Explanation of Bounceback or Email Error Messages

The following are very general error messages and an explanation of what they mean.

Error Message:

A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its

recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

What it means:

The listed email addresses are either misspelled or no longer exist in all likely hood.

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

mailbox is full: retry timeout exceeded

What it means:

This is fairly simple and straight forward. The email you are sending to can not accept any more data.

Error Message:

<help@howtointernet.net>:

Sorry. Although I’m listed as a best-preference MX or A for that host,

it isn’t in my control/locals file, so I don’t treat it as local. (#5.4.6)

What it means:

There may be an issue with either the DNS setup or the port for the mail on that server is not working.

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

Technical details of permanent failure:

PERM_FAILURE: DNS Error: Domain name not found

What it means:

This message is saying that the domain name “howtointernet.net” does not exist. Make sure it is not misspelled.

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

Technical details of permanent failure:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 13): 553 sorry, mailbox unavailable (#4.7.1)

What it means:

This mailbox may not exist — double check spelling. Or, this mailbox may exist but the pathway on the server needs to be re-established. It could also mean that the DNS is not set up properly.

Error Message:

<help@howtointernet.net>:

Connected to 168.144.68.96 but sender was rejected.

Remote host said: 553 sorry, your mailserver [131.103.218.112] is

rejected by See http://spamcop.net/

What it means:

Your email is being rejected because it is being seen as spam. This message specifically shows spamcop is the spam company that blocked the IP address. The IP address could be the one provided to you by either the company that hosts the email, or your internet service provider.  You can tell who is being blocked by copying the IP address and doing an IP whois lookup:

In this example it is: 131.103.218.112

Error Message:

<help@howtointernet.net>:

209.18.68.11 does not like recipient.

Remote host said: 550-Rejected message because 131.103.218.80 is in a black list at 550 bl.spamcop.net Giving up on 209.18.68.11.

What it means:

Your email is being rejected because it is being seen as spam.

This message specifically shows spamcop is the spam company that blocked the IP address

The IP address could be the one provided to you by either the company that hosts the email

Or your internet service provider providing the line you used to send the mail

You can tell who is being blocked by copying the IP address

In this example it is: 131.103.218.80 and doing an IP whois lookup

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:<help@howtointernet.net>:

host 72.22.71.86 [72.22.71.86]: 553 sorry, that domain isn’t in my list of allowed rcpthosts (#5.7.1)

What it means:

There could be 2 reasons for this.

  • The sender is not allowed to email this account. (spam filters, blacklisted IP address, recipient has wrong permissions for email files)
  • The command was aborted because the email address is invalid.

Error Message:

<help@howtointernet.net>:

The e-mail address could not be found. Perhaps the recipient moved to a different e-mail organization, or there was a mistake in the address. Check the address and try again.

<”host451″.”howtointernet.net” #5.1.0>

What it means:

The email address is either misspelled, or does not exist.

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

Technical details of permanent failure:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 13): 553 sorry, that domain isn’t in my list of allowed rcpthosts (#5.7.1)

What it means:

The sender is not allowed to email this account. The receiving email box may have the wrong permissions for email files, or sender is being blocked by a spam filter

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:<help@howtointernet.net>:

host 74.220.202.27 [74.220.202.27]: 550-4.184.96.66.static.eigbox.net

(bosmailout04.yourhostingaccount.com)

550-[66.96.184.4] is currently not permitted to relay through this server.

550-Perhaps you have not logged into the pop/imap server in the last 30 minutes

550 or do not have SMTP Authentication turned on in your email client.

What it means:

Relay not permitted through this server means that either SMTP relay has been disabled or requires authentication such as a password

Email may be suspended or permissions are set incorrectly. The sender’s system may have a blocked port.

If the email requires authentication, this can be corrected through your email client

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

Technical details of permanent failure:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 12): 550 bosauthsmtp11: Host

209.85.146.182: No unauthenticated relaying permitted

What it means:

Relay not permitted through this server means that either SMTP relay has been disabled or requires authentication such as a password

The password is not authenticating or being recognized. The sender’s system may have a blocked port.

