A 552 email error is typically ecountered when there is a problem related to an attachement in your email. Either it has exceeded the size limits of the remote server, or the file-type isn't allowed by the remote server. Some mail servers also seem to use this error code incorrectly when blocking a message due to triggering a filter such as a URL in the message being found in a domain black list.

You should receive a bounce-back message from the server with a variation of email error 552 in the subject, and the body should contain your original message that you attempted to deliver.

Example bounce-back message

Return-path: <>
Envelope-to: sender@YourDomain.com
Delivery-date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:30:14 -0700
Received: from mailnull by biz24.inmotionhosting.com with local (Exim 4.77)
id 1TQMlS-0005G9-3e
for sender@YourDomain.com; Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:30:14 -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: <E1TQMlS-0005G9-3e@biz24.inmotionhosting.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:30:14 -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:
 
recipient@RemoteDomain.com
SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
host RemoteDomain.com [123.123.123.123]:
552 5.3.4 Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size
 
------ This is a copy of the message, including all the headers. ------
------ The body of the message is 10672605 characters long; only the first
------ 106496 or so are included here.
 
Return-path: <sender@YourDomain.com>
Received: from comcast.net ([123.123.123]:33534 helo=Admin)
by biz24.inmotionhosting.com with esmtpsa (TLSv1:AES128-SHA:128)
(Exim 4.77)
(envelope-from <sender@YourDomain.com>)
id 1TQMjz-0004Ug-Sz; Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:29:42 -0700
From: Sender <sender@YourDomain.com>
Subject: Annual report
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 14:29:18 -0400
To: Recipient <recipient@RemoteDomain.com>
 

Common variations of the 552 email error

  • 552 5.2.2 mailbox quota exceeded for this recipient
  • 552 5.2.2 User mailstore exceeded quota limit
  • 552 5.2.3 Message exceeds local size limit.
  • 552 5.2.3 message size exceeds fixed maximum message size
  • 552 5.3.4 Message size exceeds fixed limit
  • 552 5.3.4 Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size
  • 552 5.3.4 message size limit exceeded at MAIL FROM
  • 552 Backend Replied [mxlogic.net]: 5.3.4 Message size exceeds fixed maximum
  • 552 mail size or count over quota.
  • 552 message size exceeds maximum message size
  • 552 size limit exceeded
  • 552 too many messages in this mail box.
  • 552 Transaction failed, remote said "550 failed: User does not exist." 
  • 552-Requested mail action aborted: exceeded storage allocation\n
  • 552-5.2.2 The email account that you tried to reach is over quota.
  • 552-5.2.3 Your message exceeded Google's message size limits. Please visit\n
  • 552-5.7.0 Our system detected an illegal attachment on your message. Please\n 
  • 552 Virus found inside of the email
  • 552 5.2.0 Remote MTA 74.124.198.61: An URL contained in this message is blacklisted by SURBL. See http://www.surbl.org

Resolving a 552 email error bounceback

The 552 series of errors can sometimes be a soft or hard bounce. For a more in-depth review of what a soft or hard bounce is, 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 has a fixed message size limit. The attempted message exceeded this limit so it was not accepted and generated this bounce-back error.

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n/a Points
2014-07-15 12:03 pm

Very straightforward and easy to understand explanations, to problems which, if explained differently, would make the average Layman's head fall off!

Maybe suggest a solution, (Error 552 size limit exceeded), or does this issue need to be resolved by the recipient? Thanks, Andy Cooper
Staff
17,351 Points
2014-07-15 12:25 pm
Hello Andy Cooper,

The solution depends on the error and yes, many of these will require action by either the recipient or the sender. In some cases, if the email is too large for the recipient, then either the sender needs to find an alternate way of sending the message, or the receiver needs to make it possible for the size of the email to be able to received (this would be generally done by the email server administrator).

In other cases, the email account may be full and the recipient needs to clear space in order to receive it. So there are many variants as to how this particular error can appear, but the action that is required depends on the wording of the error message being sent. It's generally self-explanatory. However, if there is a confusion in interpreting the error message, then the sender should contact our live technical support team for further clarification.

Kindest regards,
Arnel C.
n/a Points
2014-08-08 3:51 am

This is the mail system at host cordelia.telkomsa.net.I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could notbe delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.If you do so, please include this problem report. You candelete your own text from the attached returned message.The mail system<online2758278@telkomsa.net>: host mail4.telkomsa.net[192.168.16.233] said: 5525.2.2 Over quota (in reply to end of DATA command)

 

Staff
19,557 Points
2014-08-08 9:19 am
Hello Ncedo,

Unfortunately your post does not give any details about why the message was not delivered. You may want to check out our bounce back parser tool that may help give an explanation. If not, you may want to contact our Live Support to have them check into the server logs (assuming you are one of our customers)

Kindest Regards,
Scott M
n/a Points
2014-09-05 2:28 am

HI,Need a support on Email Bounce back. Yesterday evening we have sent an email with attachment of 8MB in size. And we got a bounce back message that the Message size exceeds the fixed limit.

 

The error that the other server returned was: 552 5.3.4 Message size exceeds fixed limit.

I can understand about the attachment limits.My question is why we are getting the bounce back after 12 hours. Generaly it should bounce back immediatly.Please advise on the same.Thanks & RegardsK Shyam kumar

Staff
19,557 Points
2014-09-05 8:44 am
Hello Shyam,

Email was never meant to be instant, so if emails or even returned emails do not come back immediately, it is neither uncommon nor an issue. It seems the attachment size for the receiving server is hard set for their security reasons so you would just need to know the size limit. Perhaps you can compress the file to be under that limit.

As for the return taking 12 hours, email is as email does. Delays can be caused by queues on the sending server or during any one of the stops in between. Although we are used to getting emails very quickly, delivery time within 24 hours was the original design and at times you will see delays of a few hours, even for bouncebacks.

Kindest Regards,
Scott M

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