Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Nov 6, 2014 4:06 AM by lgobin
nodems Level 1 (0 points)

I am running 10.6.8 on a 2008 Mac Pro. I was using MS Entourage as my email program. I want to upgrade to Lion/Mtn Lion, but my old MS Entourage or other Office programs won't work on that, so I decided to start using Apple Mail (version 4.6)


I get my email thru my ISP,,


When Apple Mail is OPEN it will not connect to Charter email, and Charter email will not display or recieve or send any email, nor will Entourage (POP) or a MS Outlook (trial version). Apple Mail says it "cannot connect to the IMAP server," and it "cannot connect to the SMTP server."


I have set up Apple Mail correctly according to Charter: IMAP port 143, SMTP port 25, no SSL etc (default email reader Entourage, but I've tried Mail, Outlook, etc. …no change in my problem)


When I quit Apple Mail, the others will immediately access/send emails.


The problem seems to be that for some reason Apple Mail blocks Charter mail from connecting, but since that is where I get my email, Apple Mail is blocking itself, Entourage and Outlook from connecting to the IMAP/SMTP servers, therefore no mail service.


The strange thing is that now and again Apple Mail WILL connect—briefly—and mail will come in/go out, but then drops offline again.


I've been on the phone with Charter for a couple hours and had a service tech here this morning for an hour, but everyone is stumped. Of course none of them are very Mac-savvy, so that doesn't help.

Can any of you help?

Apple Mail, Mac OS X (10.6.8), Apple Mail Charter Mail conflict.
  • sanjampet Level 5 (7,760 points)

    Try deleting all mail accounts (write down all settings for all accts) Then try using connection doctor one account at a time, test each as it completes, this should show the offender.

  • nodems Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks, I tried that several times, but it didn't work. Found a Charter tech on the phone who stuck with it until we found a solution. The solution, it turns out, was that for some strange reason, IMAP on my Apple Mail is incompatible with IMAP on Charter so the two were conflicting with each other. Apple Mail was actually keeping Charter Mail from sending or receiving email, and Charter mail was not allowing Apple Mail to connect. I had to change all my Apple Mail settings back to POP. Charter is going to be switching everything over to IMAP, so my situation actually served to alert them to something that they need to fix first. Frank even said he'd call me personally to let me know when it gets fixed. A lot of people bad-mouth Charter, but I almost always get good customer service.

  • mmezjohnson Level 1 (0 points)

    I went to the apple store for the same issue.  We spent over an hour messing with the settings for apple mail and - upon seeing your post - decided to try something different.  If the two are not talking, we thought "why not try another mail program?"  So we downloaded Thunderbird (from the makers of firefox) and installed in on our mac.  We have had no problems since then getting our mail.  It's unfortunate that Apple's program is not supported by Charter, but at least with Thunderbird we are not timing out or losing email.  If you hear from Frank, it would be great if you could let the rest of us know so we can go back to apple mail.  It's a nicer format in any case.

  • mmezjohnson Level 1 (0 points)

    I may have spoken too soon.  I had a good day of e-mails but now we are seeing the old issues again.  Do you think change to a g-mail account would avoid this issue?  We would still use Charter as our internet service, but the e-mail accounts would be  or is there another free e-mail address that is better?

  • clang Level 1 (0 points)

    We have 4 Charter accounts that have worked fine for a long time. For the last couple of months we've been having same issues as you originally reported. Since Charter has switched to IMAP accounts, we tried changing two accounts to IMAP, but left the other 2 as POP accounts. They all have the exact same problems. Intermittantly receiving mail, Charter offline when we try and send mail. It may take all day to finally send mail, then sometimes people are getting more than one copy of mail. Problem receiving mail only happens on Charter accounts, iCloud account working. Using "take all accounts on line" doesn't change anything (even if I take them offline first.) Much time on the phone with Charter with no resolution. When we asked what's the next step, they said "there is no next." We also have been unable to sign in with Safari to email at Charter's website to access mail directly (couldn't sign in on Firefox or Chrome either). I did recently upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion, so I don't know if that is a factor. I'm on a MacBook Pro, but we're having same problem on our other Apple computers.


    Any ideas?

  • nodems Level 1 (0 points)

    Here's what Charter suggested I should do, but I have not had time to try it. I taked again and what they suggest is you cannot just change the settings from POP to IMAP, but to delete that account first and then change it.


    According to the tech just switching the info around won't work. You have to delete and start from scratch. I have about 9 addresses and I didn't have time for that right now.


