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Troubleshooting SQL Server Database Mail not sending emails

30 April,2018 by Tom Collins

Question: The Database Mail component is not send emails. The emails are registering – but remain in the “unsent” status.

I’m running SQL Server 2016 . How can I troubleshoot this issue

Answer: Here are some techniques to assist you in gathering information. I’ve experienced this problem a few times – always different reasons.


--check database mail status



--delete mailitems



EXECUTE msdb.dbo.sysmail_delete_mailitems_sp @sent_before = @GETDATE;


--stop start database mail

EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_stop_sp;

EXEC msdb.dbo.sysmail_start_sp;


--check status

EXECUTE dbo.sysmail_help_status_sp


--check items

SELECT * FROM sysmail_allitems


One problem I’ve experienced is a missing .Net 3.5 on Windows 2016 \ SQL Server 2016 CU1 set up. When Database Mail attempts to send an email it activates the /bin/Databasemail.exe . Databasemail.exe requires .Net 3.5 – you can check this by comparing a server which has the Databasemail.exe component working properly.

If you attempt to execute Databasemail.exe and .Net 3.5 is not installed – a message will pop up asking for .Net 3.5

Once I installed .Net 3.5 – and restarted SQL Server – Database Mail started sending OK

Microsoft published a FIX for this issue on : FIX: SQL Server 2016 Database Mail does not work on a computer that does not have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed


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Author: Tom Collins (


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