Error: "Too Many Hops" or "Allowed Number of Hops Exceeded" appears in detail reports of delivery failure notices

Article:TECH80915  |  Created: 2003-01-21  |  Updated: 2010-09-24  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



In Symantec AntiVirus for SMTP Gateways (AV for SMTP) or Norton Antivirus for Gateways 2.0 (NAVGW) you see the error messages "Too Many Hops" or "Allowed number of hops exceeded" in the detail reports or the delivery failure notices. You want to know how to stop these errors.


Both error messages indicate that a message passed through servers too many times. By default, AV for SMTP or NAVGW allow messages to travel through 30 hops (30 different servers) before being marked undeliverable. A common cause for these errors is a routing loop. A routing loop causes a message to pass continuously through the same server or servers until the message exceeds the 30 hops and is marked undeliverable.

To correct this situation, ensure that AV for SMTP or NAVGW has its local routing list configured correctly to deliver mail to your server or servers. For information on configuring the Local Routing List, please read the appropriate following document:

Basic administration guide for Symantec AntiVirus for SMTP Gateways 3.0

Basic configuration of Norton AntiVirus for Gateways after installation

In rare instances it becomes necessary to change the number of hops allowed by NAVGW or AV for SMTP. The number of hops allowed can be configured by editing the program's configuration file in NAVGW and newer versions and all versions of AV for SMTP. The name of the configuration file for NAVGW is shared-config and for AV for SMTP is savsmtp.cfg. The following are the default locations for the configuration files:

<drive>:\Program Files\Common Files\Symantec Shared


<drive>:\Program Files\Symantec\SAVSMTP\local


To change the number of hops:

  1. Open the appropriate configuration file with a text editor such as Notepad or vi.
  2. Edit the following entry by increasing or decreasing the number of hops to meet your needs.

  3. Save the configuration file.
  4. Restart the NAVGW or AV for SMTP service. Restarting the service allows NAVGW or AV for SMTP to use the new setting.


Glossary of terms used with Norton Antivirus for Gateways 2.0
Glossary of terms used with Symantec AntiVirus for SMTP Gateways 3.0

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