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More reports of disappearing subject lines - 03/10/07

From: Email Guy
Subject:       More reports of disappearing subject lines
Date: March 10, 2007 10:30 AM
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We are currently investigating reports from users of certain browsers, that the Subject column in Web Mail disappears or the messages can't be clicked on. Usually what happens is that only white space is seen in the subject column.

These reports seem to be occurring on various flavors of mozilla-based browsers only. These include Netscape, Firefox pre-2.0 versions only, and generic Mozilla browsers from mozilla.org. The problem doesn't ever seem to occur on Internet Explorer or Firefox 2.0 or Safari or Opera.

The problem seems to mostly occur when there are many messages in a particular folder (hundreds). So moving messages out of your Inbox frequently will help.

If you are using Firefox 1.5, an upgrade to version 2.0 fixes the trouble for most users. Go to http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

I'll have more news when we find the cause and fix it.

WORKAROUND for Netscape 8.x users: click View / Rendering Engine and set it to "Display Like Internet Explorer". Some users report this fixes the problem. Thanks to user Robert Meintzer for the tip.

If you are still using an older version of Netscape, get the newest 8.1.2 version here.

UPDATE - Some Mozilla users report that lowering the "messages-per-page" setting in Preferences / Web Mail Options, to 10 or 20, fixes the problem for them.


Posted by: Regina D. Mueller   |   March 10, 2007 2:26 PM    |   (1)

I have been unable to open my email for several days. I am one of those Mozilla people left in the dark about what's wrong. I have spent 2 hours twice on CHAT trying undo whatever is wrong but nothing seems to help, maybe your help crews in India have no idea that the problem cannot be solved by them working with us via chat. I am one of your older users so did not have any formal training or classes relating to computers...I go back to manual typewriters and hand cranked adding machines. When it works I enjoy using my computer, mostly for emails to family and friends plus some web nebbing. I am able to send emails, open suspect mail, but I cannot get the email page to stay on the screen no matter what I click on the screen erases. I hope you computer wise guys can solve this very frustrating problem for those of us not so versed in computers.

Posted by: Regina D. Mueller   |   March 11, 2007 3:43 PM    |   (2)

Earthlink says it's a Mozilla glitch, I'm not alone others are having problems reading their email too. Knowing that doesn't make me feel any better. I need answers and need to be able to read my emails.
How long is this going to take to iron out the glitch? It's been going on for days now. Help.

No, I never intended to make this sound like a Mozilla glitch; it is most defiinitely a bug we introduced in Web Mail. We're working on fixing it, but in the meantime there are several workarounds mentioned in the post above (I've updated it and added another).

Email Guys

Posted by: jeanine barone   |   March 12, 2007 4:57 PM    |   (3)

I read the explanation for the problem and how to solve it and I don't buy it. I have Mozilla 1.5 and have no problem. However, I have been at internet cafes that use Mozilla 2.0 and those are the ones with the problem where I can't read the email. So upgrading isn't going to help things. Netscape seems to be fine reading the emails.

Posted by: Bruce Parker   |   March 12, 2007 6:46 PM    |   (4)

Loss of subject lines and inability to open emails prompted a trip to the live chat help. The result was frustraiting and prompted the request that I download the new Earthlink browser 'Total Access' 5.0.

I pay for earthlink webmail because I want access to my email from any computer. Requiring software such as total access on each computer I use is not what I pay for. I want 'easy' access not 'total' access.

As to the initial problem, I found that if I changed the page layout from 'basic' to 'none' I could get around the problems seen. I however don't want a 'get around' I want the same great service I have always expected from Earthlink with easy access web based email.

Posted by: Wayne Sheltry   |   March 13, 2007 9:23 AM    |   (5)

I've tried to re-create such a glitch under the following browsers:


Assuming the current release of each browser, I cannot replicate any such problem. I have set all preferences any way but loose. I also empty my Internet temporary files and refresh my browser when I feel the need. I have Firefox set to automatically empty any temporary files. A clean cache keeps any browser-specific problems to a minimum.

Posted by: Janie   |   March 13, 2007 9:48 AM    |   (6)

I have also been unable to read my EARTHLINK email.

