Tag Archives: IMAP4

POP3, IMAP4, Get-Service and Startup Type

When installing lots of Exchange servers, automation with PowerShell scripting can be very useful. This will ensure you get a consistent platform, and it reduces the chance of errors and misconfiguration.

For a customer I had to deploy 38 Exchange 2013 servers, and they were using POP3 and IMAP4 as well, so these services need to be installed on all Exchange 2013 servers.

By default, POP3 and IMAP4 are not running on an Exchange 2013 server, and the service Startup Type is set to Manual.

You can change the startup type to automatic using the Services MMC snap-in, but for 38 Exchange 2013 servers this isn’t funny anymore.

You can use the Get-Service cmdlet in Windows to retrieve information regarding Windows services, for example:

Get-Service –ServiceName MSExchangePOP3

Or add the Format-List option to get more detailed information:


You can use the –ComputerName option to retrieve similar information from another server:


There’s all kind of interesting information here, but the most important thing, the Startup Type information is missing here.

To retrieve the Startup Type information you can use the Get-WmiObjectcmdlet and filter on the service name, for example:

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Service -Property StartMode -Filter "Name='MSExchangePOP3'"

Please note the single and double quotes in the Filter option!


Again, you can use the –ComputerName option to retrieve this information from another server.


Note. On an Exchange 2013 (and Exchange 2016) server POP3 and IMAP4 are actually two services. There’s the CAS component (MSExchangePOP3) and the Mailbox server component (MSExchangePOP3BE). These services need to changed independently. The same is true for the IMAP4 service.

You can write a small script to create an overview of all Exchange servers with the Startup Type of all POP3 service, this will look something like:

$Servers = Get-ExchangeServer
ForEach ($Server in $Servers){
$Computer = $Server.Name
$Object = Get-WmiObject –Class Win32_Service –Property StartMode –Filter “Name=’MSExchangePOP3’”
Write-Host $Computer,$Object.StartMode

You can change the Startup Type of the POP3 service using the Set-Service command:

Set-Service –ServiceName MSExchangePOP3 –StartupType Automatic

And you can use the-ComputerName to change the Startup Type of a service running on another Server:

Set-Service –ServiceName MSExchangePOP3 –StartupType Automatic –ComputerName EXCH02

More information:

Use PowerShell to Find Non-Starting Automatic Services – https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/heyscriptingguy/2012/12/18/use-powershell-to-find-non-starting-automatic-services/

Get-Service – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh849804.aspx

Set-Service – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh849849.aspx

Enable POP3 and IMAP4 Logging

For testing purposes it can be useful to enable protocol logging on the POP3 and/or IMAP4 service. In Exchange 2010 this cannot be done using the Exchange Management Console or the Exchange Management Shell like you would do to enable protocol logging on the Send or Receive Connector but needs to be done using a config file.

There’s a Microsoft.Exchange.Pop3.exe.config or similarly a Microsoft.Exchange.Imap4.exe.config file located in the directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\ClientAccess\PopImap on the Exchange 2007/2010 Client Access Server.

When you open the file scroll down and locate the “ProtocolLog” key and set its value to “true”, like this:

<add key="ProtocolLog" value="true" />

When changed restart the POP3 or IMAP4 service in the Exchange Management Shell using the following command:

Restart-service MSExchangePop3
Restart-Service MSExchangeImap4

The log files can be found in the directory C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange Server\Logging\Pop3

When you’re finished with troubleshooting don’t forget to disable protocol logging since it will consume a tremendous amount of disk space. Just to give you an idea, this is in the POP3 log file for only one session:


In Exchange 2013 it’s a bit different, you can use the Set-PopSettings cmdlet (and Set-ImapSettings cmdlet) to enable logging and set the directory where the log files are stored, for example:

Set-PopSettings -ProtocolLogEnabled $true -LogFileLocation "C:\Pop3Logging"

Telnet for POP3 and IMAP4

For testing purposes it is useful to know how to use TELNET to access a mailbox using the POP3 or the IMAP4 protocol. Suppose you have a mail server running with POP3 and IMAP4 enabled and you want to give it a try.


On a client open a command prompt and enter TELNET <<mailserver>> 110

If the server is running fine you’ll see a welcome message (like +OK The Microsoft Exchange POP3 service is ready) and you can enter the user credentials:

User <<username>>

Pass <<password>>


You are now successfully logged on. If you enter the LIST command all items in the Inbox are shown. RETR 1 will retrieve the first message in this list while DELE 1 will delete this first message. Bottom line is that you are successfully logged on, POP3 is running fine and the mailbox can be accessed.

Use the QUIT command to log off from the mailbox.


On a client computer open a command prompt and enter TELNET <<mailserver>> 143

If the server is running fine you’ll see a welcome message (like * OK The Microsoft Exchange IMAP4 service is ready) and you can enter the user credentials:

. login <<username>> <<password>>

That is: dot space login <<username>> <<password>>, you have to enter the dot and the space before the login command. If you omit either one the login will fail!


To get an overview of all the folders in the inbox you can use the LIST command:

. LIST “” “*”

Again, you have to enter the dot and the space before the actual LIST command.

Use the STATUS command to get the number of messages, for example:

. status inbox (messages)


Logoff from an IMAP4 session is a bit peculiar, use the CTRL + ] key combination, followed by the QUIT command (to actually quit the TELNET session).


Useful commands for a quick test of your mailbox and the POP3 and IMAP4 services.

If you want a complete overview of all commands please check this websites:

http://bobpeers.com/technical/telnet_imap and http://bobpeers.com/technical/telnet_pop