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 of a 552 bounce-back message
Delivery-date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:30:14 -0700
Received: from mailnull by biz24.inmotionhosting.com with local (Exim 4.77)
for email@example.com; Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:30:14 -0700
From: Mail Delivery System
Subject: Mail delivery failed: returning message to sender
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:30:14 -0700
recipients. This is a permanent error. The following address(es) failed:
SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
host RemoteDomain.com [18.104.22.168]:
552 5.3.4 Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size
—— The body of the message is 10672605 characters long; only the first
—— 106496 or so are included here.
Received: from comcast.net ([123.123.123]:33534 helo=Admin)
by biz24.inmotionhosting.com with esmtpsa (TLSv1:AES128-SHA:128)
id 1TQMjz-0004Ug-Sz; Mon, 22 Oct 2012 11:29:42 -0700
From: Sender <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 allocationn
- 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 visitn
- 552-5.7.0 Our system detected an illegal attachment on your message. Pleasen
- 552 Virus found inside of the email
- 552 5.2.0 Remote MTA 22.214.171.124: 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.