Update on 10 Minute Mail problems

As you know if you’ve been following my blog, 10MinuteMail starting dying with OutOfMemory errors seemly randomly. Sometimes it would happen after 2 days of uptime, sometimes after a week. I ran load tests and profilers but could not reproduce the issue. On the upside I can say that the 10 Minute Mail application can handle a TON of load:)

I made some code changes and optimizations on Friday, and since then, no problems. Obviously that’s too early to tell for sure, but I found something last night, which might have explained the previous issues, and it is the root cause, then my latest fixes should have solved it.

I THINK the problem is….. porn. I was watching the inbox size for 10MinuteMail last night, which usually goes between 0k and 2MB in size, and it leapt from 540k to 45MB in a couple of seconds, and then went to 86MB a second later. So first I need to back up a little.

When 10MinuteMail was crashing with OutOfMemory errors, I would wake up and find the server useless due to the memory errors, and inbox would have swollen to a gigabyte or more. I assume this was a cause and effect situation, namely that the server would tank, and then the inbox would pile up afterward.

What I found was that some people used their 10MinuteMail e-mail addresses to sign up for things like the “asianscans” google group, and other lists that periodically would deliver e-mails filled with large (2 MB) images as attachments. 15 10 MB e-mails is 150 MB in your inbox in a few seconds. The old code would parse and load all of the attachments (even though I never completed the attachment download code). Now with 150 MB of attachments being read through a 8k byte array, and into these large in memory objects, that can take a little while. Get a big enough inbox, and it becomes impossible to clean it up as you just keep falling further and further behind. Eventually you run out of memory trying to load up a 800 MB inbox.

So instead of the server running out of memory, tanking, and then letting the inbox build up, I think that what was really happening is that the inbox filled up with huge attachements very quickly, the server fell further and further behind trying to process them, and eventually ran out of memory, tanked, and then of course the inbox just got worse.

The latest code ignores attachments, and took about 4 seconds to process the 80+ MB inbox I saw last night.

I’m knocking on wood that this was in fact the root cause to the earlier problems, and that the future should be smooth sailing:)

As a side note, last month had over 2.1 million page hits to 10MinuteMail.com! Thanks guys! I’m glad people find it useful!

28 thoughts on “Update on 10 Minute Mail problems

  1. 10MinuteMail is one of the most useful and cool tools out there. I’ve been using it every now and again for some time. I even click on relevant ads. Thanks for making it!

  2. I think one other useful feature to add would be the “forward email” option … instead of just reply … I thnk this will add a lot of value to the already great service

  3. I don’t know how else to contact you so I’m putting it here.

    I don’t think your spam problem is neccessarily related to sites being dishonest. When I google the email domain name, I get hundreds of hits, so your addresses are being left all over the place in public display. You can get back to me at


    See what I mean?

  4. Great service; I use this somewhat frequently and love it. I have a suggestion that might be feasible.

    Including a “forward email to” feature in the opened email screen would be a good option to add. I noticed emails that are sent to the temp 10minutemail address sometimes contain login info or other quasi-important info that might be useful for the user to maintain – to forward to one’s personal email address for record keeping.

    I think the current two options are “back to index” and “respond to this email.”

    Like I said, I’m not sure how feasible this is from your end but it might be a good thing to add.

  5. @Dil:

    I’m not sure what you mean. 10MinuteMail has been translated into 31 languages, including Spanish. There is a language selector drop-down on the lower left portion of the home page.

  6. Still not working for me..
    I use Opera 9.64 on Winxp..
    I get the email adress, the expire minutes counting down, the “Give me 10 more minutes!” working but,
    below the “You currently have 1 message.”, the message never shows..

    Otherwise great idea, very usefull, just fix the bugs, and it will be great..


    • Bakancs,

      have you tested that the e-mail you are expecting is delivered under other browsers? I want to be sure it’s not just an issue with the e-mail sources you’re trying (blacklisted IP or something).



    • Well I do like iPhone apps, but I’m not sure how often you need a temporary e-mail address when you aren’t at the computer… Also I don’t know how to make iPhone apps:)

  7. Pingback: 10 Minute Mail - Recommended Temporary Email Service | Inficone

  8. Something is wrong. Havn’t used this service in days if not weeks and get this error.

    “You’ve used too many email addresses too quickly. Try again later.” Am I block for some reason or is the site having issues?

  9. I need a help:
    You 10minutes Mail works great, but I desperately need to reopen inbox to receive the mail with a new password.
    I used it to create an account on one gaming portal, and something is wrong with my current pass. The only way to get in is to reset the current one and then I will get a new one sent to the inbox.
    thanks for any help.

  10. Why is it that the website i subcribed said “an email had been sent to your mailbox; click on the verification link etc etc…”. But the email never reached my 10minutemail inbox. Waited for more than 15mins and then clicked “resend verification email” many time. Still no email appeared.

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