Helpdesk notify rules are not sending email

Article:TECH121853  |  Created: 2009-12-28  |  Updated: 2012-06-05  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution


Helpdesk notify rules (automatic email replies) are not sending email to recipients.


Various issues can cause this to occur.


Several processes must succeed in order for a notify rule to send email. The following describes how to troubleshoot these processes.

  1. Verify if the notify rule was applied to the incident or not.

    Open or create an incident that the notify rule should be applied to and look under the "Rules applied" section. If the notify rule was not applied, this is usually caused by its configuration settings or incorrect logic in its conditions. Note: If this is not a new incident, the "Rules applied" section may no longer show the last set of rules that were applied. If you are unsure if this has happened, create a new incident where the notify rule should be applied to and then immediately check the "Rules applied" section to verify if the notify rule was applied or not.

  2. If the notify rule was not applied, check its configuration settings and conditions.

    1. Edit the notify rule and check its configuration settings.
      1. Check the "When" field to ensure the notify rule is being evaluated when you expect it to. For example, if "When" is set to "Only when incident is new", this will not enable the notify rule to be evaluated if the incident is later edited and saved after creation. If this is required for the notify rule, change this to "Every time incident is saved".
      2. Check the "Default - make this rule a default for new incidents" field to ensure the notify rule is being evaluated automatically by new incidents. If this is disabled, the notify rule can only be evaluated manually by a worker while editing the incident. Note: This setting is disabled by default in a new notify rule
      3. Check the "Active - evaluate this rule during an incident update" field to ensure the notify rule can be evaluated automatically or manually. If this is disabled, the notify rule is never evaluated.
    2. Check the "When... And" section's condition to ensure they are working. If the conditions are not able to be met, the notify rule will not be applied. To troubleshoot the conditions, simplify them. For example, set up a test that only checks the contents of the Title field for something simple and precise. If this enables the notify rule to be evaluated, the original conditions are failing, which will need to be further troubleshot. Check the logic of how the conditions are working and how they are set up. For example, if "Case sensitive" is enabled and the Title contains "TEST", but the Title arrives as "Test", the notify rule will not be applied.

    3. If a new notify rule is created after an incident was previously created and saved, the new notify rule is not retroactively evaluated, nor is it evaluated automatically if the incident is later re-saved. To have a new notify rule be evaluated by an old incident, a worker will need to edit the incident and manually select the notify rule from the "Notify rules" section.

    4. In rare occasions, a rule may become corrupted and no longer function correctly. To test this, disable the original notify rule and create a new duplicate of it. If this new rule works, the original rule is corrupt and should be deleted. If this does not work, then most likely one of the above issues is still occurring.

  3. If the notify rule was applied, check how the Helpdesk Server is communicating to the Email Server.

    1. Edit the notify rule and check its configuration settings.
      1. Check the "Send to" and "These addresses" recipients to ensure that at least one valid "To" contact, worker, or email address has been selected. By default, no recipients are automatically selected in a new notify rule. Note: A recipient in only "CC" or "BCC" will not work; there must be at least one "To" recipient. For more information on why this is required, please refer to the following article:

        Incident emails with only Cc: and Bcc: not sent

      2. Check the recipients to ensure that the people that expect to receive email have been selected.
      3. If the "These addresses" is being used, check to ensure that the format of the email addresses is correct. For example, is a typo that should be changed to
      4. If the "These addresses" is being used, check to ensure that the syntax of the email addresses is correct. This is "name1; name2; name3". If there is no space in between each recipient, this will not work.
      5. Check the recipients' email addresses to ensure they are valid. If this is a contact or worker, check their email address listed for their records. Contacts and workers are found in Contacts > Find Contacts and Workers > List Workers, respectively. For example, can you send an email to the email address from your email client? If not, then the email address may be typed incorrectly or no longer valid. Note: If the domain has changed, and the email address was based off of the old domain name, contacts and workers may have old, invalid email addresses that will need to be updated in Helpdesk.
      6. Check the "Don't send mail to worker editing the incident" field to ensure it is not enabled if the recipient is also a worker and is saving the incident.
      7. Check the recipient's email address to see if it is outside of the domain that the email server is on. If it is, the email server may be preventing Helpdesk from sending email to external users. For more information on troubleshooting this issue, please refer to the following article:

