Knowledgebase: All Things Email
Checking POP mail frequency suggestion
Posted by - NA - on 11 October 2006 08:38 PM
Please set your mail program to check mail no more than once per 5 minutes. Checking mail more frequently can cause the mail server to be overloaded and resulting in degraded pop services for all users. When this occurs, users receive a "connection refused" error message.

Industry standards recommend 10 to 15 minute mail check intervals. It is further recommended by mail program developers to be sure that the time
interval between checks for new e-mail is long enough to avoid problems caused by performing another check for new e-mail while still working on
downloading messages from the previous check.

Verisign's Network Solutions has this suggestion ( for their mail users:
Most e-mail software can be set up to retrieve your messages automatically on a regular interval. Attempting to retrieve new messages on extremely
frequent intervals may adversely impact your E-mail performance. Since our systems only query for new messages once every 5 minutes, we recommend you
adjust your retrieval settings to check for messages with the same frequency - every 5 minutes.

In our case, we at SITEWORKS allow server-side incoming mail to be received on a continuing basis as opposed to the 5 minutes inbound checking, but we would
appreciate your compliance on the client-side. Even a change to every 3 minutes would provide good results.

ADDED NOTE for cPanel users:
Our cPanel servers allow 60 POP3 logins per user per hour (3600 second interval) and if exceeded, the server's security programs perceive an attack and will block you temporarily - during which time you cannot check mail. For some users that try to check more than 60 times per hour, they may get blocked several times daily.

If needed, please make this change promptly.
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