Here’s a situation that’s happened to everyone at some point or another:
You’re in the middle of composing an email, and something out-of-the-blue happens. The power goes out, or your browser locks up. Or maybe it was a goof on your part where you closed the browser or hit the “back” button by mistake.
No problem, right? Your webmail should have auto-saved a draft copy of the email you were composing.
One of two things will happen. Your webmail did save a draft but it’s only half of what you wrote, or the entire message is gone and you have to retype the thing all over again.
Out of all webmail improvements that have happened over the years, you would think that auto-save-draft would have been improved by now, but it hasn’t. It still has the exact same problems it did years ago and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon.
How auto-save-draft is supposed to work in a nutshell
A draft in webmail auto-saved either by time interval or by number of characters typed. More often than not it’s saved by time interval.
If using the typed-character method, every X (50, 100, etc.) number of characters, a copy is plopped into the Draft folder.
If using the time interval method, every 2 to 5 minutes the webmail system plops a copy of what you’re working on in the Draft folder.
Where do things go wrong?
Per the time interval method, many people encounter webmail lockup because you’re in the middle of typing an email, the webmail system tries to auto-save a draft, a network boo-boo occurs (either on your end or the webmail side) and that’s where things screw up because the session doesn’t refresh properly.
The end result is that the message you were working on is gone at that point. The draft failed to save and the session is locked up so there’s absolutely nothing you can do but restart the browser at that point and do it all over again.
How can you prevent this from happening?
There are several ways.
1. Disable auto-save-draft (if the option is available)
If the auto-save-draft keeps messing up your webmail sessions when typing out messages, turn the feature off.
2. Manually press “save draft” yourself every few minutes
This does the same job as auto-save, and usually works a lot better because it’s a direct user (you) action rather than a background script action.
3. Copy and paste in your message text from Notepad
I only suggest using this method if your webmail is bugging out constantly because of auto-save-draft. You open up Notepad (Start logo, type ‘notepad’, open Notepad) and compose your message in there. Then you select-all (Edit > Select All or CTRL+A), copy (CTRL+C), go into your webmail, click in the message body and paste (CTRL+V).
This may be extreme, but if for some reason your webmail bugs out on attempt to send, you’ve got a copy of your text still in Notepad and can try again.
Auto-save-draft problems happen regardless of computer speed, browser, internet connection stability or which webmail system you use. All of them have the same auto-save-draft problem. It’s just something webmail has never been able to get quite right.
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