Mail messages remain in Encryption Management Server Mail Queue

Article:TECH149300  |  Created: 2009-03-02  |  Updated: 2013-10-24  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



Users are unable to send encrypted messages to enternal recipients and messages in the mail queue of the PGP Universal Server display the message

Awaiting recipient key lookup.


The Mail Queue card lists email messages that are waiting to be sent by the Symantec Encryption Management Server (previously PGP Universal Server). The list is often empty, even on medium-load servers.

When mail messages remain queued on Symantec Encryption Management Server (SEMS), there are several reasons why an email message would appear on the list:

  • Network Issues:
    Mail messages can become queued due to network problems related to network connectivity and configuration changes to DNS servers. While SEMS waits for the mail server to respond, it queues up outgoing messages.

    Check for connectivity issues between the SEMS and other servers as well as if there have been any DNS changes on your network.

  • Unable to query keyservers:
    If mail policy is configured to search certain keyservers or the PGP Global Directory, messages can become stuck in the mail queue when those keyservers are unavailable for key searches.

    Update your mail policy to remove key lookups for the specified keyserver or PGP Global Directory.

  • Server load:
    This issue can also be affected by capacity of SEMS, mail servers, and mail filters.

    Check the status of SEMS and other mail servers to see if they are overloaded.

  • Invalid email addresses:
    The message recipients email address does not exist. If the message is not immediately deliverable, SEMS places it in the Mail Queue and continues trying to send it. The message times out and disappears from the queue after 4 days (96 hours).

    Note: If a message is addressed to multiple recipients, and the keys for some of the recipients cannot be found immediately, SEMS breaks the message into multiple messages and only queues the messages for those recipients whose key(s) were not found.

After you have determined and corrected the cause of the mail messages remaining in the Mail Queue, you can:

  1. Wait for the messages to be resent.
  2. Force the messages to be resent immediately by updating a database table on the server.

    Note: Updating a database on the server requires accessing SEMS via the command line. Please submit a request with technical support for assistance with updating the database via the command line. 

  3. Delete the messages stuck in the queue.

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