Sometimes I don’t use my e-mail account for several days at a time. Is there any way I could lose my address if I leave it go too long?

That’s a very interesting question and I’m sure you’re not the only one who has wondered this in the past. So, if you have ever been worried about losing your e-mail address, here’s your answer. Basically, you won’t lose your address if you just stop using it for a few days, but if you let it go for a long period of time with no activation, you may risk losing your account altogether.

Also, if you don’t use your e-mail for a long time, instead of losing your address, you could run into some problems with being able to receive new e-mails. I’m not sure which one is worse! Listed below are some basic explanations of why you could lose your e-mail address.

1.) Your e-mail expires or is disabled because of inactivity. If you go through a free Web based e-mail provider such as Yahoo! or Hotmail, your account will be disabled after so many days of you not using it. Some of the free providers will not only disable the account, but they will delete it as well. For example, if you do not log in to your e-mail account (for Hotmail and Yahoo!) at least once every 30 days, everything will be deactivated and you won’t be able to get back in. The only way you can get e-mail again would be to create a new username and password, along with a new e-mail address. You simply have to sign up all over again.

Just for another example, if you use Gmail from Google for your e-mail, your account will not be disabled until it has been inactive for nine months. That’s obviously a lot better than 30 days, but it’s still a headache to have to sign up again. (On the other hand, if you don’t use your e-mail account for nine months, chances are, you don’t want e-mail anyway!)

Also, keep in mind that if your account is disabled, you will lose all the e-mail you had saved beforehand, as well as, any new e-mail that may have come through. Even if you sign up for another account, you won’t be able to get those e-mails back. All e-mail addresses in your address book will be lost as well, or kept by the e-mail service.

2.) If you get your e-mail through your ISP (Internet Service Provider), which is a pretty popular way of doing things, it’s unlikely that your account will be disabled, but you do stand the chance of reaching a full quota. Quota issues can be just as bad.

If you leave your e-mail unchecked for several days, you may reach your account’s quota (the available storage space) before you know it. Reaching your maximum quota won’t shut your account off, but it will keep you from receiving any new e-mails. Most e-mail providers assign a certain amount of space to every e-mail account and they moderate how much you use, have left, etc. So, if you don’t maintain your e-mail account and bring all your new e-mails in every so often, you will run out of available disk space and you won’t be able to get any new ones in.

If this happens to you, the only way you can get it corrected is by talking to your ISP and waiting for them to resolve the issue. Whew, what a pain that would be! If possible, always try to keep up to date with your e-mail, because it will save everyone a lot of time in the end. If you don’t really have any need for an e-mail account, cancel yours now. It’s all just easier that way.

~ Erin