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[Sticky] Common E-mail Issues

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Things you can do if some of your user's start complaining they're not getting emails.  If no mail is coming through from your site, the problem is likely something else.  These tips help with intermittent problems.  Thanks to tptb for the original information.  This topic has been locked to keep it from getting cluttered.  If you have a problem open a new thread.  This information will be updated as new info comes to us.

Microsoft has implemented the use of SPF records that prevent your email from being delivered unless your server is configured as follows

An SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record is a specification of what servers are allowed to send mail for a given domain name. Setting up an SPF record is the current standard for preventing spoofing -- when a user receives email that appears to have originated from one source when it actually was sent from another. Spoofing usually poses a problem for users who have a default/catch-all address set up and start receiving a bunch of return error messages for emails that they didn't even send, or when your try to send mail to another mail server that requires an SPF record to verify its source. Hotmail is a good example, because as of October 2006 they require that all emails include a Sender ID/SPF or else the mail will be routed as junk.

Keep in mind that when an SPF record is installed on your account, forwarders to/from other domains will not work!

An SPF record can easily be generated on this site:

The standard format for most SPF records will look like this, unless you have special MX modifications or other arrangements for outgoing mail:

"v=spf1 a mx ~all"

Once you've created your SPF record, all you need to do is send it to your ISP's technical support center to be installed. Please note that once the SPF record is installed, it can take a few days for the email bounces to stop, and for other mail systems to see the DNS change.

If you are a Hotmail user, you will need to email Microsoft at to let them know that you have an SPF for your domain.


If you are on a shared host, hotmail and msn have problems with this when they do a reverse DNS lookup.

To solve this problem, in your email settings, change your hostname from your domain to your host's domain.

So instead of:

You would have:

Topic starter Posted : 19/10/2007 11:11 am