Knowledgebase

What is the "catch-all" mailbox?

The "catch-all" email account is enabled by default on every HostHero account, and simply collects email sent to ANYADDRESS@exampledomain.co.nz (where "exampledomain.co.nz" is your domain name).

The catch-all will for example receive email sent to any of the following: "sales@exampledomain.co.nz", "test@exampledomain.co.nz", or even "ANYTHING@exampledomain.co.nz". You get the idea.

The login details for this mailbox are provided with your initial setup email.

Note: The catch-all does not receive email sent to mail boxes you've set up specifically in your cPanel. It simply catches everything else.

The Pros of a 'catch-all'

Many of our customers making use of a catch-all find that they don't need to set up any separate email boxes. Instead, they simply use the single catch-all email account and can therefore give out any email address at their domain that they like, any time. Even if somebody misspells the name part of their email address, they'll still receive the mail.

If for example you run a company single-handedly, rather than setting up and having to check multiple separate email boxes - e.g. "sales@", "accounts@" and "manager@" - you can use the single catch-all mailbox and receive email sent to all of those addresses.

The Cons of a 'catch-all'

One unfortunate downside to the catch-all account is that with the increased levels of SPAM (unsolicited) email circulating on the internet, the catch-all mailbox also catches the many spam emails that are targeted to random addresses - for example "shoiwjel@exampledomain.co.nz".

Secondly, if you were perhaps unaware of the catch-all mailbox, or simply forgot to check and clear it, it can very quickly fill with SPAM. Because the catch-all is only limited by the size of your account, it is possible to use your entire hosting account disk space allowance with this single mailbox. When your account fills, no further email can be delivered to any of your mailboxes until space is cleared again.

How do I disable the catch-all mailbox?

The catch-all feature can be disabled via your cPanel, within the "Default Address" section. Just follow the instructions on screen to set the default address to ":fail:"

Once disabled, any incoming email sent to email addresses that you haven't specifically set up in cPanel will be automatically discarded.

Note: Disabling the functionality of the 'catch-all' as above will not remove any email currently stored within the mailbox. To clear out the mailbox, you would need to a) download and/or delete it from the server using mail software in conjunction with the login details provided in your setup email, or b) delete the messages via your webmail interface. If you would like us to clear the entire catch-all mailbox for you, just ask.

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