A 550 email error is generally encountered when the recipient's mailbox is unavailable due to being incorrectly typed or not found.

You should receive a bounce-back message from the server with a variation of email error 550 in the subject, and the body should contain your original message that you attempted to deliver.

Example bounce-back message

Delivery-date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 14:49:59 -0700
Received: from mailnull by biz24.inmotionhosting.com with local (Exim 4.77)
id 1TRVJP-0006jL-Qq
for sender@YourDomain.com; Thu, 25 Oct 2012 14:49:59 -0700
X-Failed-Recipients: recipient@RemoteDomain.com
Auto-Submitted: auto-replied
From: Mail Delivery System <Mailer-Daemon@biz24.inmotionhosting.com>
To: sender@YourDomain.com
Subject: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
Message-Id: <E1TRVJP-0006jL-Qq@biz24.inmotionhosting.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2012 14:49:59 -0700

This message was created automatically by mail delivery software.
A message that you sent could not be delivered to one or more of its
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:

SMTP error from remote mail server after RCPT TO:<recipient@RemoteDomain.com>:
host RemoteDomain.com [123.123.123]: 550 Requested action was not taken because this server doesn't handle mail for that user
------ This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. ------
Return-path: <sender@YourDomain.com>
Received: from comcast.net ([123.123.123]:63548 helo=Admin)
by biz24.inmotionhosting.com with esmtp (Exim 4.77)
(envelope-from <sender@YourDomain.com>)
id 1TRVJK-0006g1-VL
for recipient@RemoteDomain.com; Thu, 25 Oct 2012 14:49:55 -0700
From: "Sender" <sender@YourDomain.com>
To: <recipient@RemoteDomain.com>

Common variations of the 550 email error

  • 550 No such person at this address
  • 550 No such recipient here
  • 550 No Such User Here
  • 550 No such user - psmtp
  • 550 No such user (recipient@RemoteDomain.com)
  • 550 permanent failure for one or more recipients
  • 550 Recipient does not exist here
  • 550 Recipient Rejected: No account by that name here
  • 550 <recipient@RemoteDomain.com>: invalid address
  • 550 <recipient@RemoteDomain.com> No such user here
  • 550 recipient@RemoteDomain.com...User unknown
  • 550 Rejected
  • 550 relaying denied
  • 550 Requested action not taken: mailbox unavailable
  • 550 Requested action was not taken because this server doesn't handle mail for that user
  • 550 sorry, no mailbox here by that name (#5.1.1)
  • 550 sorry, no mailbox here by that name. (#5.7.17)
  • 550 This user's mailbox is full (recipient@RemoteDomain.com) - Try again later
  • 550 Unknown user
  • 550 unrouteable address
  • 550 User [recipient@RemoteDomain.com] does not exist
  • 550 User unknown

Resolving a 550 email error bounceback

The 550 series of errors are referred to as hard bounces. This means the problem is permanent and attempting to send the message again in the same fashion won't work. For a more in-depth explanation on hard bounces and general email bounceback reasons you can read why does email bounce, bounceback, or error?

In our example bounce-back error above the reason the message has failed is because the server for RemoteDomains.com doesn't handle mail for the user recipient@RemoteDomain.com so it's unable to deliver the message for you.

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