Ask Leo! #559 – The power of the sysadmin, bouncing email, don’t fear your computer, and more…


Why does email bounce?

Sometimes, my email bounces. Every so often, I'll send a message, and a short time later, I'll receive a reply saying that the email failed to go through. Why does it happen? And how do I fix it?

Well, I'm afraid there are many reasons why mail can bounce. In fact, there are so many ways it could fail, that sometimes I'm amazed it works at all. But it definitely works most of the time, and one of the ways that it works is that very bounce message that you get.

You see, there's gold in that bounce message. It's not only telling you that your message didn't go through, but if you look a little closer, you'll see it's trying to tell you why.

Continue Reading: Why does email bounce?

7 Things Your Sysadmin Probably Won't Tell You

In addition to being the "Leo" in Ask Leo!, I administer web servers and websites for a few friends and organizations and host email accounts on my own servers for a few others.

What I've come to realize over time is that in doing so, these people have placed a tremendous amount of control in my hands – more than you might imagine.

What I've also realized is that this isn't uncommon. In fact, whenever you have someone manage your business's website, server, or email, be that person a friend or a hired service, you're probably giving them more access than you realize.

It's often the right, and even necessary, thing to do.

Your sysadmin might not tell you how much power he or she really has.

I will.

Continue Reading: 7 Things Your Sysadmin Probably Won't Tell You

Don't Be Afraid of Your Computer

Continue Reading: Don't Be Afraid of Your Computer


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Glossary Term


A bounce is an email message sent in response to an email message that cannot be delivered for some reason. The term refers to your original message "bouncing back" to you.

A message indicating that an email message has been delayed, but may still be delivered, is sometimes also incorrectly referred to as bounce. More accurately the final message indicating that the message had not been delivered would be the bounce message.

Bounce messages are not guaranteed, meaning that not getting a bounce in response to sending email message does not guaranteed that the message has been delivered. Bounces themselves can be lost in the mail, or email providers can elect not to send them in some circumstances.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

Will Windows 10 be free?

Agelbert writes:

If windows10 is 100% "cloud" (i.e. NOT on my computer, for all practical purposes) based, I will move to Linux when Windows 7 is no longer supported, PERIOD. There is much work that I do OFF line. I am not interested in software that requires me to be online for it to work as advertised.

Leo writes:

Windows 10 is an OS like any other that is installed on your PC. Just like Windows 7.

Mike Regan writes:

Windows 10 is available to you for free for the first year after it's released.

So this means once you had it for a year you must pay to keep it? Don't laugh... MS is like politicians; they love to be ambiguous to cover their backside.

Leo writes:

NO NO NO. This has been debunked so many times it's not funny. You will NOT have to pay.

How do I route my email through Gmail?

John writes:

I already have a gmail account and get volumes of spam daily, what can I do?

Leo writes:

Mark it as spam and get on with your life. (That there might be mountains of spam in the spam folder is completely normal, and exactly how things should operate.)

Leo's Books

Backing Up 101 Saved! - Backing Up with Macrium Reflect Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 7 Backup Saved! - Backing Up with Windows 8 Backup
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Posted: August 4, 2015 in: 2015
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