Get 20% OFF for your first month with the Starter Plan – Start today 🎉
Table of contents

How to Fix 550 Permanent Failure - Our guide (2024)

damien ceo mailreach
David Chastanet
Email Deliverability Expert

Unlock Your Email's Potential: Learn How to Fix the Annoying '550 Permanent Failure' Error and Ensure Seamless Communication

550 permanent failure for one or more recipients

Imagine the frustration of having your important emails blocked or rejected due to a mysterious “550 permanent failure blocked” error. Fortunately, there’s good news: this comprehensive guide on how to fix 550 permanent failure will help you navigate the complexities of this common error and get your email communication back on track with ease. Say goodbye to those pesky email issues!

Understanding the 550 Permanent Failure Error

The 550 permanent failure error is an email error that occurs when the recipient’s mail server rejects the sending email. It can result from various reasons, such as restrictions at the recipient mail server, the sending server being blacklisted, or a bad SPF record for the domain. This error can have a detrimental effect on the domain reputation and may signify that the user is not authorized to send an email from the server they are attempting to send from.

There are two main causes of the ‘550 Permanent Failure Blocked’ email error: the sending server being blacklisted and an incorrect SPF record for the domain. We will delve into the nature of the 550 error message, the various types of 550 errors, and their common causes.

What is a 550 error message?

A 550 error message is a Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) error that indicates the recipient server has blocked the message. This error can be attributed to issues on either the sender or recipient side, although it is most commonly due to issues on the recipient’s end, such as mail delivery software misconfiguration.

The recipient’s email hosting server may mark the email as spam and consequently reject it if there is an inadequate domain SPF record, which is a type of DNS TXT record. Various solutions can be employed to resolve the 550 error message, including email address verification, validation of the address, and using tools to check for spam blacklists.

Types of 550 errors

There are several types of 550 errors, including “550 User unknown”, “550 5.1.1 Sorry, no mailbox here by that name”, and “550 Invalid recipient”. These errors are typically accompanied by a bounce message and can be caused by various factors, such as misconfiguration of the server’s security measures and custom security solutions like firewalls and spam filters.

A poor domain SPF record can result in recipients’ email servers classifying your emails as spam and rejecting them accordingly. If emails originate from a server not included in the SPF record, then the recipient’s server will classify it as spam, resulting in rejection of the emails. An SPF record is essential for verifying the legitimacy of an email sender and allows the server to send emails on behalf of a domain.

Identifying Causes of 550 Permanent Failure Blocked Error

A poor IP reputation or incorrect SPF record configuration within the sending domain may result in the 550 permanent failure blocked error, preventing the email from reaching the recipient’s email inbox. A sender’s domain reputation can have an effect on the frequency of 550 permanent failure blocked errors when sending emails to one or more recipients.

In some cases, the 550 permanent failure blocked error is generated when an invalid recipient email address is used due to the recipient’s server, specifically the recipient’s mail server, recognizing that the recipient address is either invalid or non-existent in the destination domain, resulting in a recipients error and a permanent failure for one.

We will delve into common sender and recipient issues that may trigger the 550 permanent failure blocked error, including problems related to the sender policy framework.

Sender Issues

Being blacklisted by spam monitoring companies or being perceived as fraud by the recipient server may trigger the 550 permanent failure blocked error, leading to permanent failure for some email recipients. Excessive emails sent within a short time frame can also result in the error, as the recipient’s email hosting server may flag the sender as a potential spammer.

Potential sender-related issues that may result in the 550 permanent failure blocked error include sending emails to invalid email addresses, sending excessive emails at once, and having a substandard email reputation. Utilizing spam blacklist check tools is a viable option to verify if the server IP has been blacklisted. If the sender’s IP address is blacklisted, appropriate measures should be taken to delist it.

