Office 365 rolls out ‘useful’ bounce-back messages

Office 365 rolls out ‘useful’ bounce-back messages

Email troubleshooting may soon get easier for government IT managers. Over the next several months Office 365 subscribers will be getting improved nondelivery reports designed to make it easier for users to understand message delivery problems, fix them themselves or point them in the right direction for a solution.

Instead of just sending the classic e-mail header code back to the sender when a delivery fails, the improved nondelivery reports will provide "useful" information about the problem "in everyday language," Microsoft claimed in its announcement.

Examples of the new nondelivery reports are shown in Microsoft's announcement. Enhanced reports include a “cause” section that briefly explains why the message wasn’t delivered, such as the use of an out-of-date email address.

The enhanced reports highlight the party responsible for fixing the problem (the sending side, the receiving side, or Microsoft) in red underscore. Microsoft claims that this new reporting service can detect situations where the sender can't resolve the problem. In such cases, the service provides guidance on how to contact someone.

The “how to fix it” section of the new reports uses everyday language to end users how to fix the issue.

IT pros will also get easier-to-read reports for fixing e-mail problems when the new feature rolls out. The reports will include a section called "More Info for Email Admins" with links to reference materials. This section includes the old message header at the bottom of the page, but Microsoft is also augmenting that information with a "Message Hops" section that will display the troubleshooting information in a cleaner format.  

The new nondelivery reports may not always correctly identify where the responsibility lies for fixing an e-mail problem, "but it'll be right the majority of the time," Microsoft claimed.

This article originally appeared on Redmond, a sister site to GCN.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including, and

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