If an email you send bounces, open and read the bounced message before rushing to delete it. It contains valuable information regarding why your email bounced, which can help you send successfully the next time.
The following table lists the most common email errors, with their meanings. At the end are links to more detailed errors provided by various email programs.
|Error No.||Error Message||Explanation|
|452||Requested action not taken.||Your ISP has run out of room on their email server or their server is down. Contact them for assistance.|
|550||Email address doesn't exist. Or the server doesn't exist.||Example: You meant to send email to 'email@example.com' and sent it to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' instead. Note that if the mistyped email address is still a legit address, someone else will get the email you meant for your friend Joe.|
|550||(Alternative meaning) Relaying Denied.||If relaying is not permitted on one's SMTP server, and the server doesn't recognise the sender's email address, error 550 may be generated.|
|550||(Alternative meaning) Username not found.||The user portion of the email address (before the "@" symbol) does not exist.|
|550||(Alternative meaning) Email domain not found.||The domain portion of the email address (after the "@" symbol) does not exist.|
|551||User not local, use a complete email address.||Example: you sent email to 'username', but 'username' doesn't exist at the ISP where you have an email account.|
|552||Recipient exceeded storage allocation.||The recipient's inbox is full, try another mode of contact until recipient empties inbox.|
|554||Transaction failed.||For some other reason not covered by other email errors, your email was not delivered.
One common reason for a 554 error is "illegal syntax" found in email addresses or domain names. Check the email addresses you are sending to (as well as your own "from" address), and make sure each is complete and correctly formed.
For more detailed info, check the error definitions specific to your email client:
- AOL Email error support
- Eudora's email errors
- Thunderbird's email errors (see especially the list of Server Errors near the end)
- Microsoft support page for Outlook/Outlook Express errors
- Original email specs: RFC 3461 (SMTP Service Extension for Delivery Status Notifications) and RFC 3463 (Enhanced Mail System Status Codes)