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Exchange 2016

Here are two of the most popular methods used for setting up the automated return of the SMTP round-trip tests. No additional software or plugins are required for either.

Method 1.

Create a full mailbox with a server side rule to return, then delete, the test messages.

See screen shots and step by step instructions


Tests the Exchange storage back end and will fail if the store goes offline.


  • Somewhat slower response times as more processing is necessary to store the message and process the rule. When servers become busy servers sometimes several messages will be queued and returned at the same time.
  • Only provides outbound headers for later inspection. The response is created as a completely new message in this method and inbound headers are not retained.

Method 2.

Create a contact with its SMTP address set to return messages to

Screen shots and step by step instructions


  • Is generally faster than using the rule method as less processing is required. Provides very consistent round trip times.
  • Retains both incoming and outgoing message headers which can help determining where delays may be occurring.


Only tests as far as the transport layer and does not touch the back end storage systems. Should be used purely as a mail flow monitor and not for testing the Exchange storage mechanism.