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mmallico
06-07-2011, 10:25 AM
I am thinking about writing a short story, but it is based upon the ambiguous world of email and attachments. My question is. How long does an email service provider keep attachments when they are sent to a person? Are they deleted in a certain time period or when the email gets full?

Becky Black
06-07-2011, 05:45 PM
They'd stay there until the email account holder deleted them. If they cause the mailbox to fill up then it will start refusing incoming mail, it definitely won't start deleting existing emails and attachments.

Unless it's been put in a deleted/trash folder and sometimes the spam folder, where different providers will have different policies on how long something will be retained before it's deleted.

Jonathan Dalar
06-07-2011, 06:11 PM
Also if it's put into a personal folder, it'll stay there for years.

Kenn
06-07-2011, 10:48 PM
I am thinking about writing a short story, but it is based upon the ambiguous world of email and attachments. My question is. How long does an email service provider keep attachments when they are sent to a person? Are they deleted in a certain time period or when the email gets full?
If the account is not used then it will be deactivated after a few months (exactly how long depends on the provider). If you have an IMAP account, the e-mail stays on the server until you delete it. If it is a POP3 account, it is deleted when the message is downloaded. Sent messages are not retained by POP3.

There are requirements in Europe to retain e-mail details (in terms of the date and recipient) for one year, I think. I don't know about elsewhere.

skylark
06-08-2011, 12:02 AM
I am thinking about writing a short story, but it is based upon the ambiguous world of email and attachments. My question is. How long does an email service provider keep attachments when they are sent to a person? Are they deleted in a certain time period or when the email gets full?

Like Kenn said, it depends whether it's POP3 or IMAP. How long do you want them to keep it? You can make either end of the spectrum plausible - "no time at all" = POP3 or somebody faked their email address as reply-to on a big spam attack (so the mailbox was already full when the mesage arrived), "very/infinitely long" = IMAP.

What would be more difficult would be to explain it staying around for a short time.

DiloKeith
06-08-2011, 12:20 AM
The POP distinction doesn't apply to those of us using the "keep mail on server" option. As said in the first reply,everything stays in the inbox until full and it can't take in more mail. Trash folders are usually emptied at the provider's discretion. The POP options include leaving the mail for a specified number of days or until a specified action is taken. Annoyingly, in the case of one email program, the instruction to delete from the server if I delete a message was applied if I either deleted it or moved it to another folder (other than the inbox). A person could accidentally delete messages this way.