Why have I received a Bounce Back email?

Why do I have a bounce back?


The most generic reason you have a bounce back email is because your email was unable to be delivered successfully to the email address you sent it to.

All mail servers give bounce backs but the difference is simply how they word them.

Some mail servers give very user friendly bounce backs explaining exactly what the problem was with links to pages on how to resolve them and others can you a couple of pages of tech jargon that the average user would not be able to interpret.

Here are the most common reasons why you may receive a bounce back message.

All these examples may be worded differently due to each server having its own individual way of wording things.


“User could not be found”

This message usually indicates that the user you have sent the message to does not exist on the server.

The most realistic cause for this is a misspelt email address, make sure you double check the spelling and the address you are sending to and try again.


“Mailbox quota exceeded”

This is when your mailbox on the server is full and can no longer send emails due to it not being able to store the sent message or the receiving mailbox is full and has no capacity for your new message.

Clear out some messages (Usually deleted items and the oldest messages) on the server by deleting some emails either on your IMAP account on your mail client or through the webmail portal. POP3 accounts do not sync back to the server so deleting email on your mail client with a POP3 account will not resolve this issue, use the webmail portal.

You will have to contact by other means to let them know about the issue so they can clear out their mailbox.


“Message size exceeded”

Attaching a large attachment to an email that exceeds the size set on the mail server can stop an email being sent, double check with your hosting service to check what the limit is set to and try again.


“Connection refused/timed out”

Usually refers to being unable to resolve the senders domain name. This can be either a misspelt email address for example “example@ggmsil.com” instead of example@gmail.com can cause this issue. Another likely reason is the domain you are sending to has expired meaning the email service for that domain is cut off.


“Marked as spam”

The recipient mail server has marked your email as a spam message through its spam filters and rejected it. The usual cause of this is an attachment sent was a file type that is not permitted on the mail server. Try sending without an attachment and see if that resolves the issue.

If it still doesn’t work it can be down to the wording you have used, trying sending a simple test message to recipient. If that still doesn’t work you may have to request your email address/domain is white listed on the recipients end.

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