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Troubleshooting Exchange 2013 Mail Flow in Effective Way

Ugra Narayan Pandey | Modified: 2021-11-17T12:40:32+00:00| Exchange Server Tool | 4 Minutes Reading

One of the common scenarios encountered by users of Exchange Server is delivery problems while sending emails. User often wonders if the mail they have sent has been successfully delivered to the destination or not. Was there any issue that has bought interference to the mail flow process? Such unconfirmed situation requires troubleshooting Exchange 2013 Mail flow. It is not easy for the busy Exchange Server Administrator to track down a single email message. Well, to keep track of all the messages sent through Exchange server, Microsoft offers some tools like Message Tracking Tool, Queue Viewer Tool that helps in finding out the mail flow problems. In the content, we will discuss about a technique to fix mail flow in an Effective way.

Troubleshooting Exchange 2013 Mail Flow- Workarounds

Exchange administrator can resolve Exchange 2013 mail flow issues by using Exchange Server’s mailbox tools such as Message tracking and Queue Viewer.

Using Exchange Message Tracking tool

One of the possible ways is to use Exchange Message Tracking tool that is provided by Exchange Server. This Tool will allow user to search the logs of Server, acting as a search engine for the Exchange Server to determine if the message was delivered and at what time. The Tool helps user in diagnosing message delivery issues using the steps defined below.

  • Open the Exchange Management Console (EMC), to use Exchange Message Tracking Tool, and select the Toolbox container
  • Select Message tracking option when the Toolbox window appears
  • Microsoft Exchange Troubleshooting Assistant will be displayed after selecting Tracking option.
  • Note: User who are using Message Tracking Tool for the first time for troubleshooting exchange 2013 mail flow, select the update options that will be used and click ‘Go to Welcome Screen’ after that.

  • The parameters in Message Tracking option will allow user to search messages based on number of message attributes such as sender name, the time and day when the mail was sent, subject, etc.
  • message tracking tool- troubleshooting exchange 2013 mail flow

  • After selecting the desired criteria, the console will construct an Exchange Management Shell command that user can use to perform tracking from the command line.
  • Click on Next to see the messages that matched your particular attributes. These search results are based only on data retrieved from logs of server. It will reveal information regarding the message though the whole message cannot be opened, as you are using from administrator’s end.
  • message tracking exchange

  • It will display information about where the message went, but it cannot help in correcting underlying mail delivery issues.
Using Microsoft’s Queue Viewer Tool

One of the causes for the mail flow issues may be because the message that is in corrupt state blocking the message queues. Hence, the other messages coming after that corrupt message cannot pass through queue. For this purpose, Microsoft’s Queue Viewer Tool can be used that will help in troubleshooting exchange 2013 mail flow by restoring the mail flow after clearing the cache of Exchange server.

Steps that need to be followed are:

  • Open the Exchange Management Console (EMC), click on Toolbox container and select Queue Viewer option.
  • One or more Mail Queues will be displayed after clicking on Queue Viewer.
  • queue viewer- troubleshoot exchange 2013 mail flow

  • Check the columns of Queue Viewer to check which queue is causing problems.
  • To determine the cause of the error, in order to troubleshoot mail flow, the column of Last Error and Next Retry can be checked.
  • Message count will also help in determining the message that is caught in queue. It will be helpful in showing if server is facing performance issues & is not able to maintain workload.
  • As the Queue Viewer does not report queue’s status in real time, instead it refreshes periodically. User should either click on Refresh or wait for 30 seconds to check the status of the queue.
  • If user feels that mail flow issue is due to a mail stuck in queue, double-click on queue to look inside it. It will not only display all the messages, but also errors associated with each message, if any.
  • queue viewer

  • If there was a mail with error, delete that mail and restart the queue’s flow. User can reboot Exchange Server, if problem still exists.


Troubleshooting Exchange 2013 mail flow need to be done so that user can make sure that their mails have been delivered to the desired recipient. In order to diagnose such issues, the content suggests a technique that involves some of the effective tools of Microsoft itself for troubleshooting Exchange 2013 Mail Flow. It defines the detailed procedure for using Exchange Message Tracking and Queue Viewer Tools to track the message and cause of error for mail flow issues.