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Are you able to send emails but not receive?

If you can send email but cannot receive email, there are several likely causes to investigate. These include email quota issues, your DNS settings and your email client settings. If your cPanel has exceeded its disk quota, this can also prevent you from receiving email.

If your incoming email used to work and suddenly stopped working, the issue is probably one of the following:

If your email has never worked on our servers, then the cause might be one of these issues:

Email Account Over Quota

Each email account is created with a set quota, which is the amount of disk space allotted to a particular email address for email storage. This quota was set when you created or modified the email account in cPanel and can be set to be unlimited or to a fixed size.

The most common reason incoming email might not be received is the email account exceeding its quota. To resolve this, you will need to increase the amount of disk space for that email account to receive mail again. Alternately, you can delete email in the email account until it is below the email quota.

Check Quota

To test your email account's quota:

  • Send an email to the email account in question. If the mailbox is full, you will receive a bounceback message stating that the disk space has been exceeded.
  • Check the email quota for the account directly by clicking on the Email Accounts icon in cPanel. Check to make sure the Usage is not higher than the Quota for the account in question.
Change your Quota

To change an email account's quota:

  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. Navigate to the Email section.
  3. Select the Email Accounts icon.
  4. Scroll down to the email address for which you need to update the quota resources.
  5. Next to the desired email address, click Change Quota.
  6. Either type in the new quota amount or select the Unlimited option.
  7. Click Change Quota.
If you still have problems receiving emails after adjusting the mailbox quota, please contact us via phone or Live Chat.

cPanel Account Over Quota

Another possible cause of not receiving emails is that the entire cPanel is over its allotted disk quota. If this is the case, you will need to increase your disk quota to receive mail again.

Note: This step applies only to cPanel settings under WHM in Reseller, VPS or Linux Dedicated Server environments. HostGator Shared packages have no quota and unlimited disk space.
Check Disk Space

To check for accounts over quota:

  1. Log in to WHM.
  2. Navigate to Account Information section in the left-side menu.
  3. Select Show Accounts Over Quota.

You can also check the available disk space in a specific cPanel by looking for Disk Space Usage in the left-side panel. If disk space is maxed out or exceeded, you will need to raise the disk space quota on the cPanel's package by changing the package in WHM or by creating a new package and assigning it to the cPanel.

Increase Disk Space Quota

To increase your client's disk space:

  1. Log in to WHM.
  2. Navigate to the Account Functions section in the left-side menu.
  3. Select Quota Modification.
  4. Select the username or cPanel primary domain for the user whose quota you wish to modify.
  5. Click Modify.
  6. Adjust Disk Space Quota as desired.
  7. Click Save.

Another option for adjusting account quotas in WHM is to:

  1. Log in to WHM.
  2. Navigate to Account Information section in the left-side menu.
  3. Select Show Accounts Over Quota.
  4. The account quota can be adjusted directly. Next to the quota field, you can also view the disk space used.
  5. Once quota is adjusted, click Save.

If you want multiple customers to have the increase, you may also make changes to the package.

To accomplish this change:

  1. Go to WHM.
  2. In the left-side menu, under Packages, click Edit A Package.
  3. Select the package to be edited.
  4. Click the Edit button.
  5. Make the desired changes.
  6. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

For information on upgrading, downgrading and adding new packages, please read:

DNS Causes

There are some common issues involving DNS that could cause email to not be received.


If you recently updated nameservers, MX or A records, you may be experiencing the effect of propagation. Once the propagation period has elapsed, everything should work properly. For more information on propagation, see this article:

Incorrect DNS

Incorrect DNS records can affect how your mail functions. For information on DNS settings, see:

Mail Server Settings

Please ensure that your mail settings are correctly set. You can have your mail and your website hosted at two different locations, but this requires correctly setting your mail server set as either local or remote.

Breifly, if you are using the local server based DNS, then you will need to have your mail server set as local. If you are outsourcing your mail through remote MX records or have mail directed to another server through A records, then you will need to make sure that you have the server setting to remote.

More information on mail settings can be found here:

Mail Client Settings

Customers using MicroSoft-related email services (Outlook.com, Hotmail.com, MSN.com and Live.com) may note a problem with receiving emails from hostgator.com addresses via these services, while still receiving messages from elsewhere. This can be resolved by following the steps found in this article:

If you are using a third party mail client, make sure that the incoming mail server settings and ports are correct. If these settings are incorrect, you will still be able to receive your mail via webmail, however you will need to correct the account settings in your mail client so that you may begin to receive your mail again.

You might also try closing out the program and reopening it, as it is possible that your mail client might be malfunctioning or has not saved your settings.

For more information on settings for email clients, see this article: