send email error

Unable to Send Email? Check These 5 Things

Unable to Send Email?

Being unable to send email is one of the most common complaints we receive in providing server support services. Doing a little detective work can save you a lot of extra hassle. If you’re having trouble sending email from clients like Outlook, Eudora and other POP3/IMAP software, please check the following issues:

Correct Passwords

Verify that all password information is correct. We get many requests that simply turn out to be a password error. When cutting and pasting be sure to watch out for extra spaces.

Mail Server (SMTP) is Offline

Your server could be running and serving both POP3/IMAP but not providing SMTP service. On many systems, the program responsible for POP3/IMAP is not the same as the one for SMTP. As a result, you may be able to check mail but not send. Try restarting your server or email service from your control panel.

ISP Blocks

An increasing number of ISP’s are blocking port 25 which is the port used to send email.  If your ISP blocks this port, you may be unable to send email.  Many of the major ISP’s, including NetZero, MSN, Earthlink, AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, block port 25 in an attempt to control spam. If your ISP blocks port 25, then you will be unable to send email out of your server. This is not a server problem but a direct block by your ISP. We can often work around these blocks by configuring your mail server to listen to additional ports.

You can test if port 25 is blocked by using a telnet client to connect to port 25. If you connect successfully to port 25, you will see your mail server’s banner. This will list some information about your mail server. If you cannot connect to port 25, then either your mail server is down or your ISP has block port 25.

ISP blocks are becoming an increasing problem. Generally, once password issues have been ruled out, sending email is all or none. If the mail server is down, no one will be able to send email. ISP blocks will only impact those clients behind that ISP’s network.

Server Load Throttling

Many SMTP servers will begin to reject email if server loads are too high. If you have root access, you may want to login and run “uptime”. This will tell you your current load averages. Many systems stop responding to email requests if loads exceed 12 for a five-minute period. If the load does not decline to below 4 within a few minutes, then you may have a service performance issue.

SMTP Authentication

Most email servers use one of two mechanisms to determine if a user is permitted to send email.

The first method, “POP before SMTP”, requires that the user first check their email before they can send. If a user cannot check their email, then they will not be able to send. Try restarting your POP3/IMAP server and testing again.

The second and preferred method is called SMTP Authentication. This method should be used if your system supports it. Current Ensim, Plesk and cPanel servers all support SMTP AUTH. To use this feature, the user must check configure their email client to use authentication for sending mail. In Microsoft Outlook, there is a check box called “This server requires authentication.” That box should be checked.


If the above items do not seem to be the cause, then you may have a mail server configuration issue.  If you are still unable to send email and operate your own dedicated server, then we may be able to help.

If you do not own your sever, then try contacting your ISP or email service provider if you are unable to send email.

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Jeff is the CEO and founder of rackAID. He has been working in hosting industry since the days of Rackshack's famed customer appreciation parties back in the early 2000's. Jeff is an avid cyclist, wine enthusiast, and admitted Kraftwerk listener (please don't hold that against him). You may spot him at any number of hosting, startup and small business conferences


  • Patricia Jones January 17, 2010 at 1:06 am

    How do I restart the pop3/imap

  • Patricia Jones January 17, 2010 at 1:07 am

    How do I find email sent to my account that where not received?

  • FRANCES DUFF February 10, 2010 at 12:23 pm


  • Jeff H. September 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

    If you are talking about restarting a pop3/imap server, the method will depend on your server.  For desktop clients, typically they will check email again on open.

    If someone sent you and email and you did not receive it, the sender should have received a bounce.  There is no way for you to retrieve this email without contacting the sender and having them send it again by alternate means.

  • Jeff H. September 19, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Some email clients will not show images. So this could be an issue with your friend’s email system. If you are embedding them directly into your email, try sending them as attachments that sometimes will help.

  • Glenda Boyd September 18, 2010 at 7:40 am

    My problem is the same as the one posted by Francis Duff 02/10/2010


  • Harry Henson September 23, 2010 at 9:54 am

    As a novice I do not understand how to proceed. When tryingto send e mails I get a message including “port25 blocked” What can I do?Lemon

  • Jeff H. September 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Port 25 blocked likely means your ISP is blocking your connection to your server.  Some servers support port 587.  In your email client, see if you can set the outbound SMTP port to 587.  If this fails, I would call your ISP for further assistance.

  • stephen hoolahan November 7, 2010 at 11:50 am

    i am recieving emails about possible employmentn and i am unable to reply why is this

  • Lydia Parker February 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    I can receive emails but unable to send emails

  • Jeff H. March 8, 2011 at 9:14 am

    @Helen Poe
    From you description, you do appear to have an local computer issue and not a server level issue.  Since one computer works and the other does not, this suggests and issue with your desktop.  Perhaps a virus that is not detected, incorrect settings, or something blocking access. 

