Categories: Computer email program (please specify: Apple Mail, Outlook, Thunderbird, etc) :

Too many simultaneous IMAP connections

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Too many simultaneous IMAP connections GregCMCSE 9/4/09 5:38 AM
I've accessed GMail via IMAP regularly from my main desktop at home via both Outlook (2007 - fully patched) and Windows Live Mail (simultaneously), a work laptop (also 2007), and a Windows Mobile 6 device (Sprint HTC Touch Pro).
 
Last night I started getting a "Your IMAP server wants to alert you to the following: Too many simultaneous connections. (Failure)" message.  I had never seen this before, even with all 4 connections going.
 
I've tried rebooting the desktop and Windows Mobile device, the work laptop has been turned off since yesterday afternoon and I shut it down normally.  In a last-ditch effort to block whatever is causing my problem, I changed my password this morning and rebooted everything again.  I haven't put my new password in anywhere but my desktop Outlook and I'm getting in to my inbox, but when I try to click on any other GMail IMAP folder, I get the error again.  Once it goes into "offline mode", I can tell outlook to connect to my account (Use Online mode) while focused on the other folder and that works, but then I can't refocus on the Inbox without getting the error.
 
I have another GMail account that I am able to access from the same Outlook client without issues.
 

2009-09-05
I NEED DIRECT GMAIL STAFF ASSISTANCE ON THIS ONE!
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections wár17 § 9/4/09 9:26 AM
Close all your IMAP connections except one.

If no joy, run Captcha to unlock

If no joy, you may need to wait 24 hours.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections bkennelly 9/4/09 9:38 AM
Many IMAP clients use multiple simultaneous connections, so, even with only four clients, you could exceed 10 connections.  Look in each client for options to limit the number of connections.

Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections tc270 9/4/09 10:00 AM
I'm having the same problem.  I have 1 computer with Outlook.  I also have an iphone and the iphone mail works fine.  I tried shutting down computer and even deleted the account and reinstalled.  Still have same error.
 
So with iphone and reinstalled account in outlook, how can I be over 10?  How do you close imap connections?
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections tc270 9/4/09 10:20 AM
As a side note, I have a gmail account and also a domain name that points to google mail.  Running 'Captcha' above will only let me log in on x...@gmail.com.  That's not the account I'm having a problem with, and it is not even set up on my outlook computer.  It's my x...@domain_name.com account that isn't working and captcha will not let me log in saying that is an invalid account.  Yet I can log in to that account and get my email at www.google.com/a/domain_name.com just fine.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections bkennelly 9/4/09 10:32 AM
The CAPTCHA page for Google Apps is domain dependent: https://www.google.com/a/[your domain].com/UnlockCaptcha
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections tc270 9/4/09 10:43 AM
The CAPTCHA page for Google Apps is domain dependent: https://www.google.com/a/[your domain].com/UnlockCaptcha
 
I tried this twice and it just takes me to the dashboard, not to the sign in page the captcha link above points to.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections tc270 9/4/09 11:08 AM
bkennelly- I tried it again and it did take me to the captcha page, ran it and then retried Outlook.  It worked one time.  Second time outlook tried to check mail, same error. 
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections GregCMCSE 9/4/09 4:14 PM
This isn't a CAPTCHA problem, my username and password are fine.  I changed my password for troubleshooting purposes to ensure that other clients couldn't be connecting and driving up the connection count.
 
What has changed on my workstation?  Nothing that should have an impact.  A Windows Defender update yesterday long AFTER the problem started occurring.  An Office Genuine Advantage and Windows Defender update back on 9/1 that forced a reboot which I did on 9/1.  I turned down an IE8 install either on 9/1 or sometime in August.  Used the computer (especially Outlook) after that, and all of 9/2 and the early morning of 9/3 without issues.  My guess is that the problem started mid-day on 9/3, but that's just a guess.  I installed GIMP, an open-source picture editor, 7 days ago.
 
Other than IE8, my Windows XP Pro workstation is fully patched and routinely maintained.  I'm a Network Architect/Sr. Engineer with a focus on Microsoft products and security.
 
I think this has to be a GMail server issue, or perhaps an issue with my account.  All the machines have been rebooted (including my phone) several times and I'm still seeing the problem.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections GregCMCSE 9/5/09 9:37 PM
Is anyone from Google watching this forum?  This is killing me.  I can't continue to be effectively shut-down from my email.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections jbarczykowski 9/8/09 1:24 PM
I am having the same issue only I am using outlook 2003. It seems to have started sometime between 9/4 and today. I only have IMAP active on one computer and my iphone. My iphone receives mail fine. I get the "Too many simultaneous IMAP connections" in outlook as soon as I open it when connected to the network. I have tried with my phone off, I have tried removing and re-adding the account to outlook and i have rebooted the machine a couple of times. I can still get on my account online but I can't access through outlook.

