What is an email bounce back error?

An email bounce back error is generated by any problem that causes an email message not to be delivered to the recipient. Depending on the reason for the failure, the message may come from the sender’s email server or the recipient’s email server. Other names sometimes used for a bounce-back error include bounce messages and delivery failures.

Common reasons for bounce back errors

Temporary problems

Bounce back errors are often caused by temporary problems that will be resolved independently or without any action by the sender. Common temporary issues are:

  • The recipient’s mailbox storage is over the maximum limit. If the recipient has too many emails or large attachments in their mailbox, they may need to delete some from their mail server before they can receive new emails.
  • The recipient’s mail server is temporarily unavailable (delivery timeout). This can be caused by many kinds of network or server outages, such as the mail server being briefly offline or unusually high network usage. When this happens, the mail server automatically keeps trying to send emails until the problem is resolved.

Permanent problems

Sometimes bounce-back errors are caused by problems that won’t be resolved without some kind of action by the sender or the sender’s web host or email provider. Some of these types of problems include:

  • Incorrect or invalid email address – The email address that has a typo or doesn’t include an ‘at’ symbol (@) or correct top-level domain (for example, .com, .net, .ca, etc.).
  • Disabled account – The recipient’s account has been disabled by their email provider.
  • Domain (DNS) errors – There is a problem with the recipient’s domain registration or DNS records.
  • Suspected spam or virus – This could be caused by the content of the email triggering some automated spam or virus detection software. It could also be caused by a massive number of emails coming from the server in a short time. If you receive a bounce-back message that says you may be sending spam or a virus, contact HostPapa Support.
  • Blacklisted mail server – The sender’s mail server has been added to a blacklist on the recipient’s mail server. This means that no mail will be accepted from the blacklisted server. This usually happens after reports of spam or security concerns coming from the sender’s mail server. Blacklists provide important protection but aren’t always accurate. If you receive a bounce-back message that says you’re using a blacklisted server, contact HostPapa Support.

What should I do if I receive a bounce-back error?

If you receive an email bounce-back message, it will usually contain an error code and description of the problem. If the message says the email is delayed and the server will continue trying, you don’t need to do anything while the server automatically resends the email. If the problem is caused by the recipient’s mailbox being full and you have another way to contact that person, you may want to let them know that email to them is being bounced back to the sender.

If an incorrect or invalid email address causes the problem, make sure that you have the correct address and have entered it correctly.

If the problem is caused by a DNS error, suspected spam or virus, or a blacklisted server, contact HostPapa Support for more information.

If you need help with your HostPapa account, please open a support ticket from your dashboard.

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