    If you cannot resolve this on your own, I suggest getting support to look into it.  Best Buy, Staples or online services like provide desktop support.

  • Helen Poe March 7, 2011 at 10:45 am

    My server is I can send emails from my laptop, but I cannot from my desktop. I have the same settings on both computers. I find it strange that if I use pop3 and 110 that my internet server Firefox or internet explorer will not work, I have to turn off my pop3. Why is this? My internet provider said that there is nothing wrong with my connection he can’t figure it out. He says my computer is not working right, I/ve run Malware and antivirsus and there is no problem there. I also ran a test on the computer and it said the variables are ok. what now?

  • B. Hayes March 11, 2011 at 2:11 am

    I’m trying to send a long list blind copy with a link to a theater site….I keep getting messge “temorarily unable to send, try later..”  this started last night and persists this morngin…what do I do? thanks

  • Nina May 8, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I’ve spent 3 lon sessions with Dell after a virus.  But, when I try and send e-mail to more than one person, a box pops up that says Unable to send message because of error”..I can send e-mail..and forward. Any ideas welcomed!

  • Ron May 18, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Why am I unable to send emails to members of

  • Jeffrey Huckaby May 23, 2011 at 9:26 am

    @Ron You could be blocked at I would contact your ISP or through another means.

    Perhaps your email service provider is blocking emails with multiple recipients.  I would contact them. For malware, I use

    @B Hayes
    Most likely your email client and/or your ISP is blocking long BCC’s. That tactic is often used by spammers.  Consider using a mailing list service if you are sending to more than 10 recipients at once.  MailChimp is easy to use and cheap.

  • Eh? June 27, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Every time I try to send an email I get a message saying “to continue sending messages please sign into your windows live hotmail account after you sign in will show you a picture and ask you which letters and numbers you see in it. This helps us prevent automated programs from sending junk.” I did what it told me to do but I still can’t send emails? What do I do??

  • Monte Kay Botkin August 25, 2011 at 8:52 am

    unable to access emails or to send due to forgetting of current password.  I am using outlook explorer and I also do not wish to upgrde to the newest version of YAHOO browser due to problems in the past when I have upgrded to a new version.

  • liz robertson September 13, 2011 at 1:59 am

    please help me with my email i cnt get my email send lout for a few weeks now. Please help asap.Thank You. LIZ.

  • Jeffrey Huckaby September 14, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Our focus is on email servers. For desktop support, start with your internet provider.  Call them and see if they can help.  If that still fails, then you may need to hire a desktop support company. There are companies now that for a flat fee will login remotely to your desktop and fix your issue.

  • cherry September 28, 2011 at 4:10 am

    Unable to send email address with capitals?

  • Free pdf editor download October 12, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Well that never happened to me yet but it’s always great to know information of this kind. Many thanks for this article!

  • Tom Hensley November 9, 2011 at 1:08 am

    I have  I am not able to send or receive email.  I get this error, 0x800ccc0d .  What can I do?  The verizon techs never want to address this situation.  They want to always make sure I’m using, (their email).  I have Windows Live, Hotmail, Thunderbird mail and none of them will work until I get the error, 0x800CCC0D, fixed.  What can I do?
      Is there software anywhere that will fix any email error?

    Thank you,
    Tom Hensley

  • mp4 to mp3 January 10, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Why can’t I send a mail to a person with capitals in the email address?

  • doreen January 16, 2012 at 7:38 am

    why can,t i dleat my email, and how to make the email smaller

  • nike free run sale February 28, 2012 at 9:45 am

    I use foxmail to send and receive email, it’s very ok!

  • Efrain Vicente Garcia February 28, 2012 at 9:00 am

    I’ve lost my email connection and wish
    I could get it back. I have been tryinmg everything to recover it. E.V.Garcia

  • carol shugart March 9, 2012 at 6:36 am

    i receive e-mail but unable to read it and unable to send mail

  • fred stidham March 17, 2012 at 7:08 am

    if my incredimail is receiving mail i dont see it

  • ed March 19, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I get an error message that pass word is rejected.

    This system is years in the running, not new, and when I reenter my pass word, it is rejected again. I have three e mail addresses and all three has the same error.

    What to do.

  • earl April 26, 2012 at 4:53 am

    when i push the “send” it says “error please try again now this has bee goin on for 3 weeks i have a dell labtop latitude d610 i use comcast for my internet

  • megan cook May 8, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    My computer can receive emails but not send them