If the email requires authentication, this can be corrected through your email client

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

SMTP error from remote mail server after initial connection:

host gateway-f2.isp.att.net [207.115.11.16]: 550-66.96.185.8 blocked by

ldap:ou=rblmx,dc=bellsouth,dc=net

550 Blocked for abuse. See http://www.att.net/bls_rbl/ for information.

What it means:

Your email is being rejected because it is being seen as spam.

This message specifically shows at&t is the company that blocked the IP address

The IP address could be the one provided to you by either the company that hosts the email or your internet service provider providing the line you used to send the mail

You can tell who is being blocked by copying the IP address

In this example it is: 66.96.185.8 and doing an IP whois

Error Message:

<help@howtointernet.net>:

Sorry, I wasn’t able to establish an SMTP connection. (#4.4.1)

I’m not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too long.

What it means:

This usually means there is some delay on the server

It could be the sender’s server has a backed up mail system

Or the receiver’s server is taking too long to respond

Error Message:

help@HOWTOINTERNET.NET:

See /home/howtointernet/.maildata/users/help/TMDA_DELIVERY_FAILURE for traceback

I’m not going to try again; this message has been in the queue too long.

What it means:

The message was waiting too long because of a delay on the server

The path shows that there is a log kept of failed messages and it shows the route it went through

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

Technical details of permanent failure:

PERM_FAILURE: SMTP Error (state 13): 550 5.1.1 <help@howtointernet.net> recipient rejected

What it means:

The email was rejected by the recieving email system. Usually indicates a problem with the recipent’s email address

Error Message:

help@howtointernet.net

SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:

host mx.tnbnazarene.org [66.96.140.51]: 552 5.7.0 Number of ‘Received:’ DATA

headers exceeds maximum permitted

What it means:

The email went through too many different channels and is being rejected by the server it is being sent to.

Too many headers could indicate a spammer or an email spoofer trying to route through someone else’s mail system.

This can be caused if you are forwarding mail from one address to another or the person you sent mail to is forwarding their email to another address.

Email Error Codes

There are 2 format Error codes come in, x.x.x and xxx. (Where x stands for a number). Many people get a failed email message and just know that the mail didn’t go through. This message is called a bounceback.  What does that message really mean?

The failed email notice tells you what is wrong and why the email failed.

This way you can determine if it is your email or the one you are sending to.

Email Error Codes have 3 Digits

(The 1st digit indicates if the response was good, bad, or incomplete) If the 1st digit is a…

1 The Command was accepted, but the action is pending confirmation of a reply

2 The action was completed successfully

3 The command was accepted, but the action is pending receipt of further information.

4 The command was not accepted and the requested action did not occur. These are usually because of a temporary error or condition and one should try resending the request again.

5 The command was not accepted and the requested action did not occur. This is a permanent failure message. Something needs to be fixed before the action will work.

If the 2nd digit is a….

