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Dealing with Exim error 53

by | Jan 31, 2021

Did you just receive an error ‘Exim error 53’ while sending emails? We can help you fix it.

Basically, this error occurs when the Exim Retry Database is corrupt or if there is any issue in the server end.

At Bobcares, we often receive requests to fix Exim errors as a part of our Server Management Services.

Today, let’s discuss what causes the Exim error to occur and see how our Support Engineers fix it.


What causes Exim error 53 to show up?

Before heading further, let’s take a glance into what causes this error to occur. Below are the major reasons due to which this error occurs.


1. Error with the server

If there is any problem with the server sending mail then this error occurs.

It’s not necessary that the error occurs only with the receiver’s end. The sender’s server also plays an important role in a perfect email transfer. So, it is very important for both the sender and receiver server to up and running well.


2. Corrupt database

The common cause for email retry is when there is a failure in sending emails. All these retries are stored in the Exim Retry database.

In case, if this Exim Retry Database is corrupt then it will throw an error while sending the emails.


How we fix Exim error 53?

Till now we have discussed the causes of this error. Let’s now see how our Support Engineers fix this error.

Recently, one of our customers approached us with the below error message:

Exim sending email (-53) retry time not reached for any host

Our Support Engineers started troubleshooting this error by navigating to the Exim database. We used the below command for it:

cd /var/spool/exim/db

After that, we deleted the retry files using the below commands

rm -f retry retry.lockfile
rm -f wait-remote_smtp wait-remote_smtp.lockfile

Then, we restarted the Exim using the below command:

service exim restart

Finally,  this fixed the error.

[Need any assistance with Exim errors? – We’ll help you]



In short, this Exim error 53 occurs due to database corruption or due to any server related problems. Today, we saw how our Support Engineers fix this error.


Never again lose customers to poor server speed! Let us help you.

Our server experts will monitor & maintain your server 24/7 so that it remains lightning fast and secure.


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