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  • Writer's pictureDonald MacLeay

Why is Office Email Getting Bounced at Home?

As the pandemic became more severe many offices set up for staff to work from home. All kinds of remote access was deployed and employees used all kinds of email setups to use their work email from home.

Perfectly legitimate email is now getting bounced in large numbers. It sure is frustrating to find important email from a known sender wind up in the spam folder. It is more frustrating to have work email from your own company never get to you at all.

Solutions to Prevent Email Marked as Spam

If you Google this problem, you will find other writers have labeled their articles “7 words to avoid”, “5 reasons your emails bound”, or “11 things to check to make sure your emails get to their destination”. All these articles have one thing in common: the subject of spam.

If you look closely, many of those articles are advice on “campaigns”. In other words, they are sending spam.

These articles also about how to block and filter spam, but almost nothing will come back on the subject why normal email, from one company member gets blocked or bounced when sent to another company employee working off site.

The quick answer is that it got mistaken for spam, virus or malware; mostly spam too.

One reliable way to avoid such issues is to have your company set up on Gmail suite, iCloud or Office 365. All these services both send and receive your email and one gets access to it on line.

Yet even then, things can go wrong.

Not Spam, and Still Bouncing?

If one has Office 365 on your company computer using Outlook in your office and then you have moved home for the pandemic, used the same account to download the same version of Outlook and connected to the same email, but despite it all being the same, some email gets blocked that did not get blocked back in the office.


Well there are a lot of reasons, possible. We are talking about a different computer, a different installation of Outlook, probably a different internet service provider and maybe different spam, malware and virus defense software.

And what if your company does not use Office 365 or something equivalent?

Most regular hosted email services use one server to receive email (IMAP, POP, Exchange, etc.) and another service to send email (usually SMTP). Some people use Outlook, but there are many other email clients on different computers and cell phones. Many of those have internal spam blocking.

Spam blocking cries wolf a lot and it is often simply because the IP you are sending from does not match the IP of the host server.

Sometimes you are not getting mail because the sender has one of the problems listed above and your own computer’s settings, firewall, internet service provider, or maybe even your antivirus program did not accept it.

Many employees went home and set themselves up on their home computers and “worked it out” so now things work fine for about 80% of their email. Even if your company email is on something solid, it does not mean that your employee set it up correctly and you may have a mishmash of receiving email correctly on Office 365, but sending it with something else that some spam filters will block.

There is a lot to be said for standard installs on company equipment.

Which brings us to another question that as an IT service provider I find myself asking clients all the time: Who owns that computer at the employee’s home and am I authorized to fix it?


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