HOWEVER, if I go through Internet Explorer instead of
Mozilla Firefox, I can read my email just fine.

I am now in the process of downloading the improved
version of MF....hope it helps as I prefer that browser over IE.


Posted by: Janie   |   March 13, 2007 10:05 AM    |   (7)

Here is a way to read your email from the Firefox browser
even when you can't click on each email to read them!!!

1. Put a check in box beside the top email message.
2. Click on 'Show Message Preview'
3. After reading, delete it to go on to the next message.


Posted by: Chris   |   March 13, 2007 11:44 AM    |   (8)

You know what happens when I don't work? I don't get paid. Unfortunately I do a lot of my business using my Earthlink account. This isn't the first time this has happened. Why do I get a bill when you guys don't work for me? I'm switching...

Posted by: Janie   |   March 13, 2007 1:47 PM    |   (9)

Downloading the upgraded version of Mozilla Firefox
makes the earthlink webmail work just fine now.

Janie :)

Posted by: Janie   |   March 15, 2007 5:06 PM    |   (10)

P.S. I sure like Mozilla Firefox browser better than Internet Explorer browser.

It even has a 'natural' spellcheck on all my emails.
When I sign in and compose an email using IE, it doesn't have this feature.

"There is no need to use the 'Check Spelling' link any longer. In Yahoo, the spell checker is now always on. When you type an error, it will immediately show underlined in red. You can then right-click on the error to see possible spellings and make the correction immediately. "


Posted by: NL   |   March 16, 2007 1:56 PM    |   (11)

I've had this happen to me using Firefox 2.0, with fewer than 40 messages in my Inbox. Just so you know--it's not just old Firefox, and it's not just big mailboxes!

Posted by: John   |   March 16, 2007 11:36 PM    |   (12)

The disappearing subjects and unable to click on a link started here when
I reinstalled my hard drive, and got all the latest Windows updates.
I think the Internet Explorer 7 is causing the problems. If you look at
the page source there are several scripts outside of the /script, and
many script errors that show up in the java consol errors.
It appears to me IE is jamming some features in other browers in the name
of security.

It isn't related to IE7, and the problem is definitely a bug in Web Mail. We have fixed it but need a few days to finish testing that and some other things and get it released.

Email Guy

Posted by: Peg   |   March 17, 2007 11:46 AM    |   (13)

My web mail keeps disappearing. I read a couple of messages, and everything is fine. I go back to the inbox and the rest of the messages have disappeared. I get a message that there are "no messages in my inbox." I received 34 new messages in my inbox this A.M., and I saw them listed, and they have all disappeared. This has been going on for a couple of weeks. What is going on and where are my e-mail messages? I have missed meetings and other business correspondence, and I am very disappointed with Earthlink. Please address this problem and fix it. I use Internet Explorer.

This is not related to the Web Mail display problem described, and no messages are missing. You are running other email software on your computer which is retrieving and deleting your messages. See this article for more information.

Your logs show this other software deleting your messages regularly, most recently at Mar 17 11:16:07 EST, when 27 messages were retrieved and deleted by your other email software. You will find your messages by checking any other email software running on your computers.

Email Guy

Posted by: Susan P.   |   March 17, 2007 1:55 PM    |   (14)


I'm also having the problem of not being able to see subjects or open messages on Webmail. The subject lines initially appear very briefly, then vanish.

I have had some luck resizing the window to as small as possible and scrolling to see the list, to exclude the odious banner ad, and the grossly oversized and un-resizable left navigation pane.

I use Firefox 1.06, running on Windows 2000 5.00.2195, running service pack 4, over a 56K modem on a dial-up account.

I suspect the new problem has something to do with forcing us to view the animated banner ads- I notice that the message on the lower left indicates that an add is loading exactly when the subjects disappear.

I can't believe we are paying for email accounts to use this web application!

If you must annoy paying subscribers with ads to make a living, I would be willing to pay a bit more to get a product that is not annoying.


Posted by: Bruce Parker   |   March 19, 2007 5:24 PM    |   (15)

While I had several days of normal email opperation last week, the missing subject line problem has returned. I can only read my emails if I change my page style to "no Style" which is problematical in use.

