Email bounce because of header to large

Posted on 2006-07-20
Last Modified: 2013-11-12
Hi guys,

I think I know the answer to this, but maybe not.  We have a user that was sending out an email to everyone internally and a number of external recipients.  She got a bounce message stating: Response: 552 5.6.0 Headers too large (16384 max) .  Now I'm guessing this is do to the large number of recipients creating a large header but I'm not sure.  I'm kind of at a loss as of what to do.  I was thinking of telling the individual to just not send the email to so many recipients and the same time, but maybe thats not the best answer.  Any ideas what I can do guys?  Is there a setting in Groupwise that can strip off the unneeded recipients and just create the header with only the required recipient?  Thanks alot! :)
Question by:COFIT
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 17151448
No, there's no setting within the GWIA, of which I'm aware, that'll limit or reduce the size of the header.

If the user sends to the recipients using BCC instead of TO or CC, then the header size will be greatly reduced.

Author Comment

ID: 17154277
Hi PsiCop,

So I'm curious, how is it that BCC uses less space intead of TO or CC?  Help me understand please :).  Maybe the BCC recipient isn't tagged onto the header or?  Thanks!
LVL 34

Accepted Solution

PsiCop earned 500 total points
ID: 17154462
That's correct. If the recipients are all BCCed, then the list of recipient addresses is not added to the headers. If they were, it'd kinda defeat the purpose of BCC, wouldn't it?

Note that some E-Mail systems of external recipients may regard BCCed messages with suspicion, and may even reject such messages as SPAM, or delay them as having an implicit destination. An alternative would be to list only to external recipients in the TO: line, while putting all internal recipients in the BCC line.
LVL 34

Expert Comment

ID: 17154489
Frankly, it sounds like your user is using the wrong tool for the job. If their list of recipients is so long that its creating monsterous (over 16KB) message headers, the user should really be turning the list over to a mailing list management software, like MailMan ( That makes a LOT more sense than sending out these messages with a huge list of recipients. Also makes recipient management a lot easier.

Author Comment

ID: 17154492
Ahh nice suggestion PsiCop, thanks alot :)

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