SQL Sever 2016 with the latest updates. Running on WS2012R2. Following error message is received:

The mail could not be sent to the recipients because of the mail server failure. (Sending Mail using Account 5 (2017-04-14T21:34:10). Exception Message: Cannot send mails to mail server. (The operation has timed out.). )

I have tried several ways of setting up Database Mail, a mixture of precreated scripts and following the interface in SSMS.

I have also tried two different mail server credentials (Google and a Web Hosting Company), and both fail with the same error.

The Web Hosting Credentials are used on a PHP Script on another Server which works perfectly fine.

What should I check to get this working?

  • I would check the validity of your smtp server and email address. Apr 14, 2017 at 21:40
  • There's nothing wrong with it - as I said, it's used for other things perfectly fine. Plus, I've tried two different SMTP Servers - both issues are the same.
    Apr 14, 2017 at 21:40
  • If you know the SMTP servers work, then the next most likely issue is a problem with the Database Mail configuration
    – RDFozz
    Apr 14, 2017 at 22:29
  • Yes, I'm expecting it to be something server related, but what should I check? I've followed all sorts of guides (which for whatever reason say to do different things when configuring).
    Apr 14, 2017 at 22:42
  • Do you have any firewall rules that are blocking outbound traffic for the smtp port you are using? Apr 15, 2017 at 3:58

1 Answer 1


I was having a different issue about a month ago. I came across this script that should help troubleshooting.

 USE msdb

-- Check that the service broker is enabled on MSDB. 
-- Is_broker_enabled must be 1 to use database mail.
SELECT is_broker_enabled FROM sys.databases WHERE name = 'msdb';
-- Check that Database mail is turned on. 
-- Run_value must be 1 to use database mail.
-- If you need to change it this option does not require
-- a server restart to take effect.
EXEC sp_configure 'show advanced options', 1;
EXEC sp_configure 'Database Mail XPs';

-- Check the Mail queues
-- This system stored procedure lists the two Database Mail queues.  
-- The optional @queue_type parameter tells it to only list that queue.
-- The list contains the length of the queue (number of emails waiting),
-- the state of the queue (INACTIVE, NOTIFIED, RECEIVES_OCCURRING, the 
-- last time the queue was empty and the last time the queue was active.
EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_help_queue_sp -- @queue_type = 'Mail' ;

-- Check the status (STARTED or STOPPED) of the sysmail database queues
-- EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_start_sp -- Start the queue
-- EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_stop_sp -- Stop the queue
EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_help_status_sp;

-- Check the different database mail settings.  
-- These are system stored procedures that list the general 
-- settings, accounts, profiles, links between the accounts
-- and profiles and the link between database principles and 
-- database mail profiles.
-- These are generally controlled by the database mail wizard.

EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_help_configure_sp;
EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_help_account_sp;
--  Check that your server name and server type are correct in the
--      account you are using.
--  Check that your email_address is correct in the account you are
--      using.
EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_help_profile_sp;
--  Check that you are using a valid profile in your dbmail command.
EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_help_profileaccount_sp;
--  Check that your account and profile are joined together
--      correctly in sysmail_help_profileaccount_sp.
EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_help_principalprofile_sp;

-- I’m doing a TOP 100 on these next several queries as they tend
-- to contain a great deal of data.  Obviously if you need to get
-- more than 100 rows this can be changed.
-- Check the database mail event log.
-- Particularly for the event_type of "error".  These are where you
-- will find the actual sending error.
FROM msdb.dbo.sysmail_event_log 
ORDER BY last_mod_date DESC;

-- Check the actual emails queued
-- Look at sent_status to see 'failed' or 'unsent' emails.
FROM msdb.dbo.sysmail_allitems 
ORDER BY last_mod_date DESC;

-- Check the emails that actually got sent. 
-- This is a view on sysmail_allitems WHERE sent_status = 'sent'
FROM msdb.dbo.sysmail_sentitems 
ORDER BY last_mod_date DESC;

-- Check the emails that failed to be sent.
-- This is a view on sysmail_allitems WHERE sent_status = 'failed'
FROM msdb.dbo.sysmail_faileditems 
ORDER BY last_mod_date DESC

-- Clean out unsent emails
-- Usually I do this before releasing the queue again after fixing the 
-- Assuming of course that I don't want to send out potentially thousands of 
-- emails that are who knows how old.
-- Obviously can be used to clean out emails of any status.
EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp  
  @sent_before =  '2017-03-16',
  @sent_status = 'failed';
  • Tried all of these - nothing looks incorrect as per the setup guides.
    Apr 14, 2017 at 23:13
  • check this out then Jun 2, 2020 at 18:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.