I'm a user of Google Apps for receiving my email in. My inbox is the "Catch all" for my domain which is very convenient in the way I would like to use it.

In some special cases I would like to bounce an email that is sent to me with an indication of "no such email address". Is there a way (plugin?) to do that from the Google Apps interface?


My suggestion: create a bounce@example.com account, and suspend it. Later, add as many aliases as needed for that account.

Worked like a charm for me, with the following return message:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:


Technical details of permanent failure: Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 5.2.1 The email account that you tried to reach is disabled. o68si156962yhm.44 (state 14).

Only problem with that is o68si156962yhm.44 if googled leads you right to this page....

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I can think of a hack which won't be a real bounce back, but might be good enough for your use case:

  1. Create another account which will bounce back emails (e.g. nouser@example.com).
  2. Create a filter in your catchall account which forwards the bad email to that account (e.g. if you want mark@example.com to be bounced back, set up the filter delivered-to:mark@example.com to forward to nouser@example.com).
  3. Set up a vacation responder on nouser@example.com with text such as "no user exists at this address".

This way when someone emails you at mark@example.com, they will immediately get an email back from nouser@example.com saying that the user doesn't exist. Do note, however, that this is not the official way to notify someone that an address doesn't exist.

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  • Senseful's reply is good, however gmail only sends the vacation notice to someone once every 4 days. so if they send you 2 emails back to back, one will get the automated reply you set up and the other won't. You'd have to be online that account to disable and reenable the vacation responder feature so it resets – user31115 Dec 31 '12 at 0:52

Having a hunt would seem this was a feature request a while back and it's not been taken on board. I think the only way you could do it would be with what Senseful has posted. You could try and suggest it again below


That's the pain that comes with catch all. I would suggest not using this and creating individual accounts for what you need. Once all done you can setup a master account that reads the others via imap/pop. You can set it up to just read the emails so they're always going to be in the account or you can read and delete.

Doing this would mean that if someone did email an account that didn't exist they would get a bounced reply.

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