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Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

rjhazeldx
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Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

I have recently changed my mail client setup to use Outlook.com to consolidate my email accounts and allow me to have an up to date view from which ever device I am using instead of downloading and sending on each device for each email address. One of the accounts is my plusnet account (with my domain name. The incoming mail siade of things is working fine but I am encountering a problem when I try to send either an email with say 12 recipients or a word mail merge of around 40 recipients. Outbound mail is sent to the relay.plus.net server.

In the first case the email is bounced with

".....Unexpected SMTP server response. Expected: 250, actual: 452, whole response: 452 Too many rcpts in time period from this IP".

This was the only email sent in several hours.

In the case of the mail merge some messages were sent and then a whole raft of rejections :with a similar reason. It took nearly two days to get the messages out.

After a lot of digging it appears that the limit on Outlook.com is around 250 and not the problem but because outlook is used by many people the consolidated send may exceed a plusnet limit because it does not count by user.

Is this analysis correct and if so is there a solution/workaround?

 

8 REPLIES 8
Townman
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

Something seems to be odd here.  The reported limit on Plusnet's SMTP server is quite generous - see https://community.plus.net/t5/Email/Multiple-Addressees-email-sending/m-p/1630810#M27735

The question is can you be sure that there is no trojan application on your device(s) quietly sending emails, unbeknown to you?

 

Also 452 has broader meanings and one really needs the Enhanced Status Code for the error to be sure of the precise (rather than the typical) error cause...

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_SMTP_server_return_codes#-_4yz_Transient_Negative_Completion

"452 Requested action not taken: insufficient system storage"

 

Other resources suggest that "Too Many Recipients" is actually 453 (see https://community.windows.com/en-us/windows-user-research?from=answers&tm=1604579560273).  It is not unknown for Email Clients to deliver completely inappropriate error text / not discern the actual cause of an error.

For example, where an IP address has been blackballed and the SMTP server is refusing to accept a connection with valid credentials, email clients invariably report a username / password failure instead of reporting "Bad IP address".

"Too many recipients" has been reported on an incorrectly configured encrypted connection.  What settings are you using for the SMTP server?

 

 

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rjhazeldx
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

Thanks for your reply. Taking your thoughts in turn:

  1. The link you provided refers, as far as I can see to mail from a Plusnet IP address. In this case the mail is coming from an Outlook.com server which may be different. As a workaround I set up an additional mailbox on my account this morning and then set it up in Outlook as a local account syncing direct to plusnet's servers.. I then sent the message with 11 addressees from that account and so far have not had any rejection.
  2. I am not sufficiently expert to be sure there is no Trojan. However, Bitdefender is generally pretty hot on picking up anything dubious and the fact that the workaround was successful suggests it is something to do with the routing from outlook.com.
  3. The full technical details in the Outlook reject message are:

"InvalidRecipientsException: Invalid recipients were provided for the message: '95cb' (452 Too many rcpts in time period from this IP

), '1539' (), 'dd77' (), '756b' (), '3c8f' (), '5dd5' (), '2a92' (), 'cfc2' (), '51fe' (), '7734' (), '7add' (). --> Unexpected SMTP server response. Expected: 250, actual: 452, whole response: 452 Too many rcpts in time period from this IP
 Failure code: c666" 

 I focused on the numbers after trawling the internet but it may well be there is something else at play.

  1. The outbound settings on Outlook at smtp server relay.plus.net, basic authentication, no encryption which were the only combination that would work. I have been sending routine emails with few addressees without difficulty.

The work around has at least enabled me to get the message out and I will have a couple of mailings of 40 or so recipients to send in the next day or two thanks to the lockdown. It is however, messy and to some degree defeats the object of consolidating the accounts on Outlook.com.

Townman
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

There is a good deal of room for confusion here!!

“Outlook” can mean many things - I had taken that to mean an Outlook Email client (Outlook 2016/19) on your PC having your Plusnet email account configured. In which case the IP address in question will be YOUR router’s IP address.

If however you are referring to Outlook 365 accessed via a web browser, where that service is consolidating emails from multiple email addresses, that environment will be acting as a server to you and a client to the Plusnet and other email addresses.

As such the IP address in question (as far as the Plusnet SMTP server is concerned) will be that of Microsoft’s email server. Therefore one can well imagine that the Plusnet relay is seeing large numbers of email submissions from that IP address.

I will ask some detailed questions of tech support.

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rjhazeldx
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

Indeed! although I have Office 365 when using the consolidating version it just refers to Outlook.com.

As you say the Plusnet relay server will be seeing the Microsoft Outlook server address(es) not my Plusnet one. Therefore the possibility of volume exceeding limit seems entirely possible.

I am a little surprised that it doesn't appear to have been picked up by others so wonder if something else is involved. Hopefully, Tech Support will be able to help.

Townman
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

It would appear that my reservations are well founded; the use of the big provider's web based email services as an email client to other third party email services is a disaster just waiting to happen!  Plusnet's email services have abuse prevention measures in place, which whilst protecting the reputation of the service for everyone, can give rise to some operational challenges for individuals, when used with email aggregation providers, especially where such aggregation services are based off-shore.

