Below are listed the most common email problems reported to us that are usually related to the set-up on your computer or other external factors.
If you just need set-up instructions for your email client please choose one of these links:
IMAP mail accounts:
- Set-up instructions and help for Rackspace IMAP mailboxes
- Personalised set-up instructions (from the Integrated Applications Control Panel).
Hosted Exchange mail accounts:
I cannot receive email.
- Make sure you are on-line (can you browse web pages?) If you cannot browse web pages, check your internet connection or contact your ISP before reporting an email problem.
- Have you installed or configured a firewall? Try receiving with the firewall temporarily turned off – if this works OK then consult the documentation for the firewall or contact the firewall vendors help desk.
- Make sure you have used the correct user name, password and mail server addresses for your account. This information can be found on the Control Panel site(including specific step by step instructions for various popular mail clients).
- We have seen that some email clients (especially Outlook Express) choke on some type of spam email. You can inspect your incoming mail queue using the Control Panel site and delete any messages you don’t want to download (make sure you close your email client while you do this). This often resolves the problem.
I cannot send email.
- Make sure you are on-line (as above).
- The usual cause of this is not enabling SMTP authentication in your mail client (you’ll probably get the error message ‘550 relay denied‘). All outgoing mail sent via our mail server requires authentication – ensure this is switched on in your mail program (instructions for all versions of Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird can be found at the Control Panel site).
- If you get an error message about “too many recipients” then please note that the maximum number of recipients you can have on one outgoing email is 30. This is an anti-spam measure. If you have more than 30 recipients you’ll need to split them over several emails. If you email the same list regularly ask us about setting up a mailing list.
- If you get a bounce message, check if it contains the note “This is a temporary error and you do not have to resend the message“. All this means is that we couldn’t deliver the mail at the first attempt and we’ll keep trying. You’ll get another bounce message if we eventually give up.
- Some ISPs may intercept your outbound email and process it through their own servers. This is an anti-spam measure. If this causes you a problem you can change your email software to use port 2525 instead of port 25 for outbound mail (in Outlook this setting is on the ‘Advanced’ tab within the email account properties).
Somebody has sent me an email but it never arrived.
- Has the email gone into your ‘junk’ folder? If you use Outlook and it has junked the email you can add the sender to the Outlook ‘Safe Senders’ list.
- We only block emails passing through our mail servers in these situations:
- The email contained a virus.
- The senders email system is on the SpamHaus blocklist or has a misconfigured DNS (see below).
- The email didn’t pass the Sender Policy Framework check AND you asked us to block suspected spam.
- The email was marked as spam AND you asked us to block suspected spam.
- The senders address was added to your address blacklist (see our spam filter help page at the Control Panel site).
- You can turn spam blocking on/off from your webmail account. New accounts are set up with this option turned OFF.
- Did the sender get a bounce message? If so, does it say there’s a problem such as ‘mailbox full’? See the section below on sender issues.
I get a message saying the email I sent was too large for the remote SMTP server.
- The recipient may not have enough free space in their mailbox.
- Most ISPs impose a size limit on all messages. This can be as little as 1Mb, although 5 to 10Mb is more usual. There is nothing we can do to force a large message through in this case.
- Remember if you are sending a large message that the recipient may only have a dial-up internet connection, and a message of more than 1Mb may take them a long time to download.
My mailbox is full although I have no new incoming mail.
- This occurs when you don't purge your IMAP folders to permanently remove messages you've deleted. Try doing a folder purge (in Outlook this is on the Folder menu).
Mail is taking a long time to arrive.
- Do you have your email client set up to send and receive messages automatically?
- If you use our email virus scanning service, it may take up to five minutes for email to be scanned, depending on the current server load. Many virus-infected emails arrive in ‘waves’ which produce a temporary high server load.
Someone is trying to email me and their mail bounces back with the message “denied due to the inclusion of your IP…” (or similar).
- We use the various blocklists to prevent junk email being accepted from known spammers. The sender or their ISP may be on the blocklist because they have allowed junk email to be sent from their equipment (knowingly or not). They should consult the list checkers for more information. We cannot make any special exceptions for senders blocked this way.
Someone is trying to email me and their mail bounces back with the message “551 Server access forbidden by your IP”.
- The sender’s mail server probably has an incorrect reverse DNS pointer.
- The senders ISP must correct this before we will accept mail from them. This is another anti-spam measure and is recommended by RFC 1912 .
- The sender most probably also has problems sending mail to other ISPs.
- The sender’s ISP can check their DNS setup at http://www.dnsreport.com (pay particular attention to the results in the ‘MX’ section).
I am receiving lots of ‘undeliverable’ (or ‘bounce’) messages for emails I haven’t sent (to people I don’t know!)
- Viruses and spammers can fake the ‘from’ address on emails they send out, sometimes using non-existant addresses but sometimes using the real addresses of innocent third parties. You may be unlucky enough to have your own email address used in this way. Although we use the SPF (Sender Policy Framework) to try and prevent this problem, not all ISPs recognise SPF and so you receive any bounces or replies generated by the virus/spam.
- There is nothing we can do to block these messages.
- You may find the problem is worse if you have a catch-all email address – consider dropping the catch-all address.