I had an mind-boggling problem yesterday. I belong to a Yahoo group and I registered with one of my Gmail accounts.  I was able to participate in the group for a couple weeks, but now when I send emails from that Gmail account, they’re rejected back to a DIFFERENT Gmail account.


Okay, to be specific.  I registered with a Gmail address, let’s say, watchmefixthis@gmail.com (fake). My main Gmail address is lisaksimone(at)gmail.com (real).

So I posted as usual to my Yahoo group by sending an email from watchmefixthis@gmail.com. It was rejected back to me at lisaksimone(at)gmail.com.

Again, this time with more feeling.


I tried twice more, same rejection.  How the hell does Yahoo know I have two Gmail addresses?  And despite that I registered with and sent from address A, it somehow psychically deduced another address and rejected it back to address B?  Remember when The Sisters Wordpress confused me with myself?

Looking at the evidence trail

Here’s the original I sent to my Yahoo Group - this screen shot is from my Thunderbird Sent folder.  Note it’s from my “watchmefixthis.@gmail.com” address.

And here’s what I get back.  Note that Yahoo replies to my lisaksimone(at)gmail.com address.


… and just to make sure, here’s what Yahoo (alleges I) shows ME I sent … from my lisaksimone(at)gmail.com


To repeat, I send from one email address, I get a rejection as if I sent from another email address.

Now what?

Well first, I freak a bit because I sometimes use my watchmefixthis@gmail.com address to post anonymously.  GUESS IT’S NOT SO ANONYMOUS when SOMETHING along the way decides to OUT you. (Shit, did I post to imapsychopath.com?)

*Heart sinks, cheeks flush*

So what’s going on?

Running some tests

The first I’ve seen of this is Yahoo - but is it limited to Yahoo?  After all, Yahoo requires address registration.  So I sent myself an email from watchmefixthis@gmail.com to lisa@lisaksimone.com - another valid (NON Gmail) address of mine.  Lo and behold, the mail ARRIVES from lisaksimone(at)gmail.com.

No matter what address I send TO, it appears to come from lisaksimone(at)gmail.com.  I use Thunderbird for 8 different email accounts - three are Gmail accounts.  (Yes, entering all the passwords on restart gets old, but look at the alternative.)

So, the plot thickens.

Then I wonder, Gmail is often my outgoing mail server and it works pretty well.  So I check my server settings.  Below you see I use this computer everywhere, so I have several outgoing servers because none of them like to play fair with the others and kindly pass along emails from the “competitors.”  Grumble grumble.

Note I have two outgoing Gmail servers, aptly named “Gmail” and “Gmail.”  But when I highlight the top one, the description below ties it to my lisaksimone username, and Gmail requires authentication.  Therefore, it appears, anything I send from ANY Gmail account in Thunderbird LOOKS like it comes from lisaksimone(at)gmail.com

How special.

Prove it

So I spent some time sending emails, changing outgoing servers, sending other emails, etc., and concluded that the account used to authenticate the outgoing server determines ALL the FROM fields.  EVEN IF each the email CLEARLY shows the FROM field as being a different account.  *Oh SO rolls eyes in disgust*

So if you have more than one Gmail account, you better be pretty darn sure you’ve got the right outgoing server set, otherwise you’ll be sending from the *wrong* one.

*heart sinks*

No, I don’t have a secret pen-pal from xxx-pornbabe-xxx.com to worry about outing me, but when the FROM field says one thing that turns out to be a lie … kinda makes you paranoid that a professional reply from lisaksimone(at)gmail.com may actually appear to be from crazycatlady@gmail.com.

Bottom line

If you use one email program for several Gmail accounts, BE CAREFUL to change your outgoing server EACH TIME you send email from the other account.