How do messages end up in the BadMail Directory?


In order prevent information loss, MailEnable will place partially transmitted messages the MailEnable Bad Mail folder.

There are many reasons why messages may be placed in the Bad Mail folder and this article explains possible causes.


Messages will be placed in the Bad Mail directory for the following reasons:

  1. An infinite message loop was detected and the message was placed in the folder to prevent further looping.
  2. The message was sent to a remote mail server that could not be contacted. The message will be returned to the sender as well as placed in the Bad Mail directory
  3. A message delay notification or delivery failure could not be delivered to the target recipient. When this occurs the message is placed in the Bad Mail directory to prevent further looping.
  4. An inbound SMTP message was partially received from another the mail server and the transmission was interrupted. For example: a remote mail server could not complete sending a message because a failure occurred during the transmission.
  5. A Mail Transfer Agent Filter was triggered with an action to place the message in the Bad Mail folder.

It is important to regularly flush the contents of the bad mail directory and any directories that accumulate mail. Such folders and mailboxes have the ability to receive thousands of messages daily and can quickly become unmanageable.

MailEnable Enterprise and Enterprise Premium versions can automatically purge this directory via the Management Service. MailEnable also provides a utility that purges files from postmaster mailboxes and the bad mail directory. It is available at: For help using the utility simply enter mepurge /? from the Windows Command Prompt. This utility can also be scheduled using the Windows Scheduler (or AT command).

The message tracking utility can be used to determine the origins of a message that is delivered to the Bad Mail folder. This utility can be accessed from the MailEnable Tray Applet on the server with MailEnable installed. Alternatively, MailEnable's log files can be reviewed at the time the message was placed into the Bad Mail folder. 


Reasons for messages going into bad mail folder:Article ME020119

How to diagnose outgoing mail problems and delivery delay notifications:Article ME020148

How to troubleshoot mail looping issues:Article ME020269

(MTA-1010): Mail Transfer Agent - Infinite Message Loop Detection: Article ME020076

How to automatically purge mail messages from the message store: Article ME020223

Product:MailEnable (All Versions)
Class:HOWTO: Product Instructions
Created:12/07/2003 2:06:00 PM
Revised:Wednesday, May 4, 2016