PLEASE HELP!
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections dizilbodg 9/8/09 1:27 PM
I have been having IMAP issues with my iPhone and my Mac Mail with Snow Leopard I've been posting and no one seems to be responding there is a problem going on with IMAP.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections VolofTN 9/8/09 3:07 PM
I am having this issues with too many connections and Outlook 2003. 
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections vipass 9/9/09 12:07 AM
I am having the same problems as described above. I believe that something happend when the server outage with google happend. This is really anoying If a fix cant be found soon I'm thinking of ditching Gmail all together.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections sszz 9/9/09 5:01 AM
Just to let you know: same problem here for 3 days now. I also asked for help, nothing valuable yet. My problem is described here:

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=387140afa906eed2&hl=en
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections GregCMCSE 9/9/09 5:09 AM
This problem has gone away for me as of this morning.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections sszz 9/9/09 5:12 AM
The misterious 5 days lockdown, right? :(
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections Vertwithenvy 9/12/09 12:16 PM
Ok, i have been having this problem intermittently for about two weeks now.  It seems to repair itself and then get all wonky again.  My setup is three email accounts all being handled by outlook 2007; two of them are gmail accounts and one is from a domain that i purchased.  only one gmail account is having this issue, the other one is fine all the time, and the one on my domain never has any problems.  To me this points to an account issue, but I can't be sure.  I never access this account from anywhere but my home computer, no mobile devices.  Any guesses? or any actual help?
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections sd3561 9/28/09 9:32 AM
I'm also having this issue.. we wrote a .NET app that uses Gmail IMAP to connect and retrieve mails.. I've tried another PC, disabling/enabling IMAP on the Gmail account - nothing. This doesnt make any sense.. nothing on our boxes changed either.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections mk545 9/28/09 12:06 PM
I'm having the same problem here
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections Samuel29 9/30/09 6:58 AM
Hi,
Last month, we moved our company's email to gmail Apps and now we're loosing time because of that f**ing limitation !
One of the great interests of Imap is that is permits mailbox sharing with many users, which is very usefull in small businesses !

Any answer from Gmail team would be great !

Thanks,
Samuel
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections Spinifex 10/1/09 5:36 PM
Same issue here. "Too many simultaneous connections" to server failure error.  Updated server timeout to 1 minute, reduced from 2.5 minutes.  Error still present.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections wár17 § 10/1/09 5:43 PM
you may try lengthen the interval between check for new mail.  If it is under 5 minutes, try lengthening it to 10 or 15 min.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections rethompson 10/1/09 11:05 PM
As of today I started to get this same error.  I have 2 gmail accounts and only one seems to be affected.  An IT expert at experts-exchange.com told me that you can't have IMAP running on two devices at the same time, but it has always worked before and seems to work fine with the second gmail account.
 
Is anyone from Google going to address what is obviously an issue for many of us?
 
I'm going back to nothing but POP in every account 100% of the time if this does not get solved soon.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections Samuel29 10/2/09 3:23 AM
wár17 § : the interval was already set to 10 minutes for some users, and 15 minutes for others...

Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections bkennelly 10/2/09 8:08 AM
An IT expert at experts-exchange.com told me that you can't have IMAP running on two devices at the same time

The expert is wrong. You can connect to an IMAP server from multiple devices, with multiple connections from each device.  Google limit you to ten simultaneous connections, but something seem so be causing them to report this error with fewer.  I have not seen it yet, but there really are too many reports to ignore it.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections sd3561 10/2/09 8:31 AM
rethompson: this seems like the exact issue we're facing.. we have a .NET app pulling from the Gmail account via IMAP, which never gave us problems.. we then added support for this program to pull from a different Exchange server, also via IMAP, which worked fine until the most recent Gmail IMAP outage. Now the app pulls correctly from the Exchange app, but we keep getting a variety of errors with the Gmail.. too many simultaneous users is the most common, weve also gotten bad username / password.. which doesnt make sense cause I'm logging in with the same credentials...

we've tried switching PC's that run the app, no dice, and are now experimenting with some timeout settings... do you have thousands of emails in these accounts? I think this may be the issue.. too many mails leading to some sort of timeouts
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections sd3561 10/2/09 8:32 AM
... we * had * a .NET app ...
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections rethompson 10/2/09 12:00 PM
sd3561: A few details.  We run Outlook 2003 under Windows XP and have Windows mobile on cell phones.  This issue may be number of e-mails related, as the accounts with fewer e-mails don't seem to get this message.  experts-exchange.com said you could have multiple devices configured, but could only actively use one with a given gmail account at a time.  I believe bkennelly is correct that a gmail account should allow up to ten simultaneous connections, but that does not seem to be the current reality.  We only have one PC and one mobile device per gmail account, so how do you get to 10 connections?
 
