Webmail Tips and FAQ

See CSAIL Email Access for better options than the CSAIL webmail interface for reading your mail.

If you have questions about CSAIL Webmail that are not answered here, please send mail to help@csail.mit.edu (and you might remind us to add the answers to this page).

CSAIL Webmail Tips and Frequently Asked Questions

How can I view the HTML version of a message? How can I view attachments?

Some users have reported problems viewing HTML messages. To make sure you can see all components of a message (plain text, HTML, any attachments, and any embedded media such as images or video), you can hover over the gear menu next to “Others (unsupported)” and choose “Preferences” > “Mail” > “Message” (third column, at least on a sufficiently large display) > “Viewing” (top choice under “Message”). Then you’ll get a screen with (among other settings) “Which message parts do you want to display in the summary?” The choices are “Show all parts”, “Show all attachments”, and “Do not show parts”. You probably want “Show all parts”. If you choose that and click “Save”, then when viewing messages you’ll see a “Parts” pop-down menu under the headers (and above the message body) with a paperclip icon next to it. You can click that to display all the components of the message. Many messages will have only one component (“Text”), but messages with attachments, messages with embedded media like images or audio, and messages with alternative plain-text and HTML versions will list multiple parts.

Why does searching for messages in the search box take a ridiculously long time?

Unfortunately, the webmail client defaults to searching the entire content of your messages. (The search field starts of saying, in grey, “Search (Entire Message)”.) That takes a ridiculously long time if you have lots of messages in your folder (and it also puts an undue load on the mail server). Unless you actually need to search for something in the body of a message, you should first click the down-arrow and specify a particular set of header fields to search in instead. (“From”, “Recipients (To/Cc/Bcc)”, or “Subject”.) Then you can type your search term and get results much quicker.