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Q: When attempting to post to a list to which you belong, you receive an error message that says you are not authorized to post to the list.

A: The list is a "private" list, which means messages posted to the list must be sent from a subscriber's address. Many clients, however, are subscribed to a list with an address that is forwarded to another address. For example, you may be subscribed with your address, which you have since forwarded to an address. If you try to post from the address, Listserv will not recognize it as a valid subscriber address. For more information Listserv - Change Subscription Email Address.

Q: Do people who own several lists need a password for each list?

A: Listserv passwords are associated with e-mail addresses, not individual lists. Most owners can manage all of their lists with one address/one password.

Q: When logging onto the Listserv management page, you do not find lists you believe you own.

A: Your owner e-mail address and your Listserv login email address must match. When you log into Listserv, use your owner address. If the list you are looking for does not appear in the drop-down box, or the drop-down box is empty, it usually means that when you created the list, you specified an owner address that differs slightly from the address you currently use. For example, if you created the list with your e-mail address, and now your Listserv login is, Listserv will not recognize you as a valid owner and will not give you access to the list. If you can remember your old email and password, follow this link Change List Owner to update the owner information. If you cannot login to your old email, contact ITS for further help (see below)

Note:* _An empty drop-down box means that Listserv does not recognize you as a Listserv owner. Listserv will allow you to type in a list name, but it will not recognize you as owner unless the conditions noted above are met.

Q: How do people remove themselves from a Listserv list?

A: Send an e-mail to and in the body of the message type: unsubscribe listname. The name of a Listserv list is text that located before the @ in the list's e-mail address (i.e. the name of is "dabblers." To unsubscribe from dabblers, you would type: unsubscribe dabblers). You may also unsubscribe at

Q: How do I find the name of a list owner? How can I contact a list owner?

A: You can contact a list owner without knowing their name or email. Send an e-mail to (i.e. to reach the owner of the "dabblers" list, send an e-mail to You will receive a confirmation email; click on the link in the confirmation, and your email will be sent to the list owner.

Q: How does one transfer the ownership of a list to someone else?

A: List ownership is specified in the list configuration file, often referred to as the list header. If you are the current owner, you can edit this file and replace your owner address with that of a new owner. Make sure the new owner understands the responsibilities of list ownership and that you have the correct e-mail address for this person. See Listserv - Edit List Header & Configuration, Change List Owner for more information.

A list can have multiple owners. If you want to remain an owner and wish to add owner(s), add a new "Owner=" line to the configuration and type in the new owner's name, e-mail address, and phone number. A new "Owner=" line must be created for each new owner.

Q: The owner of my group's/department's list has left and I need to take over list ownership duties. How do I do that?

A: Only the currently designated owner (and ITS) can transfer ownership to you. If the owner is no longer available to perform this task, you should ask an authorized third person, such as a supervisor, department head, or a faculty/staff adviser, to email ITS (see below) to request that the list ownership be transferred to you.

Q. How does one remove old subscriptions from a class list that is updated annually?

A. See FAQ below on adding a batch of subscribers all at once.

Q: How do I add a batch of subscribers all at once instead of doing them one at a time?

A: See Listserv - Adding Many Subscribers at Once (Bulk Load) for bulk add and delete import functions that make it relatively easy to clear out all of the old subscriptions and re-populate the list with new ones.

Q: Messages sent through my list appear garbled and unreadable. What is the cause and how can it be fixed?

A: Some lists that have been used for a few years may still have a setting called shorthdr or shortbmstp. Newer lists have a default setting called fullhdr. Shorthdr or shortbmstp cause messages to display an abbreviated e-mail header and masks most of the detail that documents the path a message takes to go from the sender to the recipient. While this is usually a good thing, the settings are increasingly causing the problem described above. Here's why:

Briefly, when abbreviated headers are sent through Listserv, information that identifies the message format is also suppressed. If the message is written in plain text, this is not a problem, since that is the default format. However, if the message is specially formatted with such elements as Web-based e-mail packages or other e-mail agents, or includes formatted attachments, Listserv cannot identify the format and attempts to display the message in plain text. This results in a non-readable message.

To fix the problem, modify your list configuration. Here are the steps:

  • Log onto the listserv list management page.
  • Select the list: Choose "List Management>List Dashboard: from the menu
  • Click on Configure underneath the list you will be editing.
  • Examine the configuration that appears in the text box. If you see a line like this:Default-options= shortbmstp
    Default-options= shorthdr
    change the line to read:
    Default-options= fullhdr
  • Click the "Save" button below the text box.

Note: This change in the configuration will affect all new subscriptions to the list. It will not affect existing subscriptions. You must also reset all existing subscriptions. To do that, send an email to from your owner e-mail address. In the body of the message, type:

quiet set <listname> fullhdr for *

Listserv will send you an e-mail with directions to confirm the change. Once you respond to the confirmation, Listserv will reset all subscriptions to fullhdr.

See Listserv - Edit List Header & Configuration, Change List Owner for further information on editing your list configuration.

Q: I submitted a request for a new list and list manager rejected the request because the list name contained an invalid character. What characters should be avoided in list names?

A: Listserv names may only include the 26 letters in the alphabet, the numerals zero (0) to nine (9), the underscore_ and the hyphen -. Spaces are not allowed. In addition, Listserv is not case sensitive and will not preserve a combination of upper and lower case in a list name. Listserv converts all lower case characters to upper case when sending email to the subscribers.

Q: I set up a cookie so that Listserv remembers my owner address and password when I log onto the list management page. How do I remove the cookie?

A: To remove your Listserv login cookie, enter the following URL in your Web browser:

Note: the lowercase/uppercase parts must be entered as-is.

This will execute the RESET-COOKIE command from within your browser and will remove the cookie. A message will inform you that the command has been executed. The next time you log onto Listserv, you will be asked to enter your owner e-mail address and Listserv password. A message box will ask if you want to set up a cookie. You can ignore the message or reset the cookie.

You can also use a command to reset the cookie: choose "List Management>Listserv Command" from the menu and enter the command "reset cookie".

Q: How do I export members of a list into an Excel Spreadsheet?

A: From the Listserv Management interface, select your list, then click List Management ----> List Reports -----> Subscriber Reports. Report format, select CSV Format (All), then click Submit.  It will take a while to build the Excel spreadsheet depending on how many members your are exporting. But the spreadsheet should open up on your computer when it is done exporting.


List owners are responsible for all questions from list members

  • List members should contact their list owner(s) for help at <>. For example, if the listname is "clocks", send email to <>. If you need help contacting the owner, please contact the ITS Service Center by email at or by phone at 315-443-2677.
  • List owners may receive help by sending email to or contacting the ITS Service Center at 315-443-2677.

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