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A colleague sent the following email ... looks like Yahoo held on to it for 25 hours. The trace shows this:

Received: from [] by with NNFMP; 31 Aug 2012 16:23:22 -0000
Received: from [] by with NNFMP; 30 Aug 2012 15:13:00 -0000

Why would Yahoo hold the email for 24 hours? Is there any precedence for this? (Oh, I should mention that I masked the sender and recipient emails ...)

Received: by with SMTP id x3csp20389igg;
        Fri, 31 Aug 2012 09:23:23 -0700 (PDT)
Received: by with SMTP id g48mr4570224wer.164.1346430202542;
        Fri, 31 Aug 2012 09:23:22 -0700 (PDT)
Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( [])
        by with SMTP id h63si6782288weo.33.2012.;
        Fri, 31 Aug 2012 09:23:22 -0700 (PDT)
Received-SPF: pass ( best guess record for domain of designates as permitted sender) client-ip=;
Authentication-Results:; spf=pass ( best guess record for domain of designates as permitted sender); dkim=pass (test mode)
Received: from [] by with NNFMP; 31 Aug 2012 16:23:22 -0000
Received: from [] by with NNFMP; 30 Aug 2012 15:13:00 -0000
Received: from [] by with NNFMP; 30 Aug 2012 15:13:00 -0000
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=s1024; t=1346339580; bh=WLs/t/BRIwrgSM5HvD7oDxxgRmSZLUJMpZ/p43I2qUc=; h=X-Yahoo-Newman-Id:X-Yahoo-Newman-Property:X-YMail-OSG:X-Yahoo-SMTP:Received:From:Content-Type:Subject:Date:Message-Id:To:Mime-Version:X-Mailer; b=T4U3OW++47ou5rqwRVfGSQ525GpJnc0v3mpmVzycRuQebn8cKHpiyWOIQVdllrSXVmCMxU7q41myM/DiWmwazHcfcjWp0Cdo9Fq+eGkiSLF0SPdrb1q2uQIZYk8kf/8cLeTe8U1OitcBNd2WXVT01a/q5h1fGkSXPtYc53/kMIc=
X-Yahoo-Newman-Property: ymail-3
Received: from [] (c88p1@ with plain)
        by with SMTP; 30 Aug 2012 08:13:00 -0700 PDT
From: Someone 1 <>
Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="Apple-Mail=_058CD3C7-3DB5-4F5B-BB5D-CCFAEC60EBAE"
Subject: Orders for Accountant
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2012 17:12:59 +0200
Message-Id: <>
To: Someone 2 <>
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v1278)
X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.1278)

Content-Disposition: attachment;
Content-Type: application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64


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closed as off topic by Al E., Sathya, phwd Sep 11 '12 at 4:25

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This belongs to the mysterious world of SMTP servers. While your two end-points are web apps, what happens in between is beyond the ken of this site. Server Fault might be a better place to ask. – Al E. Aug 31 '12 at 17:39
@AlEverett: This isn't a good question for serverfault. The OP doesn't have access or privilege on the relevant systems to diagnose what happened so the answer has to be Ask Yahoo. – user3774 Sep 1 '12 at 13:50
@Iain: That being the case, then there probably isn't a good Stack Exchange site for this question. – Al E. Sep 1 '12 at 16:30
@AlEverett: Agreed. – user3774 Sep 1 '12 at 17:48

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are no guarantees with SMTP that your email will be delivered in a timely manner or even at all. The SMTP protocol does however require that you be provided with a failure notice.

the protocol requires that a server accept responsibility for either delivering a message or properly reporting the failure to do so.

Once you hand your email to the next server in the chain you have passed responsibility for it to that server. If it's delayed then only the people who have suitable access to the relevant server logs can tell you why it happened.

In this case only Yahoo can tell you why it took so long to deliver.

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Then I'm grateful this doesn't happen more often. Been emailing for 20 years, and only experienced this sort of thing a few times. What a beautiful stack of cards! – neokio Sep 2 '12 at 11:43

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