Most mail servers will accept mail addressed to "postmaster". However, in my experience, Exchange servers rarely do. Is there a common address similar to postmaster that exchange servers will accept mail for?


postmaster is among the standard aliases that all SMTP servers should have available.

Microsoft often ignores established Internet standards with their software. Point being, it is rarely safe to assume that the Microsoft approach is the right way.

From RFC822:

      It often is necessary to send mail to a site, without  know-
 ing  any  of its valid addresses.  For example, there may be mail
 system dysfunctions, or a user may wish to find  out  a  person's
 correct address, at that site.

      This standard specifies a single, reserved  mailbox  address
 (local-part)  which  is  to  be valid at each site.  Mail sent to
 that address is to be routed to  a  person  responsible  for  the
 site's mail system or to a person with responsibility for general
 site operation.  The name of the reserved local-part address is:


 so that "Postmaster@domain" is required to be valid.

 Note:  This reserved local-part must be  matched  without  sensi-
        tivity to alphabetic case, so that "POSTMASTER", "postmas-
        ter", and even "poStmASteR" is to be accepted.

Edit 2

I personally like to have postmaster, mailer-daemon, abuse, root, hostmaster, and webmaster. The aliases, of course, are based on what type of servers I typically run.

You could argue root is superfluous but I like to do it anyway.

postmaster, abuse, and mailer-daemon are always a requirement in my world.

webmaster and hostmaster are dependent on whether or not you run DNS or a Web site. These days, if you're responsible for an Internet domain, chances are these will apply to you as well.

  • thanks for the link to the rfc - i knew there was one but couldn't remember what it was. are there any default address that are out-of-the-box configured or is it purely up to the local admin to figure out what she wants to do? – Sean Kirkpatrick Mar 5 '10 at 18:36
  • its part of exchange configuration to create a postmaster account and assign it to a user. See petri.co.il/… for details – Jim B Mar 5 '10 at 21:18
  • Also while postmaster is required by RFC to be accepted it doesn't mean the postmaster account is ever read by anyone, for my clients postmaster is so clogged with spam that even if there were something useful in there it'd be tough to find unless I knoew waht I was looking for – Jim B Mar 5 '10 at 21:23
  • I typically try to manage it so it is able to be read. If the appropriate filters are applied, usually it can be cleaned up. Certainly, it's a large target-- no disagreement there. It's good to know Exchange best practices follow the standard too. – Warner Mar 5 '10 at 21:49

You can add whatever account you wish. Postmaster@, abuse@, etc. Just add to an account or have a separate one.

You have to configure each of these as you wish. You can have all or none. None are configured by default


Exchange 2007, at least on SBS 2008, comes with a "Postmaster and Abuse Reporting" distribution group out of the box. All you have to do is add a user to that distribution group to receive the e-mails. If they don't want their main inbox to get spammed with the messages, they can add a rule via Outlook to move it to a sub-folder.

The reason it usually doesn't go anywhere by default is that the only default member is another distribution group that requires senders to be authenticated, blocking most mail from the open Internet. Adding an explicit user to the distribution group solves the problem without having to create separate AD accounts for postmaster@, abuse@, etc.

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