ME020241 - PRB: Messages sent to Hotmail appear in the Junk Mail folder


Messages sent to Hotmail from a MailEnable server appear in the users Junk Mail folder.


There are various possibilities as to why messages can be considered as junk by Hotmail and therefore delivered to a users junk email folder:

  1. No PTR record
  2. Incorrect sender address
  3. Invalid/misleading subject line
  4. No SPF record for the domain
  5. No DKIM for the sending domain
  6. Content of the message may contain a Phishing URL


  1. Firstly please review the following Hotmail troubleshooting guide:

  1. Ensure that the sender address that is configured in the mail client is from a domain that is hosted on the server.
  2. Ensure that the message being sent does not have a subject or message body that could be mistaken as being spam i.e.: make sure the message has a subject, etc.
  3. Ensure that a valid PTR record (Reverse DNS record) exists for your IP address.

For more information on setting up a PTR record please see:

Article ME020206

The following MailEnable tool can perform a check on your domain to see if a valid PTR record exists:

  1. Hotmail's policy has been to verify all incoming e-mail using Sender Policy Framework (SPF). This reassures Hotmail users that authenticated email definately comes from the named sender which reduces the risk of header forgery. Therefore if an email does not pass the SPF verification it likely be classified as junk and delivered to the users junk email folder.

Information on how to setup SPF within MailEnable can be found within the following articles:

Article ME020345

The following Microsoft link can also assist in creating an SPF record for your domain:

  1. If SPF verification fails when sending to Hotmail it will fall back and use DKIM verification. Therefore it is also good practice to setup DKIM within MailEnable for your hosted domains.

Information on how to setup DKIM for a domain within MailEnable can be found within the MailEnable documentation:

Learn more about DKIM here:


Product: MailEnable
Version: All Versions
Category: Configuration
Module: SMTP
Keywords: PTR Hotmail yahoo Junk mail spam junk spam
Class: PRB: Product Problem or Issue
Revision Date:Sat, 3 Jan 2004 21:02:03 -0500