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Proofpoint, Inc.

Bounces and Deferrals - Email Status Categories

Situation You are unfamiliar with the status category of an email that was bounced or deferred.
Solution See the below table for each status category and a brief description, as well as a link to another article about understanding specific error codes.


Bounces and deferrals troubleshooting

Delivered Messages that are sent through Proofpoint Essentials platform and are delivered.
Quarantined Messages that are quarantined by one of the filters on the platform. These messages can be released from Quarantine
Blocked Messages that are blocked because of a virus or executable file. Messages that are blocked cannot be released.

Message could not be delivered to the client’s/recipients server. These errors are temporary and normally result in 400 error codes.

Messages will be re-tried up to 30 days. See for specific retry intervals

Bounced Messages did not get delivered to the Recipient/customers server. Messages get sent a Non-Delivery Report (NDR). These are what we call a “hard bounce” normally 500 error codes. These messages will need to be resent. 
Queued This is a placeholder for our back-end logs to update the Front-end UI logs. This normally doesn’t indicate whether the message was delivered or not. If you want to know the true status please contact support.

Digging Deeper

In order to get a clear understanding of why an email was deferred or bounced, the easiest way is to locate the email in the Proofpoint Essentials log, Click on details under the Actions column, and then scroll down to Per-Recipient Classification & Delivery Status. This will include the server error from the attempted delivery to help diagnose why emails are being rejected when Proofpoint attempts to deliver them.


Still have questions about errors and codes? Click here to understand more about what the error codes mean.