Email Bounce in Microsoft Outlook | Descriptive Guide

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I don’t think you have to understand all the terms used in the email lexicon. But, there are certain terms, you just need to understand. Bounce is an example. In this article, let’s see what exactly this term is and find reasons for why this happens.

What is Bounce in Emails?

In simple words, if an email can’t be delivered to a particular address, it’s a bounce. In such a case, a bounce-back email (receipt email) will be returned to the sender with the text “Mail delivery failed returning message to sender”. This return mail will contain the message the sender tried to deliver and the reason for mail delivery failure.

Reasons For Email Bounce

1. Non-Existent email address

If the bounce email is marked as a “non-existent email address,” either the email address you typed is wrong or the person with the address may have stopped using the email and closed it.

2. Undeliverable email

If the bounced emails are in the “Undeliverable” category, this indicates that the receiving email server is temporarily unavailable, was overloaded, or couldn’t be found.

3. Receiver's Mailbox is Full

If the receiver has too many emails in their inbox, then they won't be able to receive any more, your emails will bounce back until there’s space for them.

4. Blocked email

If the email addresses are placed within the “Blocked” category, the receiving server has blocked the incoming email.

The Two Types of Email Bounces

Soft Bounce & Hard Bounce
Not all bounced email belongs to the same category. Depending on the type of bounce, bounce emails are divided into two – soft bounce and hard bounce. As you think, a hard bounce happens when an email is permanently bounced back to the sender. The main reason for a hard bounce will be addressed mismatch of the recipient.

However, in soft bounces, the email you sent will be recognized by the recipient’s mail server – but, it’ll bounce back to you, because of recipient’s mailbox is full. It can also happen due to many other reasons – the mail server is temporarily unavailable, email size is exceeded, etc.

Contents of a Bounce Message

Typically, a bounce message contains the time and the date when the message bounced, details of the mail server that bounced the mail, and finally the RFC code and the reason for the bounce.

In general, soft bounces will be depicted by a 4XX code, and hard bounces by a 5XX code. Anyhow, some ISPs do not follow this convention.

To automatically Remove Bounced Messages in Outlook

Unfortunately, there’s no option in Outlook to automatically remove Outlook bounced emails. Anyhow, you can use some third-party tools or plugins. Easy Mail Merge, Incredimail, etc. are some of those tools.

There are certain things you have to be cautious about – not to delete any important emails while removing these bounced items on Outlook. Recovering deleted Outlook emails won’t be a hard process, as long as sophisticated tools to repair PST exist to get back deleted data.

Sometimes, there could be situations where you just can't access your emails. Here is how to repair MS Outlook data files that can't be opened. But, it’s always good to avoid such unnecessary situations.

About the Author: Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives, and Cloud storage networks. With an aptitude that transcends writing, Tony is recognized as a Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint expert. His comprehensive solutions…