All my bulk emails from civiCRM bounce and the recipient is put on hold. The bounce report lists SYNTAX.

I brought this to the attention of my hosting company and they replied "please provide us with the full email headers of one of the bounce-back messages."

Trouble is I cannot locate a bounced email to provide the headers. Where are these located in civiCRM?

My civiCRM instance: civiCRM: 5.40.3; Drupal: 7.80

2 Answers 2


I don't think there is a way to see the email headers of sent emails via Civi unless you have received the email yourself. If you can get an email to be sent to yourself, you can view the headers from there.

Here are the tables that you can investigate, but I haven't been able to find anywhere that headers would be available.

list of civicrm tables

In the civicrm_mailing_bounce_type db table, you can see the bounce reasons.

SELECT * FROM civicrm_mailing_bounce_type;

SYNTAX means you should probably check your SMTP settings and send a test email to yourself.

If you aren't receieving a test email, check your FROM address (Administer > CiviMail > From Email Addresses) and ensure that it matches your domain or is recognized as an email account by your ISP.


The Bounce Report has a "Bounce Reason" that's separate from the "Bounce Type" and contains more information - but it's still just the body, not the mail headers.

Getting the mail headers depends on how your Mail Account (Administer menu » CiviMail » Mail Accounts) is set up.

Assuming you're not doing bounce handling through an extension, there should be an email account listed as the Bounce Processing mail account. Log into that account manually - e.g. if it's "[email protected]", log into GMail with the appropriate email and password.

From there, you should see a folder called CiviMail.processed. In there you'll find the bounce messages.

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