Educational ICT Virtualisation Specialist 

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Precedence Technologies Ltd
Technology House, 36a Union Lane
Cambridge, CB4 1QB, United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)8456 446 800 / +44 (0)1223 359900
F: +44 (0)8456 446 899 / +44 (0)1223 359459

Someone's sent me a really big email and it's too big for me to download.

There are two ways to fix this: by hand or with a program.

By hand

  1. Locate the address of your POP3 server (for PTLNet it is
  2. Find a telnet program on your chosen computer. You can often do this easily from a web-browser by running a telnet:// URL. Connect to the POP3 server on port 110. To connect to PTLNet's POP3 server click on the following: telnet://
  3. Once you have connected to the server (you will see a line beginning with +OK), type USER followed by a space and then your username. Next press Return e.g.
    +OK POP3 v4.xx server ready
    USER jsmith
    +OK User name accepted, password please
  4. When you see the next line beginning with +OK, type PASS followed by a space and then your password. Next press Return, e.g.
    +OK User name accepted, password please
    PASS verysecret
    +OK Mailbox open, 24 messages
  5. Wait for your mailbox to open. This may take a while if your mailbox is very large
  6. After the next +OK, type LIST and press Return. This will list all the messages in your mailbox and their sizes., e.g.
    +OK Mailbox open, 24 messages
    +OK Mailbox scan listing follows
    1 357470
    2 9849
    3 73844
    4 73852
    5 24995171
    6 4815
    7 24993513
    8 9537
    9 5851
    10 349337
  7. For each of the large messages, type DELE followed by the number e.g.
    DELE 5
    +OK Message deleted
    DELE 7
    +OK Message deleted
  8. When you have finished, type QUIT followed by Return.

With a program

There are a number of little programs available which basically do exactly the same as the manual method above, but which offer a nice user interface. They are probably a bit slower to use and of course, require you to download software, learn to use it and have a suitable computer (e.g. be running Windows or such like) whereas the above method can be performed from pretty much anywhere.
Name Operating system Licence URL
MailScoutRISC OSCommercial
PoppyUnix (perl)Free

Just because programs are listed above, this does not imply that Precedence Technologies Ltd recommend or support the products. We have listed them for convenience only.

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