We've been trying to make bounce handling work but with no success so far.

The fact is that it used to work setting a gmail.com email address as in this forum thread (see below), but all of a sudden it stopped working and it has nothing to do with opening port 993, because it was already open.


Server imap.gmail.com Username [email protected] Password (triple checked against gmail account) Localpart xxx+ Email Domain gmail.com Return-Path (empty) Protocol IMAP Source (empty) Use SSL? Y Used For? Bounce Processing

When sending a test mail to wrong email accounts CiviMail counts them as correct addresses.

Any clues?

Thank you very much for you help

2 Answers 2


Please do NOT use a gmail address for the bounces, it won't work (a google app email is fine however).

It will fail you in two different but both bad ways:

  • if you use mail() or a local smtp mailer for your outbound, you are trying to send an email from your civicrm server as being from a gmail email, something that google said is not allowed (SPF record) and it will mostly end up in the spam folder of the recipient (or be flat out rejected).

  • if you do use google smtp as mail servers, they will prevent you to send too many emails (the too many is going to be changed over time, but is pretty much guaranteed to be above the number of emails you want to send)

For your specific issue (and for others that use google apps): check the spam folder see if the bounced emails are there, and add a filter to these emails stay on your inbox, they will often be seen as spams by default until you add filters.

  • Thank you Xavier. We've set up a new email account with our own domain ([email protected]) and test it sending a mailing to a group with wrong email addresses, but it does not work. The report does not show any bounces and the spam folder is empty :(. What else could it be?
    – MPDL
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 9:32
  • 1
    try sending an email to [email protected], does it work?
    – Xavier
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 13:24

Google has tightened down secure access to their systems. To get CiviCRM bounce processing to work you need to loosen security for the email account. To do this, login to the bounce email account then go to https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps and change the setting to allow less restrictive access.

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