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Email retry times

If Sophos Email Security is unable to send or receive messages to an address, we keep trying at different intervals until we decide that the message can't be processed.

The intervals are as follows:

  • The first delivery attempt is immediate.
  • The second attempt is also immediate.
  • The third attempt is after 5 minutes.
  • The fourth attempt is after 10 minutes.
  • The fifth attempt is after 15 minutes.
  • After this, we attempt delivery every 30 minutes for an hour. We then attempt delivery every hour for 24 hours.


  • A 4xx status code indicates a temporary error. Sophos will attempt to send the message again.
  • A 5xx status code indicates a fatal error, such as rejection or an unrecoverable error. Sophos won't attempt to send the message again.

After 24 hours, we'll stop the delivery attempts and send a bounce message.