Why have my emails stopped working?

Not receiving emails? Getting a bounce back message?

We hate it when this happens, waiting on an important email only to find out it got lost somewhere. or maybe your clients are receiving bouncebacks when emailing you? Worst of all not being able to receive and send. Sounds like something is misconfigured or you’ve been blacklisted.

Before contacting your host there is a few things you can do to try and fix the problem yourself and maybe narrow down the reason as to why it happened. There could be a thousand & one things that could be causing your problems. Some are down to misspelt email addresses, others are more server related.

So let’s jump in to a few tips you can try.

Bounce back? Read the email.

When you or the recipent receives a bounce back, don’t just delete or discard that email. It provides you and your host with some important information and error messages to help debug why this has happend.

Each bounce back email has a reason which it states for example “Mailbox full” or “Sender unkown” which means, your inbox or the receipents is full and email does not exsist, this is normally a simple spelling issue.

Check Spelling

This may seem like a silly solution to try but most of time bounce backs are due to a misspelling of the recipiants email address or in some cases your email. Before sending emails just double check the email is spelt right.

Make sure your details are correct.

It’s really important that your account details are correct, if you are using a desktop app like Outlook take a look at your account settings and just make sure the following are set to your servers correct details.

  • Port numbers
  • Email address
  • Username
  • Password
  • Mail Servers.

An account with the wrong outgoing details for example will stop you from being able to send messages. We double check these before trying to debug anymore. If you are unsure of the correct details simply contact your web hosting provider and they be happy to re send any information you require. Some hosting companies; us included have set up files which you simply just double click and they automatically set up the account on Outlook, Mac Mail, iOS Mail etc.

Spam filters

We are seeing this error come up a lot recently, maybe due to hosting companies tightening up spam control. If you received a bounce back relating to spam this may be because sometimes your server won’t receive emails from certain domains due to your spam fitler being set to high. Although having a strong spam filter is recommended this can stop emails from Gmail and Outlook coming through, some services providers even ban Hotmail accounts altogether (we’ve seen this!). This happens because these free accounts tend to be used to send spam out as they are easy and quick to set up. If you can manually change these we recommend a lower setting. If not your host can check whether you have a spam fitler put in place and they may be able to lower it.

The other solution is that some hosts ban emails from certain domains and IP addresses. You can add certain domains to your servers mail whitelist, if you have full hosting control you may be able to do this your self but 9 times out of 10 your host will have to give a little guidance.

Check your not black listed.

Another common error for people not receiving your emails is your domain could be on a black list. This normally means your domain has been punished for sending out spam emails or bulk emails. You can check whether or not you are listed on this website


If you are on any of them you can appeal to be removed if you think you don’t deserve to be blacklisted.

If all else fails.

If none of these solutions worked, don’t worry these are a few simple things you can try before going to your host. We have also helped rule out any minor possible causes, your host can now look further in to the problem knowing it isn’t any of these issues. Don’t forget to send over the bounce back, it may be helpful!

I hope these tips have helped you out, we often post useful tips and tricks so why not check out the rest of our blogs.

Lets have a chat?
Click to scroll to the top of the site