Managing Delivery Status Notifications

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 will reach end of support on April 11, 2017. To stay supported, you will need to upgrade. For more information, see Resources to help you upgrade your Office 2007 servers and clients.


Applies to: Exchange Server 2007, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP3

Delivery status notifications (DSNs) notify the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 administrator or e-mail sender of the status of a particular message. DSN messages are a critical part of troubleshooting e-mail connectivity issues between local Exchange recipients and issues between the local Exchange server and remote e-mail servers on the Internet. DSN messages can contain one of the three types of status in the following list:

  • Success   Success status is indicated by a 2.x.x status code. A success status code is returned during the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) conversation between two e-mail servers if the command that is submitted to the receiving server by the sending server is valid.

  • Persistent Transient Failure   Persistent transient failure status is indicated by a 4.x.x status code. A persistent transient failure status code is returned when the e-mail server that is trying to deliver the message encounters an error that is temporary and may be resolvable. The server continues to retry delivery of the message for a specified number of days that is defined by the e-mail administrator.

  • Permanent Failure   Permanent failure status is indicated by a 5.x.x status code. A permanent failure status code is returned when the e-mail server that is trying to deliver the message encounters an error that the server cannot overcome.

In Exchange 2007, you can modify the text of DSN messages, so that you can customize DSN messages to match corporate policy, help desk contact guidelines, or other communications standards. This functionality helps e-mail users and administrators more effectively troubleshoot issues that they might experience because the DSN message matches their specific environment.


Currently, Exchange 2007 does not let you modify the text of read receipt messages. Also, read receipts are not localized to the message sender's language.

The following topics explain how to manage and configure DSN messages in Exchange 2007:

The following topics provide supporting information that will help you manage DSN messages by using the procedures that are documented in the topics that are listed earlier: