurations. Select and stick to just one incoming mail method to avoid damaging your email files.

Incoming mail– IMAP method

  • If you wish to use IMAP to retrieve and delete email, you must use the following settings:
    • Incoming Mail Server:
    • Use SSL (Secure Socket Layers)
    • Authentication: password
    • DO NOT enable “Secure Password Authentication” if present – it is not needed with SSL, and may cause problems if enabled.
    • Incoming server port: 993

Incoming Mail– POP3 method:

  • If you wish to use POP to retrieve email, you must use the following settings:
    • Incoming Mail Server:
    • Use SSL (Secure Socket Layers)
    • Authentication: password
    • Incoming server port: 995
    • We suggest that you choose the setting to not leave copies on our remote server, or watch carefully to ensure they are deleted as specified.

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).

  • For sending your mail out using The WELL’s outgoing server:
    • Outgoing or SMTP Mail Server: (yes, the same servre handles incoming and outgoing mail, via different ports).
    • If you have a choice between TLS and SSL (Secure Socket Layers), select TLS. Otherwise, select SSL.
    • Authentication: password
    • Outgoing server port: 587 or 25 (you may need to try both to see which works on your device)
    • You do NOT need to check for mail before sending via iris.
  • New: While in the past we included instructions for you to use your ISP’s outgoing SMTP server, we can no longer support it. Beginning May 2022, GMAIL (and possibly other providers) does not accept email with a return address but sent from another provider, such as or possibly Comcast.


2. 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.

3. Is IMAP always best?
(Yes. Only use POP if you know what you’re doing).

Choose IMAP settings if:

  • you need access to your new email at different devices and multiple locations, e.g., office computer, home computer, tablet, smart phone, or webmail when desired, or
  • you like keeping some of your mail or attachments saved where you can access them with any of your email devices at any time, or
  • you want to synchronize the state of your email between any and all email clients you use and the server, so that deleting a message means it is gone, rather than having to purge things separately from multiple places.

If you’re using multiple devices, you must specify IMAP on all of them. A POP3-configured device would delete email at the server before an IMAP device could retrieve it.

Choose POP3 settings if:

  • you always use a secondary webmail service (such as Gmail) to “fetch” your mail from, or
  • you work with your email only on a single computer or only on a single mobile device, and
  • web mail at works fine for you when you need to check new email from a computer that is not your own, and
  • you keep email messages you wish to save and archive it on your own computer or on another remote site, and do not wish to keep any of your previously-read messages online at The WELL.

4. 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 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.)

  • If you exceed your quota, your mailbox is full and your mail will bounce. After 500MB, unless you either increase your quota or delete/download some mail, new incoming email will be refused rather than piling up. You will get multiple email warnings as you gradually approach your quota.  You can see how much of your quota you are using at any time by logging in at, and looking at the visual graph under your name. By mousing over your name, you will see the actual amount. If you check in now and then to pay a little attention you won’t risk bouncing email due to a full mailbox.
  • You may purchase even more quota if you want more space to leave your mail on the servers, at much better rates than on the old mail system where unexpected surcharges were possible. Enhanced disk quota rates start at $30, which quadruples your disk quota for email for a full year. Additional levels are detailed on the plans and pricing page.
  • You may still keep 100MB in storage for files in your home directory, personal web pages and any legacy system email that you may want to keep in your home directory. That 100MB does not count towards your quota use, and excess storage after 100MB there is still charged under the old pricing. If you have old email stored there, you may want to transfer it to Iris where it is under the better rates of the quota system.

5. Can I read my mail with my phone, iphone or ipad?

AS with any mobile device with a mail application, usually it’s simplest to set it up using the IMAP instructions for Apple.

You can try using the following settings in the Add Account set-up menu:

Host Name:
Username:  (Note that although the field is called ‘Username’, you must enter the ‘’ part of your email here.)

Password: your Well password
Outgoing smtp server:
Outgoing mail server:
Authentication: Password
Toggle the following items to ‘On’
-Use SSL
Outgoing Server Port should be automatically set to 587                                                    Incoming Server Port should be manually set to 993


Alternatively, in many cases you can also point your device’s browser at, 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.

6. 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 The link will be sent to your off-well email address that you have provided.

Reminder: If you use multiple devices to access your Well Mail, i.e. laptop, tablet, mobile phone, specially when those devices are set to connect and download email automatically, you should log out and log back in again and reset the password on all of them.

NOTE:  Members using Apple Mail or MacMail will need to take additional steps, shown below, in their Apple Mail interface when using a new or changed password.

After you update the password in BIC, Apple Mail will display a text box asking you for the new password. There is a bug that prevents the program from accepting the update.

Instead, Apple Mail users have to update the password in the system settings.  One of these two approaches should work, assuming your accounts are set to IMAP.

(1) Right-click (or control-click) on the Well folder in your Inbox, and
select “Edit Well” from the menu. Enter the new credentials in both of
the boxes that come up (IMAP and SMTP) and save them.


(2) From the Mail menu bar, select Preferences, then Well, then Server Settings. Enter the new credentials in both of the boxes that come up, (IMAP and SMTP) and save them. There might be a Save or Update button to verify the change.

You will also have to make sure that the server names and ports are specified. See the IMAP settings entry in this document for details. Note that Apple configuration screens can vary among different installations and different OS versions, so you might have to search for the configuration fields where you can set these items.

In either case, you should exit and restart your Apple Mail program for the updates to take effect.

7. Can I forward my mail to another address?

Classic mail forwarding is available in the Zimbra settings. However, before you forward your mail from The WELL to another Internet mailbox, please consider the fact that some email providers will begin to interpret any mail that comes through your WELL account from a spammer someplace else to originate from The WELL. These email providers have at times blocked all mail from The WELL, erroneously imagining that there are spammers sending junk mail from here. If your external mail provider offers a “fetch” mechanism, please set that up instead from the other mail provider’s site. It will serve the same purpose as forwarding, but the external email provider will understand that your mail is not all spam.

For example, to read your WELL email at Gmail, you should use Gmail’s mail POP3 fetching function using the instructions on their site at Settings/Accounts and Import. 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 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 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.

8. Can I add more email addresses to my WELL Membership?

If you would like more email addresses at The WELL, sign in to the Billing Information Center to sign up for an ExtraMail address. Special introductory offers are not eligible for ExtraMail addresses. If you have signed up with a special introductory offer and wish to add an ExtraMail address, first contact Helpdesk to convert to a regular Membership.

9. 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.

11. 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, 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.

10. 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.)

12. How do I remove mail copies from

When you go to 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 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.

13. How can I recover deleted mail?

Every email that has been deleted via the Trash is retained in Trash for 1 day. After the mail has been removed from Trash, Zimbra holds it in its “dumpster” for 3 days. Mail can be recovered from the “dumpster” via the web interface. (Right Click on Trash, “Recover Deleted Items”). Dumpster 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.

14. Is there a manual for the mail system?

When you log in to, you will find generic Zimbra help by pulling down the menu from the small triangle to the right of your name in the upper right corner of the Zimbra page. 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.

15. Is email even included with my membership plan?

Membership now includes an email address at The WELL. There are still some older memberships with login names of nine digits or longer that do not include email services, but all logins of eight or fewer digits have a corresponding email address. Yours may not be activated. Please contact Helpdesk if you want help activating your email or troublehooting access to