Recipient Issues

Potential causes of the 550 permanent failure blocked error include the recipient’s email server blocking the sender’s IP address, the recipient’s mailbox being full, and the recipient’s email address being invalid. If a 550 error message is encountered related to recipient server issues, it is recommended to contact the recipient by alternative means and request that they contact the hosting company of the email server or the network administrator of the company in order to resolve the issue.

A full mailbox can lead to a 550 permanent failure blocked error due to most mail servers rejecting incoming messages and returning the error message when the recipient’s email inbox is full and cannot accept any more emails. To address recipient-related issues, ensure the address is valid and typed correctly, and verify the spam filter settings of the mail servers and recipient’s email server.

550 error on Gmail

The 550 Blocked Gmail error is a prevalent issue for users sending high volumes of emails. Exceeding the daily limit of 500 emails on Gmail or 2,000 on a Google Workspace account can lead to your email domain being blacklisted, triggering a '550 Message Rejected' alert.

This situation demands prompt action to get delisted from the Real-time Blackhole List (RBL) and marked as non-spam. Google further clarifies that this error may occur if your message violates a domain's email policy, if your IP address has been blocked due to an unusual rate of unsolicited mail, or if your message has been identified as spam. Understanding the underlying causes of this error is crucial to prevent future blockages and maintain your email domain's reputation

Step-by-Step Solutions for Fixing 550 Permanent Failure Blocked Error

Addressing sender and recipient issues in succession is a necessary step to resolve the 550 permanent failure blocked error. The initial step in resolving the error is identifying the source of the error. Detailed instructions for rectifying sender and recipient issues that trigger the 550 permanent failure blocked error will be provided subsequently.

Addressing Sender Issues

To verify a recipient’s email address, ensure that it is valid and accurately typed. Reducing the quantity of emails sent in a brief span can also help prevent the 550 permanent failure blocked error. Enhancing sender reputation can be achieved by confirming emails are sent from a reliable source.

Verifying the existence and accuracy of SPF records and RDNS configurations can be achieved by conducting a check. If the sender’s IP address is blacklisted, verifying that the IP address is not blacklisted is recommended.

Addressing Recipient Issues

To validate an email address and avoid the 550 permanent failure blocked error, confirm its existence and accuracy. Adjusting the spam filter settings may assist in resolving the error; verify the spam filter settings of the email server and ensure the email address is not blocked.

Additionally, examine the spam filter settings of the recipient’s email server to confirm the email address is not blocked.

Tools and Resources for Troubleshooting 550 Errors

Tools and resources available to assist with troubleshooting and resolving 550 errors include email verification services, spam filter testing tools, and email blacklist checkers. MailReach is the most effective email verification service for verifying the validity of email addresses.

Preventing Future 550 Permanent Failure Blocked Errors

Maintaining a strong email reputation is crucial to prevent future instances of the 550 permanent failure blocked error. This entails:

  • Ensuring that your server’s IP reputation is good
  • Ensuring that the SPF record configuration of your sending domains is free of errors
  • Avoiding sending spam or phishing emails, as this can lead to your server’s IP being blocked by recipient servers.

Regular monitoring and enhancement of your emails’ deliverability is also advisable for maintaining a robust email reputation. By closely monitoring metrics such as bounce rate, spam complaints, and sender reputation, proactive measures can be taken to improve email deliverability and avoid errors like the 550 permanent failure blocked error.


In conclusion, understanding the nuances of the 550 permanent failure blocked error and taking appropriate measures to address the underlying issues can significantly improve email deliverability. By identifying the causes of the error, addressing sender and recipient issues, and using available tools and resources, you can easily resolve the 550 permanent failure blocked error and prevent future occurrences.

Don’t let email issues hinder your communication; follow the guidance provided in this blog post and regain control over your inbox. Remember, a little knowledge and effort can go a long way in ensuring smooth, uninterrupted email communication.

MailReach is compatible with any inbox / SMTP

No items found.
No items found.

More resources for your deliverability

Made with ❤️ and 🥖 in Paris, France 🇫🇷