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Email - Troubleshooting & Technical Details

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How does it work?

Membrain contacts the users email server to send and receive email on their behalf. Connections are made via industry standard IMAP and SMTP protocols supported by all mail servers.


Membrain servers authenticate to the users mail server using their email account username and password, which has been entered into Membrain during setup.


TLS 1.2/1.3 is used to encrypt mail to allow for data integrity and communication security. TLS encryption is mandated for all email communication to and from Membrain.

General Troubleshooting

You or a colleague have gone through the setup steps in our article, but it's just not working. You may see something like: "Unable to connect to your incoming mail server, please check your IMAP/SMTP settings". Don't worry! We'll sort this out together. Try these steps to troubleshoot:

  1. Is it the right password?

    Confirm that you are entering the password that you use for your email account, and not the password you would use to log into Membrain.
  2. Is the username & password combination correct?

    There could be a problem with the username, password or server name you have entered. Try this by manually entering your login details in your email software, or a web-based version of your email like like for example or to confirm you have the correct username and password.

    (Some variation of this is actually the single most common issue, and a lot of it comes from how rarely we typically enter these details ourselves nowadays.)
  3. The username & password is correct but it still doesn't work!

    In some cases, your email address may need to be replaced by a Windows user domain name, eg: subdomain\username. It's best to confirm the details with your IT Contact, but it may be that the username you need to enter isn't your email address.

Still not working?

You've tried all the steps above, but it's still not working as it should. Now it's starting to get more difficult, and techy. Grab your IT buddy and we'll go deeper!

  1. Is IMAP enabled?

    While all modern email servers can easily support IMAP, it may be disabled by default in certain circumstances. Is IMAP enabled on the email server?
  2. The TLS 1.2 requirement

    For security reasons, Membrain requires TLS 1.2. Is your email server upgraded to support this?
  3. Do you have any form of IP filtering on your email server?

    If the email server you have specified accepts connections only from specific IPs you will need to add the Membrain server your account is on to your white list. To find the IP address of your Membrain server you can use: nslookup {your_membrain_subdomain} from a windows command prompt.

    Note that the IP address may change at any time, so if you can do whitelisting on a domain name level we do recommend doing that instead whenever possible.


Office 365 - Troubleshooting

  1. "My email worked before, but it's stopped working"

    If you have any password policies in place to make sure everybody changes their password at regular intervals, you need to update your password in both Outlook (or similar places) as well as in Membrain. 


Gmail - Troubleshooting

If you have issues setting up Gmail for use in Membrain, please read these articles from Google explaining some features that you may need to enable in order for this configuration to work.

Two-factor authentication

If you have enabled this for your Gmail account, you will need to generate an application specific password following the steps outlined on Google Support pages.

App-specific Passwords

Security measures from Google means you will also need to specifically allow access to your account from Membrain. Details about how to do this are explained on this page on app-specific passwords from Google

If all of these items above have been considered and tested and you're still not able to configure the sync in Membrain, there may be other details around your email configuration that are causing the problem. Please contact your IT department for advice, and let us know if we can assist them in any way.

NOTE: Is it still not working for you? That means that we have entered unknown territory, and we would like to ask you to invite your IT department to contact the support team here at Membrain on so we can troubleshoot this further together.