Firefox Relay does not forward received emails

I hope I am posting to the right forum. If not, please point me to the right place.

For the past couple of days, I am not receiving any email from my Firefox Relay email alias. I cannot even login into the account to check settings as the OTP required to login is also sent to the Firefox Relay alias which has stopped forwarding all of my email.
This itself is a bug/major flaw. But that is for another time. For now, I need to get my email to flow. Would appreciate any assistance/guidance shared to get this sorted out. Thanks.

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Please make sure your Firefox Account is set to the email address you expect.

Then, please check on your Relay profile page to make sure Relay did not receive a bounce from your email provider.

Next, check that you can manually send a small email to your alias and see if it is delivered? If senders send an email that is larger than 150K, Relay will not deliver it. (See our FAQ)

Thanks groovecoder. The links you shared were very helpful.
Email address to where email should be related to is correct and unchanged since originally setup in July 2020.

Per the Relay profile page, there was a bounce and guidance that the next attempt will be tomorrow afternoon at 3:06pm. I have copied the message at the end of this note. (Would have been nice to see a timestamp for this message - also not sure if this message is the first retry attempt or 25th retry attempt)

My mail provider is Microsoft Outlook Live (previously known as Hotmail). My mailbox is not full - 73% of 10GB used, 23% free.

I have sent test messages from my Outlook Live email to the Relay email address with no successful receipt.

So, from an end user perspective, what can I or should I do? Can I manually make Relay start relaying my email?

BTW, what happens to the mail that has not been delivered - lost in ether? Or a store and forward when Relay establishes a connection?

Error message from profile page is below

Relay⁩ couldn’t deliver your email.

We are currently unable to send email to ⁨[email]. We received a ⁨soft⁩ “bounce” from your email provider when trying to forward emails to you. This can happen if ⁨Relay⁩ couldn’t connect to your email provider, or if your mailbox was full. We will try again on ⁨09/23/2021 3:06 p.m.⁩.

So, magically shortly after my email messages and Luke Crouch’s assistance on Wednesday last week, Relay forwarded messages started to flow back into my main email inbox. Alas, the joy was short lived. Nothing since late yesterday.

I see a soft bounce message on my Firefox Relay profile page. I have been using the service since July 2020 and more than a year later, my Microsoft Hotmail account seems to be bouncing the Relay messages. I get all direct messages as far as I can tell. So, I wonder what has changed and what I can do to prevent this from recurring. Any guidance shared would be appreciated. Hopefully, it is not just one of those things in which case I will likely end up going back to the pre-Relay setup. Thanks.

Note: you may want to edit your first reply and remove your personal email address before it is indexed too broadly.

There’s currently no way to manually make Relay start relaying email after a “bounce pause”. If we receive a bounce notification from your email provider, we “pause” your emails for a time. In the case of a “soft” bounce we pause for 1 day, in the case of a “hard” bounce we pause for 30 days. [1]

To maximize your privacy, we do not ever store emails in Relay. Emails that can’t be delivered are dropped.

It sounds like your email provider is sending soft bounces to Relay, which is triggering a 1-day pause each time.

Maybe check thru this Microsoft Answers post?

I looked thru the corresponding Microsoft postmaster troubleshooting page to see if Relay is doing anything to trigger Hotmail’s protections, but I don’t think we’re doing anything like that.

Thanks again, Luke, for taking the time to assist. I guess I will have to knock on the doors of MSFT to see how to get this addressed. I have skimmed through the Microsoft Answers post and will read it more closely later. BTW, any idea where I can get a copy of the bounced email headers?

And, thank for pointing out my email address in the previous posting. Looks like I do not have enough rights to edit the post and remove it. I should have caught that! I know better!! Thanks again, Luke.

I can edit it out. :slight_smile:

So very kind of you Caitlin. Please go ahead and edit it out. Thanks for the assistance.

Have run out storage space for all the millions in cash from all of the Nigerian princes and could live without more excitement!!

Luke, I read through the link you shared and have opened a ticket with Microsoft. Also, added the Firefox relay address to my whitelist in the hope that it will remediate the issue.

