Mailboxes are either locked manually by an administrator or automatically by the system.

If your mailbox is locked, it’s not possible to tell from the error message you’ll receive from Zimbra – it’s the same error message you’ll get if try to login with the wrong username or password.

To be sure that your mailbox is locked – ask your administrator to check your mailbox status.

Reasons why an Administrator would lock your mailbox

  • The mailbox has been sending spam emails
  • They don’t want you to login to the mailbox for some reason

Reasons for automatic locking

  • The mailbox is being backed up – mailboxes are put into maintenance mode whilst they are being backed up. The mailbox status will show as being in “maintenance mode”
  • The wrong password has been used too many times and the “failed password policy” has been invoked. Zimbra mailboxes are automatically locked if the wrong password is used too many times. This is to stop people trying to guess the password. The mailbox is locked for a period of time, usually 1 hour, and then automatically unlocked.

How to fix – if access is not urgent

  1. Prevent all devices from attempting to access your mailbox.  This includes phones, tablets, PCs, etc.  If you aren’t sure how to prevent them from attempting to access your mailbox, please switch them off
  2. Wait 1 hour until your account is no longer automatically locked.
  3. Once an hour has elapsed, BEFORE enabling the devices/computers try logging into your account using Webmail.
  4. If successful, update every device that has access to Zimbra with the same password. Do this one device at a time. It’s important to check that each device/computer is working before moving onto the next since a single device/computer wrongly configured can cause your account to become locked preventing all access.
  5. If unsuccessful, see below.

How to fix – if access is urgent

Finally, if you need immediate access to your emails, or the above is not successful, please ask your mail administrator to check your mailbox status.  If it’s not locked, they’ll be able to check that your username is correct and, if required, issue you with a new password.

Note that in rare cases a mailbox can become locked because unauthorised access to your account is being attempted by a 3rd party. There is very little your administrator can do to resolve this other than to change your username (which is your email address).

NB – There is no way for a mail administrator to read your password stored in Zimbra, so if you have forgotten your password, they will have to reset it and you will have to update ALL devices with the new password.