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Can Receive Mail, but Can't Send Mail

by MWave36 / April 9, 2012 7:01 AM PDT

Yesterday afternoon I lost all ability to send emails, although I am still receiving fine. Here's what I've tried so far...

I have tried bypassing Mac Mail and sending directly from my eMail host (Cox).

I have tried changing the outgoing port to 587... and 465... and 2525.

I have confirmed I do not have a virus or trojan (including Flashback).

I have repaired my Permissions.

I have updated all Apple system software.

I have resent my cable modem and rebooted (several times).

Cox has verified my account is not being blocked, and they can send successfully via my account.

I can switch my cable modem to my laptop and send successfully.

What ever this is, it's specific to my Mac Pro (OS 10.6.8) and both Cox and my local Mac Genius's are stumped.

Any suggestions?



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All Answers

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Looks like over a dozen steps to check.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 9, 2012 7:21 AM PDT
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Can Receive Mail, but Can't Send Mail
by MWave36 / April 9, 2012 10:49 AM PDT

Thanks, Bob. All my email accounts are set up properly. They have been working fine for several years, actually.

Here's a new symptom...

I had 9 test emails stacked up in my Outbox at one point. I found that by closing Mail and reopening it I can get occasionally get one or two to send. So what ever this is is only preventing about 95% of my total send attempts to fail - although still 100% if all I do is click send.


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It's going to get deep now.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 9, 2012 11:08 AM PDT

Let's start with

I'm only referencing that because it leads us to the statement they could not TELNET to any SMTP. So with that in mind you get to TELNET in to get HELO. I am going to supply ONE LINK about it and you can find others.

Does the EMAIL server respond?

And the clue about the 95 or 100% is just that for now. It could be something such as someone installed an antivirus or firewall but nothing is said about that here.

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Can Receive Mail, but Can't Send Mail
by MWave36 / April 9, 2012 1:39 PM PDT

What I'm seeing here is the same thing as what I've found in several other Mac forums... a long thread filled with Mac users saying they are experiencing the same thing, but no solutions. Or, at least none that I haven't already tried.

Don't mean to be snippy, and I appreciate your help. But this is getting very frustrating.

In Mac Mail I just get the message that the outgoing mail server is "offline". In Cox WebMail (my ISP) I get this message:

"The message was not sent to There are several reasons why this may have occurred: 1) You may have exceeded the allowable sending limit via WebMail. If you have knowingly been sending numerous messages within a short time period, you may be blocked from sending additional messages for a period of three hours, at which time the block will be automatically lifted. 2) The content of your message may be considered spam by our anti-spam systems, and has therefore been blocked. Try sending an empty test message to yourself to see if you can receive it. If you receive it, this would indicate that the blocked message is considered spam. Please visit for more information. 3) There may be a temporary system problem or maintenance which is causing the failure. Please visit for current information about such issues. In this case, the service will be restored as soon as possible."

According to Cox they are certain that none of the above apply.

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Sorry about that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 10, 2012 2:39 AM PDT

Troubleshooting over a forum is slow. And we've done the easy stuff. It's going to be hard as we move to TELNET and such.

But why fight with this? Why not get an GMAIL and MAC MAIL account?

And yes. I have heard COX and others having email server issues and send users off to troubleshoot for weeks at a time.

--> And why we always try another email system (HINT!)


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by MWave36 / April 10, 2012 5:07 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry about that.

Every error message I receive, from all the different ways I've tried testing my outgoing mail, comes back with some kind of language stating the host or server is offline, or not accepting my mail. I called Cox again today and spoke to a "second tier" tech, and he insisted their servers are working fine, and they are not blocking me. When I explained to him that I could send from my laptop, and he could send via my account, he said this was evidence that the glitch was something specific to my Mac's hardware or software. To me, this was evidence that something on their end was blocking email from only my Mac's IP address (my laptop's IP is different). When I suggested this he said, "It could be, but we checked and you're not blocked".

Anyway, about an hour after this call, without changing a single thing on my end, all my outgoing email started to work flawlessly again.

Which is even more of an incentive to take your advice. I am looking into a GMail account.

Thanks for your help.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 10, 2012 5:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Update

There was one last thing I forget. It's very simple and has caused some time loss. If the date or time is too far off, things can go wonky.

But I think having a backup email account or getting off of Cox/TimeWarner/other or "Your ISP email" is best. They have little reason to make it work all the time for everyone.

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