Troubleshooting Inbound Email Delivery Issues

Inbound email refers to email being sent by other parties to your Help Scout Inbox. This includes all emails being sent to the custom address you've connected to Help Scout, any aliases you're also forwarding in, or direct to your address. Any email being sent to you from someone else is inbound. 

This article will help you troubleshoot some common issues with email that you expect to see in your Help Scout Inbox! 

Are you looking for help with outbound emails — emails that you sent from Help Scout? Check out Troubleshooting Outbound Email Delivery Issues

In this article

There are emails that should be in my Help Scout Inbox that I can't find.

Not seeing an email in Help Scout you think should be there? Try this checklist! 

  1. Check the Spam folder in Help Scout: Our spam filter — like every spam filter there is — does sometimes catch emails you actually want to see. Pop into the Spam folder and make sure the email you're looking for isn't there first! If it is, you'll want to change the status to Not Spam to move it back to your Inbox. Check out Manage Spam and Unwanted Email for more on those features. 
  2. Search for conversations from that email address: Using search or the Customers List, find conversations from that customer email address in Help Scout and check to see if your missing email can be found in one of those. Perhaps the email you're looking for is in a different Help Scout Inbox than you expected, or is a reply to an ongoing conversation rather than a new conversation. 
  3. It's not found in Help Scout: The next place to check then is at your email provider. If you are using a custom email address, all email goes to your email provider first, then is forwarded to Help Scout. Log in to your account at your email provider as the custom address you're using at Help Scout. For example, if Google Workspace is your email provider and your email address is, you'd log in to Gmail then as you don't see the message in the inbox there, or if the message is marked as spam at your provider (see below for a bit more on that!), they wouldn't have forwarded it over to us. You will want to reach out to your email provider's support to see if they can find out what happened to that email if it's missing entirely.   

    Note: If you use Google Groups to send your email to Help Scout, check out Troubleshoot Email Delivery Issues with Google Groups and Help Scout for more help there. 
  4. It's in your inbox at your provider and not marked as Spam: Double check that your forwarding is still on. Head over to Get Your Email Into Help Scout for help with getting to those settings at your provider, and make sure that it's still set to forward to the correct Help Scout Inbox address. Re-enable forwarding if you find that it's been turned off or changed there.To get the email into Help Scout that came in while forwarding was disabled, you will need to manually forward it in from your mailbox at your provider. Keep in mind that most of the time when you manually forward from your mailbox address, Help Scout will not be able to recognize the customer correctly. To resolve this, you will need to change the customer on the conversation after it appears in your Help Scout Inbox. 
  5. It's not any of those things: Grab the headers and pop those into an email to our support team! We can take a peek in our logs to see if we can find that email, and we'll follow up and let you know what we find.MX Toolbox has a wonderful guide on How to Get Email Headers if you need a hand on how to get the headers from your email client or provider. 

The email that was missing was marked as spam at my email provider.

If you find email in Spam or Junk at your email provider, most likely that's why you're not seeing it in Help Scout. Most email providers won't automatically forward spam. Nearly every email provider has some level of spam filtering built into their service, and spam filtering is definitely not an exact science, so this is something that can happen from time to time. 

You will need to manually forward any email that your provider did not automatically forward — just forward it to your Help Scout Inbox address. Email that is manually forwarded from your mailbox address at your provider is likely to show up as your mailbox address as the customer in Help Scout. To resolve this, you will need to change the customer on the conversation after it appears in your Help Scout Inbox. See Change the Customer on a Conversation for more help with that.

If you find that your emails are being stopped at your provider as spam often, you may want to consider disabling spam protection or filtering for the custom email address at your provider. The method to do this will be different for every provider, and some providers do not offer the ability to disable spam filtering at all. 

Reach out to your provider's support to find out what options you might have to prevent spam filtering or bypass the spam filtering on your mailbox with them. 

I have some other issue with inbound email. 

If it's not one of the things listed above, the best bet is to ask our support team to dive in with you — send us an email to let us know as much as you can about what's missing or what you're looking for. We love details, details, and more details: include conversation numbers, email addresses or customer IDs, and email headers if you have them. 

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