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People who send to my Hotmail address are getting a bounce from some other email address. Why?


I saw your answer to another Hotmail question and mine is similar. The
person said that all Hotmail accounts she emailed were being returned. You
discussed spam filters, flagged IPs, etc. I can log in to my account and send
email, but no one can email me. It gets returned. I’ve checked all of the
settings, spam, forwarding, set email address to forward to and nothing works
and naturally I can’t get any assistance from Hotmail. Forums just suggest
everything I’ve already tried. It started on 8.22.12 and did not give a return
message for a few weeks. It just disappeared.

Now, the message error is “The following recipients could not be reached
{email address} on date and time. The email system was unable to deliver the
message but did not report a specific reason. Check the address and try

In this excerpt from
Answercast #67
, I look at a case of bounced emails that are bouncing from an
unrelated account.

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Returned email address

So, it’s interesting because you’re discussing a Hotmail service – and yet
what is being reported in that error message is not a Hotmail address.

And in fact, continuing the error message, it goes on to say, “a DNS hard
error lookup, the domain of that email address cannot be found.” In other
words, not only is it a bad email address, it’s a bad domain. It’s not even a
‘mail server’ that’s trying to be reached.

The error message actually has nothing to do with Hotmail!

So, if people are getting this when they send to you, then I would be
concerned about two things:

  • One is they have an error in their address book that’s sending to this bogus
    email address – and not to your email address. That’s something that they would
    have to fix on their side so I would triple check to make sure that they are
    sending to exactly your correct email address.

  • Or, the other thing is that maybe, somewhere along the line, your account
    got hacked – and a forward was set up so that email that is coming in to your
    Hotmail account is somehow automatically being forwarded to a different email
    address, and it’s that email address that is bouncing.

Forwarding and spam filters

Normally, a forward should still appear in your inbox or potentially in your
deleted mail. It’s one of those things where it’s possible, I suppose, that
some kind of automatic filtering is happening. That is causing all of this
email to be automatically deleted, or like I said, moved – perhaps even to the
spam folder.

I’d have look there too.

But the bounce message isn’t coming from Hotmail; the bounce message is
coming from somewhere else entirely and that implies to me that there’s
something else going on here:

  • Either your senders aren’t sending to the correct email address;

  • Or your account has been misconfigured to automatically forward email to
    this address.

Now the good news is that forwarding options are pretty clear. If you take a
look at the Options menu, there’s a “More
” link and that will take you to a raft of options available in
Microsoft Hotmail. If you dig in there, you’ll be able to find that there is,
indeed, an option to automatically forward your email to another email address.
Make sure it’s not.

Do this

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