An e-mail message that is larger than the sending message size limit or the receiving message size limit is not delivered

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Article ID: 298572 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q298572
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SYMPTOMS

After you configure the Sending message size option or the Receiving message size option in Exchange System Manager, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
  • Users cannot receive messages that are larger than the sending message size limit.
  • Users cannot send messages that are larger than the receiving message size limit.
  • If you do not configure one of the options, messages are restricted by the limit that you set on the remaining option. For example, if you do not set the Sending message size option, users cannot send or receive messages that are larger than the limit that you configured for the Receiving message size option.
The Sending message size option and the Receiving message size option are under Global Settings on the Defaults tab of the Message Delivery Properties dialog box. Messages that are larger than the minimum size of either of the configured message sizes generate a non-delivery report (NDR) that is similar to the following:
The following recipient(s) could not be reached:

user@company.com on month/day/yearhour:minutes AM

The message was not delivered because it is larger than the current system limit.
Create a shorter message body or remove attachments and try sending it again.

<server_name.domain.com #5.2.3>

CAUSE

This problem occurs because of the method that the Exchange message categorizer uses to enforce message size limits. The categorizer does not differentiate between incoming messages and outbound messages, and it applies both message size limits to all messages. For example, the categorizer uses the following logic when the categorizer determines whether to deliver a message. The message is delivered if the following conditions are true:
  • The size of the message that is being sent is less than the limit that is configured for the Sending message size option.

    -and-
  • The size of the message that is being sent is less than the limit that is configured for the Receiving message size option.
Note The message size limit that is configured in the Sending message size option limits the size of messages that can be sent. The message size limit that is configured in the Receiving message size option limits the size of messages that can be received. These message size limits are applied to the whole organization. These sending and receiving message size limits also affect messages that are sent to and that are received from recipients who are not members of the Exchange organization. These global settings affect all Exchange recipients. If a recipient has configured their own personal sending or receiving message size limits, the global message size limits override the individual message size limits of the mailbox.

STATUS

Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section of this article.

MORE INFORMATION

The Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 global message delivery options Sending message size and Receiving message size do not provide the functionality that you might expect based on their descriptions.
  • The sending message size is the maximum size of both inbound and outbound messages that can be submitted to the message categorizer.
  • The receiving message size is the maximum message size that the categorizer will process and deliver to the intended destination.
These settings do not specifically control inbound and outbound message size delivery for an organization. Both of these limits work in tandem to control the size of messages that the categorizer can process. Because of this, the smallest message size that is specified for either of these options effectively controls the maximum message size that Exchange can process for both incoming and outgoing messages on any server. These settings do not work independently from each other.

Note In Exchange 2000, the following default delivery options are listed on the Defaults tab:
  • Outgoing message size
  • Incoming message size
However, in Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 2 (SP2), Exchange 2000 Server Service Pack 3 (SP3), and Exchange 2003, the names of the delivery options have been changed to the following names:
  • Sending message size
  • Receiving message size

For additional information about how to set size limits for messages, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322679 Set size limits for messages

Properties

Article ID: 298572 - Last Review: December 3, 2007 - Revision: 4.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Exchange 2000 Enterprise Server
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition
  • Microsoft Windows Small Business Server 2003 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbbug kbexchange2000sp2fix kbpending KB298572

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