Friday, August 11, 2006

E-Mail: Is it on my Computer?

Computer Coaching for Seniors Ottawa Canada

The doorbell rings and it is Charlie. He is in tears.

"Charlie, what happened?" you ask.

"It is all gone. All my E-Mail... GONE!!!! My harddrive failed!" shouted Charlie

Didn't you backup?"

"NOOO! Alright, are you happy? I did not backup!!!! Stop tormenting me!!!!!" Charlie furiously replied.

"Charlie, now calm down. You use a browser like Internet Explorer to read your E-Mail, right?"

"Yeah, so?"

"I think your E-Mail is safe. It is not stored on your computer!"
There are two ways you can read E-Mail.

One way is to read your E-Mail using your internet browser like Internet Explorer or Safari. In this case, you access your E-Mail on your E-Mail provider's computer. For example, if you use Internet Explorer to read your Hotmail then you are reading it from Hotmail's computer, not your own.

The second way is to read E-Mail using an E-Mail program like Outlook Express or Mail (Apple). In this situation, the E-Mail program (Outlook Express) pulls in or downloads your mail from your E-Mail provider's computer and stores it on your computer. When you read your E-Mail, you are reading it from your computer.

There are exceptions but in general if you know what program you read your E-Mail with, you can determine if your E-Mail is on your computer:

- Internet Explorer or any other browser? E-Mail not on your computer.
- Outlook/Outlook Express? E-Mail on your computer.

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