Posted by: Robert   |   March 23, 2007 2:39 PM    |   (16)

I just want to add my two cents worth. I have also experienced the disapearing subject lines when using Mozilla Firefox. Earlier this week I spent close to two hours in Live Chat attempting to get some help. My first session never seemed to connect. I waited 15 to 20 minutes and no one from Live Chat ever responded. The second time I connected, I was told that my browser was the problem. Funny, it worked okay last week. And for a couple of years before that. Now suddenly Chat is telling me that it's a problem with MY browser??? About the time I questioned this, my dial up connection was dropped. Coincidence ? Who knows. It was my first dropped connection in about a year. The third time I connected to Chat, I was told to reset security preferences in Web Mail. No, not the number of messages displayed as previously mentioned in this blog, but other security preferences. Did that, and the first e-mail was readable. When I went back to the in box, nothing, including the first e-mail, was readable. I was still connected to chat, and was told that this has fixed other peoples problems and WOULD work without fail. It didn't. Another dropped connection and I was not a happy camper. My 4th attempt a getting help from the Live Chat told me to clear the history, cache, and cookies. When I questioned how this would effect the disapearing subject lines in web mail, I was told it must be my browser and that I had NO CHOICE but to start using Internet Explorer. I came to this blog to vent some of my frustration with Earthlink and their lack of support, and now that I have done that I just want to say that I do have a choice. There are other internet providers in the world, and my mission this afternoon is to do some research. I have been with Mindspring/Earthlink for 11 years and I hate to change my e-mail address. But if Earthlink can't support me any longer, and tells me I HAVE to change browsers, then maybe it's time for me to move on. At least from reading this blog I have learned that Earthlink understands it's a problem THEY have introduced into Web Mail. But I can't help but feel that knowing that is still too little to late.

The issue with Mozilla-based browsers is fixed and the update is in final testing, for release this coming week. You should be able to use any modern browser you like, and I apologize for the temporary inconvenience.

Email Guy

Posted by: Brad   |   March 27, 2007 1:37 PM    |   (17)

Hello, e-Mail Guy!

I too am on the verge of dropping EL after many years of previously excellent service (since 2001/08/03). I am loathe to give up my superb e-mail address. I really like the SpamBlocker, IMHO Web Mail's most important feature. Forcing paying subscribers to endure third-party advertisements really sucks!

In the last 6 months there have been multiple problems with web mail, including all of the above and a few others, and *every* time I have called support I got someone who barely spoke English and dished out a line of BS as a proposed solution. (I'm a retired IT guy; I KNOW BS when I smell it!) I also had no luck with Chat, not being able to find someone on duty. You should have someone there 24/7 no excuses!

My latest problem began the day you unleashed 5.13.1. I called support several times and got the usual BS. One idiot insisted the malfunction was "normal" behavior of Web Mail!

A few days ago I selected my new ISP, but I haven't signed up yet. The ONLY reason I didn't already switch: I decided to give this blog a try. In the next couple of days I will explore the entire blog, hoping to resolve my issues in the manner prescribed by your Ground Rules.

If I don't see a solution, then I *will* tell you what bothers me. It will be EL's LAST chance to retain me as a subscriber...

BTW, I'm going to follow the lead of my youngest brother. He bought his own domain name, so now he has a permanent portable e-mail address. (Although that does not come with web mail...)


Brad - the issues introduced on 3/7 should be resolved tomorrow assuming our final testing today goes well. At the very latest it will go out Friday. This isn't going to change the advertising, which has been as it is now for years. But it will fix the new problems we introduced. Also know that we are working on less intrusive ways to do the advertising.

Feel free to email me at email-guy at earthlink dot net with other concerns you have, or if there is anything I can do to meet your needs.

Note - that address only accepts messages I specifically approve in advance, all others are deleted immediately.

Email Guy

Posted by: Janie   |   April 17, 2007 7:36 AM    |   (18)

Hi everyone.
I hope you no longer have the problem with the disappearing email subjects along with being unable to click on your emails to read them.

I would still BET A BUCK if you download to the NEW and improved Firefox
browser, that it would work fine. (Not use the OLD 1.6 version.)
Or use Internet Explorer to read your email.

Here is the download site from the very first post:

This problem was already fixed for all browsers.

Email Guy

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