        Helpdesk is unable to send email to external users
      8. Check the "Send e-mail" field's email template to ensure it has a valid "From address" email address. Templates are found in Admin > E-mail Templates > List E-mail Message Templates. Edit the email template and then check its "From address" field to ensure it is valid.
        1. By default, a new email template will use the email address of "noreply@possible.nrp", which many email servers will reject.
        2. If the email address' domain is not valid, such as noreply@noreply, the email server may reject this.
        3. If the email server is using a spam filter, it may reject the email address if not on the permitted list.
        4. If the notify rule's "Send e-mail" field's value is "--[none]--", this must be changed to a valid, active email template. Note: If an email template used to be specified, if it was later inactivated, this will cause this field to change its value to "--[none]--" automatically.
        5. Verify with the email administrator if the email is arriving on the email server, and if so, what is happening to it afterwards.
    2. Check the email server settings for the Notification Server, which controls all outbound email, including outbound email from the Helpdesk. In the Altiris Console 6.0, go to the Configuration tab > Server Settings > Notification Server Settings > E-mail Configuration. Ensure the information is correct. Click on the Test E-mail button. If the test email is not received by the recipient in the "To" field, or SMTP errors occur, then the information is incorrect or there are issues connecting to the email server. Verify with the email administrator that the information is correct, and if a user name and password are required. Note: If a user name and password are not required but entered anyway, this can in itself cause connection issues as the email server is not expecting credentials.

Additional Troubleshooting

  • Check the logs on the Altiris Helpdesk Server to see if any errors are occurring. Logs are located in the <Altiris_installation_drive>:\Program Files\Altiris\Notification Server\Logs folder, but are best accessed by using the Altiris Log Viewer, which can be accessed by going to the Windows Start button > All Programs > Altiris > Diagnostics > Altiris Log Viewer. Errors can often be cross-referenced with articles in the Altiris Knowledge Base for solutions.
  • Ensure that contacts/workers and queues all have unique email addresses. (Duplicate email addresses will not work are are unsupported due to the conflicts they cause.) If these are shared, the email sent by a notify rule will end up going to an unexpected address. For example: the worker John Smith and the queue IT Operations both share the same email address of This will result in a notify rule, if it uses either one as a recipient, to send it to both. Depending on how the email server is configured, one may then receive it and if it is opened, this will then remove the email from the email server, possibly resulting in the other never seeing it. The only solution is to ensure that all contact/worker and queue email addresses are 100% unique.
  • Tasks and Incident Rules can modify fields in an incident. If these process before the Notify Rule does, the Notify Rule's conditions may no longer apply or if so, the recipients may no longer be applicable. For example, if a Notify Rule's conditions are set to email the Assigned Worker, but a Incident Rule or Task modifies this to someone else or a queue, then the expected recipient, the former assigned worker, will not receive the expected email. Troubleshoot this by reviewing tasks and incident rules to see which are active and if so, are they modifying the expected conditions of the Notify Rule or not.
  • Other rules may be causing this. Temporarily disable any other rules (automation, incident, validation, routing, and any other notify rules) that are applied to the incident. From the prior step, if other rules have issues, these may be reported in the logs indicating why they are failing.
  • Please refer to the following article for additional troubleshooting article, which include detailed instructions on checking the internal XML email processing of the Notification Server.

    How to troubleshoot Helpdesk email that fails to send

  • Verify that the Notification Server has not stopped processing:

    Helpdesk notifications suddenly stop being sent via Notification Server e-mail

Related Articles

Email sent to helpdesk does not create new incidents

Trying to configure a Helpdesk e-mail inbox results in -ERR errors

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