Error: "Cannot release the message. It has either been released or was unable to contact the SMTP host." when trying to release an email from the Spam Quarantine

Article:TECH89134  |  Created: 2008-01-07  |  Updated: 2012-05-18  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



When you try to release a message from the Spam Quarantine on the Symantec Brightmail Gateway you see:

"Cannot release the message. It has either been released or was unable to contact the SMTP host."

Quarantine messages take longer than expected to release.

The domain that you are trying to release the message to is one of your local domains.

The local domain has a specific IP and port where mail should be sent.


By default, when a message is released from the spam quarantine it will use the non-local settings to relay the messages. Usually it fails when there are no internal MX records for your local domains because most of the times it will try to connect to the external records.


Three solutions are available:

1) Enable the Optional Destination Routing in Domain Settings:

If the internal DNS server cannot provide a MX record for the internal mail server, you can use this solution to avoid the issue.

a) Login the Control Center;
b) Navigate to Protocols > Domains;
c) Adding or modifying the local domain records to enable the Optional Destination Routing;
d) Please DO NOT enable MX lookup in the local domain settings, and please select Destination Host for the domain;
e) Click Save button to apply your new configuration.

2) Use internal MX records for your local domain(s):

Make sure you have an internal MX record available for your local domains by using an internal DNS server that has access to those records. To verify that the internal MX records are working properly:

a) Login in the scanner appliance using SSH as admin
b) Run nslookup -querytype=mx
c) Make sure the host being returned has an internal IP.

3) Configuring the Control Center to relay quarantine, alerts and reports to your internal mail server

  • Login to the Control Center
  • Navigate to Administration -> Settings -> Control Center
  • In the SMTP Host tab choose "Define new host"
  • Enter the IP address of your internal mail server
  • Enter the Port of your internal mail server
  • Click Save

From now on all alerts, reports, notifications and released quarantine items will be sent directly to this host.


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