I have a mail account where all incoming mail is dumped into a single POP3 box; some of the messages need to be forwarded to another account (they also happen to have very large attachments in most cases).
At present, everything is downloaded, then the selected messages are resent to the other account, but this means downloading them and sending them, eating up a lot of bandwidth (this office is on dialup access and there is no decent alternative available).
Is there a way to redirect selected messages based on header content without first downloading the entire message?
With Outlook Express I do not think so but it may be possible with other email clients.
it depends on the server. you probably have to contact your provider and ask them if it would be possible to set something up for you.
if you were using an exchange-outlook combination it would be no problem because you can have rules that run at the server. but with a pop3 account I don’t think it is, unless your provider wants to schedule some kind of script on their servers.
rfc1939 highly suggests an optional TOP command to be implemented on the POP3 server, which can be used to retrieve a specified number of lines of the message (such as the headers) so in theory it is atleast possible to read the headers of the email - but I do not belive any POP3 server implements a function for forwarding e-mail so it would have to be downloaded to your client anyway.
It would however be trivial to implement with e.g. procmail on the server side.
Another way to do this would be to use your ISP’s web-based mail service, if they have one. In other words, instead of picking up your mail in Outlook, don’t even launch Outlook, but go, instead, to your ISP’s webmail address in Internet Explorer. (For NetZero service, for example, the mail can be viewed by going to http://webmail.netzero.net, and logging in. For AOL, just go to http://www.aol.com and login.)
If your ISP doesn’t have a web-based mail service available, try a third party, like http://www.mail2web.com (lots of popups, alas). You login by giving it your email address and password, and it tries to connect to your ISP’s mail server. If it succeeds, you can look at the messages waiting for you. If you open one, you can see the text in the body of the message, but you don’t have to download the humongous attachment just to forward it. You can just hit “forward,” then address and send the monster.
I know that none of this will work with Compuserve, but I’m not sure about other ISPs.