    Settings: IMAP port 143 ,  SMTP port 25

  • clang Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your quick reply. I didn't delete the old POP account, but I disabled it then created a new IMAP account. I think my husband deleted, then created new account. The IMAP port is 143 and SMTP is checked "use default ports (25, 465, 587). I tried custom port 25 with no difference. Do you know about whether SSL should be checked? It doesn't seem to help either way.


    All the Charter accounts have a gray circle with triangle and exclamation point in the middle until it mysteriously and randomly will work for a bit. It will not receive mail when the circle is there. AOL, Gmail and iCloud accounts do not have this circle.


    I was able to send from my iPad using Charter, but I don't know if that was one of those random moments.

  • vja4Him Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been having exactly the same trouble with my Charter E-mail Accounts.


    I first use two of my existing Charter E-mail Accounts (which I have never used in years!). Set them up in Apple Mail (Snow Leopard 10.6.8, on my MacPro 4.1) as POP Accounts!


    They did work sometimes, but now I can only receive mail.


    Set up a new Charter E-mail Account, and used that to Set Up in Apple Mail as IMAP Account. It does NOT work at all, period, either way.


    I've been on the phone with Charter Tech Support many, many, many times, for many hours, but nobody has a clue. They tell me to check their webpage for Set Up, which I don't need because I've been through the Set-up Procedure so many times already.


    Then they tell me to call Apple Tech Support, which I cannot afford.


    So, now I'm back to using my old DreamHost E-mail Accounts, which work just fine, after their Tech Support helped me to resolve some issues. They had me open Terminal, then Keychain. I tried all three Keychain Methods, which resolved the issues with DreamHost E-mail.


    I'm going to try setting up my G-mail Account in Apple Mail and see what happens .....

  • Z zoozx Level 2 (315 points)

    This is all on Charter.

    I have tried everything and Charter has no clue.

    Tried everything they suggested, went to the website and read everything, nothing works.

    Mail will not recieve mail........UNLESS.

    Do this test:


    send yourself a test mail.

    You won't be able to recieve it.

    Open mail prefs > select the account you sent mail to

    > go to advance tab

    > check or uncheck use SSL

    save changes to account and the mail shows up.


    Try the above again and the mail won't show up until you go back into the account and do the opposite with the check box on SSL.


    This is no solution as it is a pain but it shows a communication problem on the servers side.

  • Blair Henningsgaard2 Level 1 (10 points)

    For some reason Mail quit connecting to my Charter email few days ago.  But this only happens on my iMac (27" late 2009 OS ver 10.9.4).  I can connect fine on the MacBookAir downstairs and on my iPad.  On my iMac I am told that cannot be contacted on ports 143 and 25.


    This is weird because I received emails without interruption for years on this and previous iMacs on this Charter account.  The failure happened the same day I connected my office macs to Charter Business - on a separate account.  I do not know how this could be related but it seems like more than a coincidence but it could be.


    Has anyone successfully resolved this Charter-Mail issue?

  • Z zoozx Level 2 (315 points)

    Yeah the only solution is to use thunderbird and it S....ucks.

  • dianeoforegon Level 5 (4,645 points)

    Eliminate Mail by testing in Postbox and MailMate. Both have demos.



    Setup in MailMate is super easy since it imports your account info from Mail. MailMate supports IMAP only.


    Postbox interface is more user friendly. IMHO

  • glen_slo Level 1 (0 points)

    I'd like to know if they ever called you to say they've fixed it. Your message is posted with a date of 2012. Well, it's 2014 now and they still haven't fixed the problem apparently since I cannot connect.


    This is why people bad-mouth Charter. They say they'll do something and they don't. The only thing they have done consistently is raise their rates.

    But their service isn't especially good. The fact that almost two years later they've still not fixed this problem proves that much.

    Sorry, but if I didn't have have cable internet, I'd drop Charter in an instant.

  • steve626 Level 4 (1,480 points)

    clang wrote:


    We also have been unable to sign in with Safari to email at Charter's website to access mail directly (couldn't sign in on Firefox or Chrome either). I did recently upgrade from Lion to Mountain Lion, so I don't know if that is a factor. I'm on a MacBook Pro, but we're having same problem on our other Apple computers.


    Any ideas?

    I have Charter for internet also, and have Charter email accounts that I don't use very much. However I have had no issues connecting via Safari to read Charter email, simply logging in at to read email via their browser interface. This works (for us) on Macs running 10.6.8, 10.7.5, and 10.9.4 (just updated the 10.6.8 one to 10.9.4 and charter email via Safari web browser interface has worked fine on all these OS's).


    Lots of folks use Apple Mail for GMAIL, so that's another option.

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