Personally I find that the approach of using an email aggregation service alien.  It results in aggregator having direct access to all of your email, which they sell as making life simpler for you.  One has to wonder what the data harvesting / search parties (Goggle and Yahoo) do with all of that data?  The approach also means that in order to read your emails you MUST be connected to the internet.

The use of a 'traditional' device based email client permits off-line reading and creation of emails, whilst keeping the contents of discreet email accounts ... discreet!

The options provided by aggregation email providers for sending email for other email accounts creates a number of technical intractable issues …

  1. Send via the aggregator's SMTP server
    1. The email will be sent BY the aggregator's ON BEHALF OF the other email address, thereby disclosing the aggregator's email address
    2. If the aggregator does not use sent on behalf of and sends using the other email address as the sender, then the security checking on the email will fail SPF checking, for the sending SMTP server will not be a permitted submission SMTP server for that domain
  2. Send via other email address' SMTP server
    1. SPF rules will be complied with
    2. Aggregator's email address will never be disclosed
    3. Submissions might fail due to SMTP server submission rate anti-spamming measures

Sadly I can only see the pitfalls which arise from the use of email aggregation compared to the practicality of using device hosted traditional email clients.

I am sure that this is not the answer you were hoping for, but it is the reality of how email services work.  Though a little tedious to set up initially, I would firmly recommend configuring each of your email accounts on a device hosted email application, on each device you want to access your emails on, rather than doing that within an email aggregation provider.

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rjhazeldx
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

Thanks, I presume from the tone of your message that my analysis of the problem was broadly correct, But no solution is forthcoming.

As regards the merits or otherwise of aggregation, I have used device based email for 30 years or more. In the 'good' old days people tended to have a single email account and a single device from which to access it. In my case I now have 7 email addresses from three different hosts to deal with and three different devices that I might need to access them from. The traditional approach means three complete downloads of each address and then replicating the deleting and archiving process, moving replies to the 'main' client. Time consuming and inefficient.

The setup I have at the moment has aggregation on Outlook.com which can be accessed either by internet client, mobile app, or desktop client. I use the latter on two devices and the mobile app on another. On my main desktop the 'current' mail is downloaded to a local file(.osf for offline availability) and I have my old storage file (.pst on my desktop -with automatic backup) to which messages are archived which keeps the email on the Outlook.com server limited to about a months worth. This setup means if I delete a message on one device it is deleted from them all, equally if I reply from one device I can refer to it in the send folder on them all. With the exception of the multiple recipient messages it works well and saves me a good deal of time. I have not seen any desktop client that would achieve this.

I am surprised that the outgoing server is not looking at the user/IP address combination and it is odd that the rejection only occurs when there are more than a few addressees. If the theory, the cumulative number of recipients from the aggregator could trip with just a single recipient for a message given the scale of say Microsoft.

As regards the use Google etc. might make of data passing through their systems is concerned I doubt that the traffic from me will be of much if any value to them. It is a pity that elected national governments have allowed them to become, in their own eyes, supra-national powers and act like it.

Townman
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452


@rjhazeldx wrote:

In my case I now have 7 email addresses from three different hosts to deal with and three different devices that I might need to access them from. The traditional approach means three complete downloads of each address and then replicating the deleting and archiving process, moving replies to the 'main' client. Time consuming and inefficient.


How so?  If all of the clients are IMAP configured they all se the same thing in the same place.  There are no need for moves, replicating deletes and archives ... unless you use somewhat cumbersome POP3 on all of the clients, in which case you will end up with an unmanageable mess, as you imply.

I too run 5 devices accessing 15 email addresses from 4 suppliers, all configured as IMAP clients: what gets sent by any client is available on all clients, what gets deleted on one client gets deleted on all clients and in general what gets drafted on one client and saved, can be picked up on another client, finished and sent.  The latter is very useful where clients might be in different places (such as office and a mobile device) allowing emails to be started at one time in one place and be completed in a different place at a later time.

The use of IMAP on all clients delivers exactly the benefits you assign to using an aggregator: "This setup means if I delete a message on one device it is deleted from them all, equally if I reply from one device I can refer to it in the send folder on them all. With the exception of the multiple recipient messages it works well and saves me a good deal of time.".  All decent IMAP desktop / email applications will do this.  I use Outlook 2016 on the desktop and iOS email on the mobile devices.  All use an outlook.com account for contacts and calendar, meaning that all devices fully sync their local views of these data in real time.

Off-line archiving does indeed need to be performed somewhere and such archives would not be available across all devices.

As with many things in life, there are different ways of skinning a cat, some approaches have benefits over others - not using aggregators in place of the native email services avoids system interoperation challenges - especially the problem of identifying technical ownership of / responsibility for such issues.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

rjhazeldx
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Re: Outlook.com too many recipients message 452

I have always shied away from imap not wishing to rely on the host storing messages I didn't have on my main store. The move to aggregation was a reluctant one but has saved me considerable time and apart from the issue that led to this topic has been trouble free (so far). Most f the time I stick with the tried and tested for sake of familiarity.