Exim error 53 How to fix it

Are you facing an error 'Exim error 53'  while sending emails?

This guide is for you.

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

Here at Ibmi Media, as part of our Server Management Services, we regularly help our Customers to resolve Exim related errors.

In this context, we shall look into the main causes of this Exim error and how to tackle it.

Main causes of Exim error 53 ?

Some causes of this error are outlined below.

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?

Some fixes to this error are outlined below.

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 Experts 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 urgent assistance with Exim errors? – We'll help you. ]


This article will guide you on how to fix Exim #error #53 which occurs as a result of #database corruption or due to any server related #problems. 

If you find the following error in your EXIM logs, it means that your EXIM #databases could be corrupted.

defer (-53): retry time not reached for any host

The fix is to rebuild exim #databases. To rebuild #exim databases you can run the following commands as root:

/usr/sbin/exim_tidydb -t 1d /var/spool/exim retry > /dev/null

/usr/sbin/exim_tidydb -t 1d /var/spool/exim reject > /dev/null

/usr/sbin/exim_tidydb -t 1d /var/spool/exim wait-remote_smtp > /dev/null

/scripts/eximup --force