Iphone cannot send mail the message was rejected by the server

convenience at your fingertips: That’s why mobile devices are now widely used to send and receive emails.

But when email errors appear, it can be a nuisance for users. At bobcares, we resolve many email errors as part of our support services for web hosting companies.

one such email error is “email address rejected by server” which is seen when iphone or ipad clients try to send mail from their apple devices.

Today we will look at the main reasons why users get the “email address rejected by server” error and how we help resolve it.

“email address rejected by server” – when do you see this error?

apple devices come with your custom icloud backup. most users back up their phone settings to this backup and restore it when needed.

These backups are useful in cases where users are migrating to a new apple device or restoring their lost data to an existing device.

While backups work fine in most cases, in certain scenarios customers report getting this error when trying to send email after a backup restore.

The same error is reported by ipad and iphone users setting up their emails for the first time on their devices. in certain cases, an email that already works suddenly stops working.

Customers reporting these errors are usually able to download or retrieve emails on their mobile devices, and get this error only when trying to send emails.

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what causes ’email address rejected by server’ error on iphone devices?

In our experience with handling the “email address rejected by server” error on iphone devices, we have found these to be the main causes.

1. incorrect mail settings

The main cause of “email address rejected by server” error is incorrect mail server settings on iphone. this includes things like:

  • bad mail server name
  • smtp server not activated
  • ssl authentication not activated
  • bad smtp ports

When the iphone cannot connect to the mail server on the specified port, it will display the error “cannot send mail”. a copy has been placed in your output tray. The recipient’s email address was rejected by the server because it does not allow relaying.”

When you set up email on your iPhone, you must specify the incoming and outgoing mail servers associated with that account, along with the username and password.

iphone settings show outgoing mail server details as optional, so many users tend to ignore those fields.

2. wrong password

Periodic password resets are required for email account security. but sometimes users forget to update this changed password in their mobile mail settings.

In cases where accounts are migrated, deleted, or reconfigured, the password may not be updated on the mobile device, which may lead to email errors.

3. mail server errors

It may happen that, in some cases, the mail server experiences errors when accepting connections to its smtp port. this may be due to firewall settings or other email server misconfigurations.

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4. software bugs

ios releases regular software updates for your devices. Some of these versions, like ios 11, have some bugs that cause email delivery errors.

5. incomplete copy of the information

When we restore a backup to a different device, some information is not copied. for example, email password. so, we need to set up the account again.

we can do it by opening “settings > mail, contacts, calendars > select account > account name”. then tap on smtp (under the heading “outgoing mail server”) and then tap on the main server. then we can try to enter the email account and password.

how to fix ’email address rejected by server’ error on iphone devices

The main thing to fix is ​​the email settings on mobile. The parameters to check are:

  • email account username
  • email account password
  • incoming and outgoing server details
  • port smtp
  • ssl support

to update mail settings on iphone,

1. go to settings -> email account settings. in the account settings, select the “outgoing mail server” section and touch “smtp”.

2. enable your main server by tapping ‘on’. fill in the username and password on the outgoing mail server.

3. for ssl configuration, ‘use ssl’ must be enabled and authentication set to password. for ssl, the port is 465. otherwise, it is port 25.

4. update the settings by clicking “done” and the mails should work fine with no errors.

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If the device’s mail settings are fine, but the error persists, the problem may be related to the mail server or due to connectivity issues with the iPhone and the mail server.

we then check the mail server for any misconfigurations, dns issues, routing errors, or firewall blocks that could be causing the error, and fix them.


The “email address rejected by server” error occurs on iphone devices mainly due to incorrect mail settings. today we have discussed the top 5 causes of the error and how our support engineers fix them.

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