Is there a way to limit the number of connections for a given PC or mobile device?
 
And where is Google?
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections bkennelly 10/2/09 12:12 PM
We only have one PC and one mobile device per gmail account, so how do you get to 10 connections?

Each IMAP client can have multiple connections.  Many clients will use one connection for each folder being checked, up to the client's limit.  (E.g, Thunderbird defaults to 5 connections per IMAP account.)

So, it is easy for one or two clients or devices to hit the limit. 
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections rethompson 10/2/09 12:22 PM
bkennelly:  So does that mean if only 5 folders are checked by each client, then two clients (a PC and a mobile device) could not exceed 10 connections? 
 
How exactly do you count the number of folders?  For example on a Windows mobile device, IMAP creates a master directory "[Gmail]" that contains 6 directories: All Mail, Drafts, Sent Mail, Spam, Starred and Trash.  In addition are the labels (not under "[Gmail]") Deleted Items, Drafts, Inbox, Junk E-mail, Outbox and Sent Items.  If you go to Gmail on the web, you could decrease the number of folders correct?
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections bkennelly 10/2/09 12:35 PM
The number of folders being checked depends on the client settings.  It could be checking all folders, or it could be a selected subset, depending on the synchronisation and subscription settings.

It is not impossible for the number of connections to exceed the number of folders being checked.  It depends on how the client was designed. 
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections rethompson 10/2/09 12:54 PM
So for Outlook 2003 how does one determine the number of connections?
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections bkennelly 10/2/09 1:11 PM
I do not have access to Outlook right now, but I remember another contributing factor.  Some anti-virus programs leave open connections if they are set to scan incoming mail. Try disabling the incoming mail scan, if any, to see if it helps.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections rethompson 10/2/09 1:20 PM
We use Norton Protection Center, but I will not want to disable incoming mail scanning on an on-going basis so that number of connections needs to be included in the total.  How does one determine the numer of connections for Windows mobile?  Is there any way to increase the number of connections to greater than 10?
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections Samuel29 10/28/09 2:16 AM
Hi,

is there any hope that google raises that (***ing) limit ?

Thks
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections rethompson 10/28/09 8:18 AM
No sign that Google is willing to consider raising the limit on connections.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections Forboding Angel 12/28/09 11:04 AM
Soooo google... How bout them IMAP connections?
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections tablawalla 1/29/10 3:22 PM
Me Too. Running Mail on OSX.6 and mail on an iphone. Too many connections. Its a drag. Any help Google?
 
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections bobmesserschmidt 2/1/10 9:42 AM
I have a PAID account and I get these errors constantly.  I hope they fix this.  Same configuration as above: Running Mail on OSX.6 and mail on an iphone.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections Forboding Angel 2/15/10 2:19 PM
Ok I found a solution. Grab thunderbird (mozillamessaging.com) and set up the accounts and in advanced server options set each client to only cache 1 connection. Works like a charm (Thunderbird beats the everloving shit out of outlook anyway).
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections sduyfg 3/30/10 2:43 AM
This worked for me in thunderbird:
for each account, go in to server settings-->advanced-->"Maximum number of server connections to cache" and set to a lower number (try 1 and then build up).

I don't know how to do this on other clients, but I assume it's possible.

Hope that helps
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections isasi-deanp 8/23/10 2:17 PM
This is a known issue but there is a work around.  It's not pretty but it works.
 
This has nothing to do with Outlook.  I bet everyone on this thread who is having this problem is connecting their cell phone to their email via IMAP.
 
The main issue is that Google only allows 10 connections at a time.  The problem is if your cell phone connects using IMAP and you drive alot, your IP address will change everytime it switches to a new cell tower.  This will cause your phone to make many connections to Google eating up those 10 connections very quickly.
 
The solution is to manually sign out of sessions.  You do this by logging into your gmail account via a web browser.  Then at the bottom you will see in small print "Last account activity: xxx minutes ago at IP 999.999.999.999."  Next to that is a DETAILS link.  Click on that.  Now you will see all the IP's that make up the connection.  Click on the button Sign Out all other sessions and wala you've freed up connections.
 
As for Thunderbird vs Outlook, I just switched back to Outlook after using Thunderbird for two months.  Hated the program.  Felt very old, sluggish and I didn't like having the inbox separate from my other folders.
 
Hope this helps.
Re: Too many simultaneous IMAP connections GregCMCSE 8/23/10 2:29 PM
isasi-deanp:
 
Thanks so much for your answer.  That absolutely has to be it.  I was stunned to see 6 different IP addresses for my phone from today on that list!
 
The moral to this story is clearly:  Don't use IMAP on a phone to access GMail, or live with needing to clear the sessions occasionally.
 
Any idea why IMAP doesn't attempt a keep-alive every hour or so to open sessions and, if no response, close the session?
 
 -- Greg
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