IBM Support

New mail does not show up in $Inbox but shows up in 'All Documents' view

Technote (FAQ)


New mail is not showing up in the Inbox in a Lotus Notes mail file. However, the messages are displaying in the All Documents view. See below for common causes and solutions for this issue.


First, determine whether the messages are not being placed in the inbox, or whether the messages are there and not being displayed. Click the "Show" button in the inbox and uncheck "Unread Only" if it is checked.
There are several possible causes:

Corrupt view index
If email is intermittently not appearing in the Inbox (as opposed to not at all), then the problem is most likely occurring because of a corrupt view index. If this is the case, then running updall -r on the mail file will resolve the issue. End users generally cannot do this themselves; it requires an administrator.

Multiple Inboxes

This problem has also been known to happen if more than one ($Inbox) exists in the mail file. The mail is being placed into one of them, but it's not the one that the user can open from the mail file outline.

One way this is known to occur is described in the following document: " Double Inbox is Created When the Design Task Runs on New Databases That Are Not Yet Initialized" (#1089921).

This can also occur if the template from which the mail file inherits its design has been messed up by replicating with a template on another server containing the same replica ID but different design elements, so that there are two ($Inbox) folders in the template. This would likely affect a large number of users.

To determine whether this is the cause of the problem, and correct it:

1. Open the mail database in Domino Designer.

2. Check if there is more than one $Inbox folder.

3. This step involves deleting the ($Inbox) folder. While doing this will not delete the documents in the folder (they will still be visible in the All Documents view), it will make it impossible to tell which documents were in the folder before it was deleted.To avoid losing this information, it is important to perform steps 3a - 3c, prior to actually deleting the folders (step 3d ).

    3a. Move the documents in the $Inbox folder to another folder (for example, Testfolder),
    3b. Delete the $Inbox and replace design as specified to have only one $Inbox.
    3c. Move the documents from Testfolder back to $Inbox.
      Note: Since only one of the inboxes is available from the mail outline in the client, you will need to use the "Preview in Notes" function from Domino Designer to open the other ones.
    3d. If there are multiple $Inbox folders, delete them all.

4. Replace the design with the server template (by selecting File -> Database -> Replace Design, and specifying the template on the server).

5. Confirm that there is now only one ($Inbox) folder. If the design replace process created more than one, the template is incorrect and must be fixed.

Stealth Inbox

It may be that the new emails are being delivered to a folder, but not the ($Inbox) folder. It will generally be possible to identify which folder is the source of the problem by looking at the counts of unread documents in the folder list in the client.

This occurs when there's another folder besides ($Inbox) whose design note contains an item $Name with value "($Inbox)". The $Name item is the key the server uses to decide which is the real inbox. If there are more than one folder with $Name="($Inbox)" the server will deposit mail into the first one it finds, which might not be the one you wanted.

This problem can occur if folders are created with back-end code, e.g. by finding the design note of the ($Inbox) folder, copying it, and changing the value of the $TITLE item. The code must also update the $Name item.

Unknown Cause

In one case, a customer was able to resolve this issue by running compact -B on all affected mail files. We don't have information about the exact cause of the problem in this case; it may have been the "Stealth Inbox" issue mentioned above, in which case the compact may have affected which folder the server encountered first when trying to deliver mail.

In-place with file size reduction -B Uses in-place compacting, recovers unused space and reduces file size, unless there's a pending structural change in which case copy-style compacting occurs. If you use transaction logging, do full database backups after compacting completes.

In another case, this problem occurred in a mail file that had only one ($Inbox), and the problem was solved by removing that ($Inbox) using Domino Designer, and replacing design to re-create it. We speculated that the ($Inbox) folder was corrupted. However, the issue here might also have been that there was another folder acting as the inbox, and creating a new inbox made that new folder the "winner" when the server delivered mail. The exact series of steps to do this is:

1. Created new folder called TEMPINBOX.
2. Selected all the current INBOX items and moved them to TEMPINBOX.
3. Using the Designer client, deleted the $INBOX design element.
4. Replaced the Design on the user mail file.
5. Sent new test message and mail now arrives in the new INBOX view.
6. Copied mail to new INBOX from TEMPINBOX folder.

Related information

Duplicate Inbox is created when the Design task runs on
A simplified Chinese translation is available

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Messaging Applications IBM Domino Administration Windows
Messaging Applications IBM Domino Designer Not Applicable Windows

Document information

More support for: IBM Notes

Software version: 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5

Operating system(s): Windows, iOS

Reference #: 1093841

Modified date: 18 May 2012

Translate this page: