Mailer-daemon FAQs

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Mailer-daemon FAQs

Why did I receive an email from “mailer-daemon@aol.com”?
How can I know why the email is returned in the mailer-daemon error report itself?
I cannot send emails to a particular email address. Why?
I receive mailer-daemon error reports for emails that I did not send. Why?

Why did I receive an email from “mailer-daemon@aol.com”?

An automated error report from the email delivery system (mailer-daemon@aol.com) indicates that there has been a problem in delivering your email to its destination. If you receive this error, your email message will be returned to you along with an outline of the delivery problem.

The most common cause for receiving a mailer-daemon message is an incorrectly addressed email.

An email address in general must be typed correctly with no spaces and with the @ symbol in the correct place, for example, user_name@domain.com.

When considering an AOL email address in particular, the screen name is the part of the email address that appears before the @ symbol, i.e., screenname@aol.com.

Valid AOL email addresses cannot
  • Be shorter than 3 or longer than 16 characters.
  • Begin with numbers.
  • Contain punctuation of any kind (such as periods, underscores, or dashes).

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How can I know why the email is returned in the mailer-daemon error report itself?

Once you read the mailer-daemon error report, you will know why your email was returned and how you can avoid such circumstances in the future.

The five sections of the error report are explained below:
  1. The first section tells you when (date and time) your email was received by the mail system.
    " The original message was received at Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:48:05-0400 (EDT) from your.domain.org [x.x.x.x]"
  2. The second section will be a brief message from the Postmaster. The line begins with " <<<" describes the specific reason your email could not be delivered. The next line contains a second error message that is a general translation for other email servers.
    *** ATTENTION***
    Your email is being returned to you because there was a problem with its delivery.
    The (client) address that was undeliverable is listed in the section labeled: "----- The following addresses had permanent fatal errors-----."
    "The reason your mail is being returned to you is listed in the section labeled:
    -----Transcript of Session Follows-----."
  3. The third section has the heading " -----The following addresses had permanent fatal errors----." Here, you will find the address(es) that the email could not be delivered to.
  4. The fourth section is the most important in terms of determining why your email could not be delivered because it contains the specific error because of which the email could not be delivered.
    "----- Transcript of session follows ----- ... while talking to air18.mail.aol.com: >>> RCPTTo:<9988MQZ@aol.com><<< 550 Mailbox not found 550 <9988MQZ@aol.com>... User unknown."
  5. The last section is " ----- Original message follows -----." This contains your original email that is returned to you as undelivered.

Some common mailer-daemon messages are explained in the article Common mailer daemon messages.

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I cannot send emails to a particular email address. Why?

You may not be able to send emails to a particular email address and may get a mailer-daemon error report containing the error message "550 <username> is not accepting mail from this sender." This indicates that your email address has been blocked on the basis of the spam control or privacy settings set by the owner of that particular email account.

If the email address that you are trying to send emails to is an AOL email address, you can direct the owner of that particular email account to our online help article Mail controls and privacy settings for more information on changing the privacy settings. However, if the email address is not an AOL email address, please ask the owner of that particular email account to contact their email service provider for more information on how to change privacy settings for their email account.

I receive mailer-daemon error reports for emails that I did not send. Why?

It is possible that your computer could be infected by malware or a virus. Our online help article I receive mailer daemons for emails gives you more information about a virus and about the security features AOL provides to help you in such a situation.

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About this article:
Last updated: 08-10-2012
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