Knowing how to analyze a message header can be an extremely useful tool for Google Apps. Today, we are going to explore two different ways that show how to Analyze Email Headers. Email Headers contain tracking information for an individual email, detailing a path the message took as it crossed mail servers. A couple notable instances where the email header is an important resource for troubleshooting are non email delivery situations and delayed email delivery situations.
The first step the administrator should take is to grab the email header of that message (sender or recipient, depending on who notified you of the issue). This can be done in a few simple steps when using Gmail:
- Log in to Gmail
- Open the message you'd like to view headers for
- Click the down arrow next to 'Reply'
- Select 'Show Original' (the full headers will appear in a new window)
If the particular issue you are experiencing with the message is delayed email delivery, we recommend running a Message Header Analysis. This is an external version of a message header analyzer that does not require authentication and admins/savvy end users can paste their headers in the text box to have the data analyzed instantly. A few highlights of this tool are:
- It normalizes all the timestamps to local timezone of the user
- It will show all the documented hops the email went through before it was delivered
- Identifies Google/Postini servers
- Identifies if there was a delay
- If there was a delay, the tool will help identify if the delay happened before or after it hits Google Servers
- It highlights important headers which might be work looking at during investigation
If the message in question is NOT being delivered to the expected recipient, it could be due to the message security service that you are using (ex. Postini). To determine how the message was processed by the message security service and how it was handled, use the Header Analyzer.
Again, you will copy and paste the full message headers from the messages you want to track in to the analyzer and click Analyze Header.
The Header Analyzer reviews the header to determine the following:
- Successful passage through the message security service
- The lists and filters it triggered as well as the disposition
- Displays the thresholds for the individual spam filters
At this point, you will have enough to establish the next step in your troubleshooting process.
If you still have questions on why the messages were delayed or not delivered, submit the information you collected with a brief description of the steps you took to your Google Apps support team for further investigation.
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Labels: admin privileges Google Apps, Email Headers, finding solutions outside of the core Google Apps, troubleshooting