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Emails are disappearing. My customer has reported that they are not receiving certain emails sent to them.

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The email could have been blocked either by exim or MailScanner, or it's possible that it's not reaching your server at all. The three primary places to look for information are bounce messages received by the sender, /var/log/exim_mainlog, and the MailControl database.

If the email's sender has received a bounce message that you can get, it should have an error message and other information (i.e. sender and recipient email addresses), and confirm whether the bounce is actually from your server or from the sender's mail server. You can use the information in the bounce message to search the exim log (see below) if the error message is from your server but doesn't tell you exactly why the mail was rejected.

If there is no bounce message, you need to find out the sender and recipient email addresses and the date and approximate time of the email in order to search /var/log/exim_mainlog and MailControl. To search the exim log, use grep or exigrep. For example, to look for emails from bob@waytotheweb.com, do the following:

exigrep bob@waytotheweb.com /var/log/exim_mainlog

This will give you all the log lines together for each message sent from or to bob@waytotheweb.com, including any error messages and the email address that the message was sent to.

We have occasionally seen issues where a cPanel exim filter will discard emails incorrectly when MailScanner is running. If this is happening you should see a reference to "central_filter" in the exim log entries for the email in question, and the email will be delivered to /dev/null instead of the intended recipient.

To search MailControl, click on Menu -> Search Messages. Say you want to search for any emails from bob@waytotheweb.com. Under Next to Search:, select From Address > EQUALS > bob@waytotheweb.com, and click Search. You can add more filters, for instance to see all mails from bob@waytotheweb.com and to bill@configserver.com, just add a filter To Address > EQUALS > bill@configserver.com to the first filter. At the top of the table you will see the count of messages (Results) that it has found. In the message listing, click on the symbol in the View/Status column to view the message and see whether it was blocked and why.

Keywords: disappearing disappear missing emails lost losing

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