sysmail_unsentitems (Transact-SQL)

Applies to: SQL Server Azure SQL Managed Instance

Contains one row for each Database Mail message with the unsent or retrying status. Messages with unsent or retrying status are still in the mail queue and may be sent at any time. Messages can have the unsent status for the following reasons:

  • The message is new, and though the message has been placed on the mail queue, Database Mail is working on other messages and has not yet reached this message.

  • The Database Mail external program is not running and no mail is being sent.

Messages can have the retrying status for the following reasons:

  • Database Mail has attempted to send the mail, but the SMTP mail server could not be contacted. Database Mail will continue to attempt to send the message using other Database Mail accounts assigned to the profile that sent the message. If no accounts can send the mail, Database Mail will wait for the length of time configured for the Account Retry Delay parameter and then attempt to send the message again. Database Mail uses the Account Retry Attempts parameter to determine how many times to attempt to send the message. Messages retain retrying status as long as Database Mail is attempting to send the message.

Use this view when you want to see how many messages are waiting to be sent and how long they have been in the mail queue. Normally the number of unsent messages will be low. Conduct a benchmark test during normal operations to determine a reasonable number of messages in the message queue for your operations.

To see all messages processed by Database Mail, use sysmail_allitems (Transact-SQL). To see only messages with the failed status, use sysmail_faileditems (Transact-SQL). To see only messages that were sent, use sysmail_sentitems (Transact-SQL).

Column name Data type Description
mailitem_id int Identifier of the mail item in the mail queue.
profile_id int The identifier of the profile used to submit the message.
recipients varchar(max) The e-mail addresses of the message recipients.
copy_recipients varchar(max) The e-mail addresses of those who receive copies of the message.
blind_copy_recipients varchar(max) The e-mail addresses of those who receive copies of the message but whose names do not appear in the message header.
subject nvarchar(510) The subject line of the message.
body varchar(max) The body of the message.
body_format varchar(20) The body format of the message. The possible values are TEXT and HTML.
importance varchar(6) The importance parameter of the message.
sensitivity varchar(12) The sensitivity parameter of the message.
file_attachments varchar(max) A semicolon-delimited list of file names attached to the e-mail message.
attachment_encoding varchar(20) The type of mail attachment.
query varchar(max) The query executed by the mail program.
execute_query_database sysname The database context within which the mail program executed the query.
attach_query_result_as_file bit When the value is 0, the query results were included in the body of the e-mail message, after the contents of the body. When the value is 1, the results were returned as an attachment.
query_result_header bit When the value is 1, query results contained column headers. When the value is 0, query results did not include column headers.
query_result_width int The query_result_width parameter of the message.
query_result_separator char(1) The character used to separate columns in the query output.
exclude_query_output bit The exclude_query_output parameter of the message. For more information, see sp_send_dbmail (Transact-SQL).
append_query_error bit The append_query_error parameter of the message. 0 indicates that Database Mail should not send the e-mail message if there is an error in the query.
send_request_date datetime The date and time the message was placed on the mail queue.
send_request_user sysname The user who submitted the message. This is the user context of the database mail procedure, not the From field of the message.
sent_account_id int The identifier of the Database Mail account used to send the message. Always NULL for this view.
sent_status varchar(8) Will be unsent if Database Mail has not attempted to send the mail. Will be retrying if Database Mail failed to send the message but is trying again.
sent_date datetime The date and time the Database Mail last attempted to send the mail. NULL if Database Mail has not attempted to send the message.
last_mod_date datetime The date and time of the last modification of the row.
last_mod_user sysname The user who last modified the row.


When troubleshooting Database Mail, this view may help you identify the nature of the problem, by showing you the number of messages waiting to be sent, and the amount of time the messages have waited. If no messages are being sent, the Database Mail external program may not be running, or there may be a network problem preventing Database Mail from contacting the SMTP servers. If many of the unsent messages have the same profile_id, there may be a problem with the SMTP server. Consider adding additional accounts to the profile. If messages are being sent, but messages are spending too much time in the queue, SQL Server may need more resources to process the volume of messages you require.


Granted to sysadmin fixed server role and DatabaseMailUserRole database role. When executed by a member of the sysadmin fixed server role, this view shows all unsent or retrying messages. All other users only see the unsent or retrying messages that they submitted.