Fix Office 365 forwarding error Your message wasn’t delivered because the recipient’s email provider rejected it.

I used to have an auto forward set up on my mail account in Office365. However, since a few weeks I encountered the following errors:

Your message wasn’t delivered because the recipient’s email provider rejected it.

and

Remote Server returned ‘550 5.7.520 Access denied, Your organization does not allow external forwarding. Please contact your administrator for further assistance. AS(7555)’

The result of these error messages was that my emails were no longer automatically forwarded to another mailbox.

Remote Server returned '550 5.7.520 Access denied

What causes this error Remote Server returned ‘550 5.7.520 Access denied’?

Before September 2020, Office 365 allowed emails to be automatically forwarded to external email addresses. This is called “External forwarding”. However, since September 2020, a setting has been changed, whereby External Forwarding is disabled by default at the organization level. This means that all mail that was previously neatly forwarded to an external email address is now suddenly blocked. The affected mailbox, the mailbox with the forwarding rule set up, receives the error “Your message wasn’t delivered because the recipient’s email provider rejected it.

How to fix Remote Server returned ‘550 5.7.520 Access denied

An Office 365 administrator can adjust the default setting in the Office 365 environment, making it possible to forward mail externally again. If you are a user of Office 365, please ask your IT Admin to adjust the setting and send him or her the URL of this web page.
If you are an administrator, follow these steps to re-enable External Forwarding:

  1. Go to the Office365 Security and Compliance Dashboard
  2. Expand Threat Management and click Policy
  3. Click Anti Spam
  4. In the Anti-Spam settings, locate Outbound spam filter policy (Always ON) and click Edit policy
  5. In the Outbound spam filter policy, expand Automatic Forwarding. The default is set to Automatic – System-controlled.
  6. Select On – Forwarding is enabled and click Save. Forwarding to external mail addresses is now allowed. Note Microsoft says it may take up to 24 hours before the change takes effect. Although it took 5 minutes in my case :)

A setting to rethink – Automatic Forwarding to external email addresses

You may wonder whether it is a good idea to change the default setting for automatic forwarding to external addresses.
One reason for not allowing it is data loss prevention. Recently I was with a customer whose password had been leaked. Hackers have gained access to his mailbox. Instead of directly using his mailbox, they set – unnoticed – a rule that automatically forwarded all mail to an external email address. A good example of corporate espionage.

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Besi

Thnx a lot for the solution

Salman

Thanks for sharing. However, it goes back to “Automatic – System Controlled” when i save and close the window

Nouman

thanks for the solution!

How can we apply on an individual user?

Ulrich Pieper

thx man

Bob

Thank you figuring this out and sharing the solution

Rob

Thanks this article saved our ticketing system workflow.

Abel

Many thanks !!!

Kelly C.

Thanks for this – I had rule with exceptions within the exchange admin and it stopped working on Friday. If I change this to On, will the rules then pick up again and the exceptions still work or is there another way to do this?

Anna G

Thank you! Finally the mystery is resolved!

Gezim.

Thanks

Kamia Khatun

Thank you so much for sharing the solution..

Yonatan Cruz

Excelente, muchas gracias.

Toto

So what if you want it disabled by default but need exceptions :)

Victor Chen

worked like a charm, thanks for the post!

K. Collier

Perfect timing… I was pulling my hair out with this problem yesterday and today! Thank you so much for sharing the solution… I never would’ve found it.

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