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How to get Exchange to handle and forward NDR's

My organization sends out emails from no-reply@domain.com using an Outlook add-in that I developed in 2016. The add-in includes a unique ID in the subject of the email going out so if we get an NDR back, an automated process I wrote can find the details of the specific distribution that was not delivered successfully. The no-reply inbox was set up to reject any emails so I wouldn't get any auto-replies or regular replies or anything, but it was getting NDR's that seem to have been generated by Exchange. For 5 years, every single email in the inbox started with "FW: Delivery delayed:" or "FW: Undeliverable:" followed by the original subject no matter what domain the email had originally been sent to. Recently, network upgraded to a new Exchange server. At first, I was getting nothing in the inbox. I notified network who made a change, and then suddenly I was getting emails, but it included auto-replies and everything. The NDR's I was getting were no longer uniform. Not only does our network team not know how to set up the new server to work this way, they don't seem to know how the old server did either. I'm not sure what version of Exchange we're using or used, but if someone could tell me how to set up any version to work as I've described, that would be extremely helpful.

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AndyDavid avatar image
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AndyDavid answered KyleXu-MSFT commented

Alot did change in the versions since 2010...

The current supported procedure:
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/exchange/mail-flow/non-delivery-reports-and-bounce-messages/ndr-procedures?view=exchserver-2019#forward-copies-of-ndrs-to-the-exchange-recipient-mailbox

Hope that helps and I understood your question.

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I actually found this page when I was trying to solve the issue myself. Unfortunately, I don't have authority/access or a test environment to test any solutions. When I presented this to the network team, I was told this only applies to emails that people attempt to send to us for which our server is generating NDR's to send to them?

Would this possibly also interpret incoming NDR's and then generate uniform ones?

Sorry if I'm not being clear and/or am asking a new question. I'm not completely sure what was happening since I don't have access to the Exchange server. In previous versions, did Exchange generate its own NDR's after receiving one from an outside server because that's what it seems was happening (all the headers were the same format regardless of the domain the email had been sent to originally). If not, I probably need to post a new question to find out what was happening. If so, will those just start going to the Exchange recipient again once we assign it a mailbox?

Thank you.

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KyleXu-MSFT avatar image KyleXu-MSFT JoshPreston-1645 ·

The “MicrosoftExchangeRecipientReplyRecipient” forward emails based on enhanced status codes, if the external server doesn't using Exchange server, I think this configuration will not works for them.

You can also try to redirect NDR with transport rule. Such as when subject contains specific vocabulary, then redirect email to specific mailbox.

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Two questions:

So if the external server does use Exchange server, the email we would get as an end result should look the same as if for example I sent an email to a coworker whose inbox was full and our own server sent me the NDR?

And if the external server didn't use Exchange, would the email just not be forwarded at all, or is there a chance it would be recognized as an NDR just with an invalid status code and we might get a default, "Email rejected for some reason we don't know?"

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