Thanks for sticking with it. Please report back here if you are able to get it fixed, or if Microsoft says something we can do from the Relay side to help with deliveries.

Thanks, Luke, for checking in/up. As of now, the problem continues. I lose mails for a day or so and then fresh messages flow in for about a day before MSFT soft-bounces them and I wait for the countdown before Relay sends them again a day or so later. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. No joy.

I have exchanged emails with MSFT support who were doing the basic screening stuff - can you whitelist the sender, is your mailbox full, are the messages going to your spam folder, is your email address spelt correctly, etc.

Now, they have directed me to another support team - Sender support. I have tried to submit a support ticket a few times today but the submission is not going through. I was wondering if there is someone on the Relay @ Firefox team that can be engaged as they are technically the ‘sender team’. The ticket submission requires information such as outbound IP ranges for the sending system, etc. Certainly, I do not have this and can use help from someone on the Relay @ Firefox team.

I thought I had seen the back of the problem and that it had been fixed. Alas, my hopes were short-lived. I was able to submit a ticket to Microsoft Support and they made me go through the basics - have you checked you spam folder, did you whitelist the address, did you accidentally blacklist the address, etc. Something was done somewhere and email started flowing in until about 24 - 36 hours ago. Interesting that since the ‘fix’, the email came in with the sender name replaced by sender email which was not the case previously. So, this was my clue that someone did a fix but did not solve the issue for good.

If this is a product that Mozilla plans to see adoption and increase uptake, I would think it is reasonable that agreements with the biggies (Google Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Yahoo Mail, etc.) would be in place and the relevant domains are whitelisted in their individual domains. Just makes business sense. I am sure there are likely other issues and it may not be as simple as that.

Regardless, I am pretty close to getting off this roller coaster and abandon aliases altogether or find some other provider and see if their service works any better.
I have pinged Microsoft Support again in the hope that they will do something to fix the problem. But running around in circles with no clear understanding of the solution does not do wonders for me!

Apologies if my note comes across as a rant but it is not intended to be one. It is rather frustration about a useful product/service that will be unsuccessful because of issues such as this one.

Sadly I have the same problem now. Although my bounce error message was malformatted. I hope this gets fixed quickly as well!

I now have the same problem. I use firefox relay for month and I subscribed to premium. It worked very well until today where I got (or noticed) the “bounce” message too. My postbox is not full and I asked my provider, he doesn’t block relay mails. I switched to a gmail account now and the bounce message now tells me the same only with the gmail address listed. I suspect it’s the same message and no new send was tried… This is not good, if emails don’t come through, this service is useless to me.
The message tells me it will retry in 10 days… which is far to late. I don’t use relay mail for important stuff, but this is still very annoying.

I also cant’ get relay emails at my outlook address. Relay is doing something that email providers don’t like, would be good if FF relay team could figure it out because it’s a great idea if it could be made to work.


I share the same experience as the users above.
Lot of mails that are supposed to arrive on my Outlook address do not reach it.
I noticed it after performing orders on website where I register my relay address. Sometimes it shows a retry notification in FF Relay platform but mail never reach my Outlook address.

It is very unfortunate as I am paying for a premium account…

I’m experiencing the same issue - have a premium account, outlook email.
Adding domains and aliases to safe senders doesn’t seem to improve the situation.


Hi Luke

Same issue. Email provider is Outlook. It worked for a while, but since 2 days ago I am having this issue, rendering the whole Relay useless.

It would be very helpful is the Pause Time for a Soft of Hard Bounce (1 or 30 Days), could be reset.

And @FireFox, this is not a problem on a user-level. Meaning it is not the end-user that should talk with FireFox Support or The email-provider Support (in this case MS Outlook). Please take initiative to resolve this issue with Outlook for your Relay end users.
As you can see, it is affecting more and more users.

Thank you for your time

I am experiencing the same issue: Firefox relay is unable to successfully redirect mail to my address. The trouble appears to be with Microsoft above the en-user / client level. Grateful for any help you can offer to resolve the issue.