Last modified: March 10, 2020
When troubleshooting email issues, it may be useful to read or send emails from your server directly using an smtp command through the telnet application. This guide shows some basic steps to send an email from your server and how to check your email using telnet.
Before you start
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This article assumes that you know how to get to a command prompt on your computer. If you need help with this please see our article Using telnet.
You may need to install the Telnet Client to run telnet commands. To do so:
- Click Start and select Control Panel.
- Select Programs and Features.
- Select Turn Windows features on or off.
- Select the Telnet Client option.
- Click OK.
- A dialog box will appear to confirm installation.
How to send email using telnet
The following article will be using the domain, example.com, for reference. When following these instructions, be sure to replace this with your own domain.
- Open your command prompt.
- Now, connect with telnet using the following command:
telnet example.com 25
- Type ehlo example.com. Some servers also accept helo in place of ehlo.
- Type mail from: firstname.lastname@example.org:
mail from: email@example.com
- Type rcpt to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (replace with your actual recipient name):
rcpt to: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
- To write the message - type data, followed by your subject and message. To end the message, put a period on a line by itself and press enter:
data Subject: My Telnet Test Email Hello, This is an email sent by using the telnet command. Your friend, Me .
- Type quit to exit telnet.
How to check or read email with telnet
- Open your command prompt.
- At the command prompt, type in
telnet example.com 110
- Type user and the email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) of the user for which you wish to view emails:
- Then type in pass followed by your password:
- Type list to bring up a list of your emails:
- You will see a list of items with labels like "1 897" and "2 5136." Here is an example:
list +OK POP3 clients that break here, they violate STD53. 1 897 2 5136 3 1884 4 2973 5 2595 6 3063 7 3509 8 2283 9 1926 10 2763 11 1795 12 2780 13 2342 14 2342 15 2342 16 3833 17 2211 18 793 19 797 20 2599 .
- If you wish to read an email message such as 2 5136, you can type the following:
- If you want to delete a message such as 1 897, type dele 1:
- When you are done checking your email, type quit.