0 Syntax-Usually refers to a syntax error occurring.

1 Information-Reply to a request for information.

2 Connections-Refers to the channel transmitting

3 or 4 These are undefined still

5 Indicate the status of the receiver’s mail system

x.x.x Email Error Codes

x.1.x Codes

* X.1.0 – Other address status

* X.1.1 – Bad destination mailbox address

* X.1.2 – Bad destination system address

* X.1.3 – Bad destination mailbox address syntax

* X.1.4 – Destination mailbox address ambiguous

* X.1.5 – Destination mailbox address valid

* X.1.6 – Mailbox has moved

* X.1.7 – Bad sender’s mailbox address syntax

* X.1.8 – Bad sender’s system address

x.2.x Codes

* X.2.0 – Other or undefined mailbox status

* X.2.1 – Mailbox disabled, not accepting messages

* X.2.2 – Mailbox full

* X.2.3 – Message length exceeds administrative limit

* X.2.4 – Mailing list expansion issue

x.3.x Codes

* X.3.0 – Other or undefined mail system status

* X.3.1 – Mail system full

* X.3.2 – System not accepting network messages

* X.3.3 – System not capable of selected features

* X.3.4 – Message too big for system

* X.3.5 – System incorrectly configured

x.4.x Codes

* X.4.0 – Other or undefined network or routing status

* X.4.1 – No answer from host

* X.4.2 – Bad connection

* X.4.3 – Routing server failure

* X.4.4 – Unable to routev

* X.4.5 – Network congestion

* X.4.6 – Routing loop detected

* X.4.7 – Delivery time expired

x.5.x Codes

* X.5.0 – Other or undefined protocol status

* X.5.1 – Invalid command

* X.5.2 – Syntax error

* X.5.3 – Too many recipients

* X.5.4 – Invalid command arguments

* X.5.5 – Wrong protocol version

x.6.x Codes

* X.6.0 – Other or undefined media error

* X.6.1 – Media not supported

* X.6.2 – Conversion required and prohibited

* X.6.3 – Conversion required but not supported

* X.6.4 – Conversion with loss performed

* X.6.5 – Conversion failed

x.7.x Codes

* X.7.0 – Other or undefined security status

* X.7.1 – Delivery not authorized, message refused

* X.7.2 – Mailing list expansion prohibited

* X.7.3 – Security conversion required but not possible

* X.7.4 – Security features not supported

* X.7.5 – Cryptographic failure

* X.7.6 – Cryptographic algorithm not supported

* X.7.7 – Message integrity failure

xxx Email Error Codes

200 Codes

* 211 – System status / system help reply

* 214 – Help message

* 220 – Domain service ready

* 221 – Service closing transmission channel

* 250 – Requested mail action okay and completed

* 251 – will forward to forwardpath

* 252 – Pending messages for node started. Cannot Verify user, will take message for this user and attempt delivery

* 253 – pending messages for node started

300 Codes

* 354 – Start mail input; end with . server is ready to accept the message

* 355 – Octet-offset is the transaction offset

400 Codes

* 421 – Domain service not available, closing transmission channel

* 432 – Domain service not available, closing transmission channel

* 450 – Requested mail action not taken: mailbox unavailable. request refused

* 451 – Requested action aborted: local error in processing

Request is unable to be processed, try again

* 452 – Requested action not taken: insufficient system storage

* 453 – No mail

* 454 – TLS not available due to temporary reason. Encryption required for requested authentication mechanism.

* 458 – Unable to queue messages for node

* 459 – node not allowed: reason

500 Codes

* 500 – server could not recognize the command due to a syntax error

* 501 – Syntax error, no parameters allowed

* 502 – Command not implemented

* 503 – Bad sequence of commands

* 504 – Command parameter not implemented

* 510 – Check the recipient address

* 512 – Host unknown. Domain can not be found.

* 515 – Destination mailbox address invalid

* 517 – Problem with senders mail attribute, check properties

* 521 – Machine does not accept mail

* 522 – Recipient has exceeded mailbox limit

* 523 – Server or connector limit exceeded. Message too large

* 530 – Must issue a STARTTLS command first. Encryption required for requested authentication mechanism

* 531 – Mail system Full

* 533 – Remote server has insufficient disk space to hold email

* 534 – Authentication mechanism is too weak. Message too big

* 535 – Multiple servers using same IP

* 538 – Encryption required for requested authentication mechanism.

* 540 – No DNS Server for email address

* 541 – No answer from host

* 542 – Bad Connection

* 543 – Routing server failure. No available route

* 546 – Email looping

* 547 – Delivery time-out.

* 550 – Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable.

* 551 – User not local; please try forwardpath

* 552 – Requested mail action aborted: exceeded storage allocation

* 553 – Requested action not taken: mailbox name not allowed

* 554 – Transaction failed