How do messages appear in the bad mail directory?


Explanation of how messages can appear in the bad mail directory.


Mail will only go into bad mail directory under the circumstances listed below. If messages are stuck in the outbound queue, there would be a reason for this. One suggestion is to check the SMTP debug log in the Mail Enable\Logging\SMTP directory, as this will contain details of why messages fail, and also why messages go into bad mail. Sending between users usually only fails if the email address was not a valid user. A message is not fully received by the MailEnable SMTP service. The last line of the MAI file in the Bad Mail\Messages directory will indicate the error that caused this.

  1. The postoffice connector cannot deliver a message to a users inbox. This would happen in the rare cases where a user is deleted just after a message has been accepted by an external connector, but before it has been delivered. It can also occur is the users inbox directory is not a valid path.
  2. When a delivery delay or failure notification has the recipient and sender Postmaster address the same. This would indicate that the bad mail sender address configured in the SMTP properties is not a valid email address.
  3. When the total length of the recipients for an email is too long for the amount of individual email addresses. Basically a check for an invalid recipient string. Might occur if the command file was generated externally to MailEnable (i.e. external program is creating files for MailEnable to send,
    but has not configured the command file correctly).
  4. If a command file is found in the SMTP outbound, but there is no message contents file. This can happen if external programs are creating the command file before the message file directly in the SMTP outbound directory (i.e. MailEnable reads the command file to send email, but the message file has not been created yet).
  5. If a delivery delay/failure notification message has expired in the queue.
  6. A delivery delay/failure notification message has a permanent error.
  7. A variety of list server errors can put messages in Bad Mail.


Reasons for messages going into Bad Mail folder:Article ME020119

Product:MailEnable (All Versions)
Class:TRB: Troubleshooting (Configuration or Environment)
Created:23/05/2003 10:49:00 PM
Revised:Wednesday, May 4, 2016