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!






30 responses to “Update on 10 Minute Mail problems”

  1. ptamaro Avatar

    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. Devon Avatar

    I’m really glad to hear it! Thanks!

  3. Sk Avatar

    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

  4. Devon Avatar


    thanks. It’s a good idea, and I will add it to my list for future improvements.

  5. Breck Avatar

    Just read about 10minutemail on HN. Great idea! (If I were you, I would keep it going for a while longer–maybe market it a bit more).

  6. Chris Walker Avatar

    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

    [email protected]

    See what I mean?

  7. Suggestion for a new feature Avatar
    Suggestion for a new feature

    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.

  8. Devon Avatar

    Thanks for the suggestion, you may see this added in a future release!

  9. Devon Avatar

    I have just added this feature. You can forward an e-mail one time (to avoid spamming with it). Enjoy!

  10. dil okullari Avatar
    dil okullari

    it looks like a nice site, but it would better with multi language support, for example spanish.. but thanks..

  11. Devon Avatar


    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.

  12. Ghost Avatar

    Hi!! Their is a problem with the 10 minute mail website.
    Many errors… Please solve it soon…

    1. Devon Avatar

      @Ghost: thanks for the info! I hadn’t tested on IE (as I’m a Mac guy), and IE has an issue with the new code I put in to allow the click to copy function to work. You can read more about the issue here:


      But it should be fixed. Thanks for the heads up!


  13. bakancs Avatar

    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..


    1. Devon Avatar


      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).



      1. bakancs Avatar

        I have, now..
        In Internet Explorer 6.0, working just fine.. I don’t like IE.. Now I hate it .. :D
        I have sent myself a mail, recieved in matter of seconds..

        1. Devon Avatar

          I am installing Opera under a Windows VM (since I use a Mac). I will try to diagnose the problem and fix it.


          1. Devon Avatar

            Opera seems to have problems with the Google Ads on 10MinuteMail. Try adding:


            To the “Blocked Sites” in your Opera preferences.

            Then delete your cookies, and restart Opera. That fixed it for me, hopefully it will work for you as well.


  14. bakancs Avatar

    I could not make it to work, but happy to report that on new Opera v10.0 working OK..

    1. Devon Avatar

      I’m glad to hear it!

  15. SC Avatar

    This would definately be useful as an IPhone app?? Your a Mac guy, what do you think?

    1. Devon Avatar

      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:)

  16. […] Note – When we tried by sending an email with attachment to 10 minute mail, we could not see attachment in the Inbox interface above. It looks like 10 minute mail ignores attachments as an optimization. […]

  17. Jason Avatar

    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?

  18. Andrei Mirt Avatar

    10minutemail is a great service, but I needed it for an attachment. I would create an account if you would offer this service for subscribed users.

  19. Prantl Jiri Avatar
    Prantl Jiri

    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.

  20. jimmy Avatar

    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.

    1. Devon Avatar


      I don’t know. Some sites block 10MinuteMail addresses. It’s hard to say.

  21. Laptop Mỹ Avatar

    So good. You 10minutes Mail works great on my iphone. thanks so much

    1. Devon Avatar

      Glad to hear it!!

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