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Non-Delivery Report – The email address you entered couldn’t be found

Issue Description: When attempting to send an email to an existing address stored in your email auto-complete selection list, or a new email address typed in manually, a non-delivery report is received stating that ‘The email address you entered couldn’t be found. Please check the recipient’s email address and try to resend the message. If the problem continues, please contact your helpdesk.’

An example of the message received within the non-delivery report is as follows:

Failure to send

Latest Update and Guidance:

This kind of non-delivery report is typically received due to one of two reasons.

  • Firstly, the email address may have been typed incorrectly. Please double-check the email address you are sending to. If it is an NHSmail address, try adding the address from the Global Address List (click on the ‘To…’ button within the Outlook Client). If it is an nhs.uk address or an email outside of the NHS, please re-confirm with the recipient that the address you are sending to exists.
  • Secondly if looking further down the non-delivery report you see a message similar to the example below it is likely that the issue is caused by a corrupt auto-complete entry in the Outlook Client software which is easily corrected. Follow the guidance below to help correct this issue.


Please follow the steps below to remove the auto-complete entry and then find the distribution list within the Global Address List (GAL):

  • Begin typing the name of the distribution list you want to use into a blank email within the Outlook Client software and you will see the auto-complete option similar to the following:DL email address
  • Click on the black cross to remove the entry from your Outlook Client auto-complete library.
  • Click on the To: button within the new email to access the Global Address List.
  • Type in the name or email address and click ‘Go’. Note: ensure that the ‘More columns’ radio button is chosen as shown in the example below which will search the email address column too.Name search for emails
  • Click the ‘OK’ button to return to your email. You should now be able to send successfully to the email address.

In the event that this guidance does not resolve the issue, then please raise a ticket with your local IT Helpdesk or alternatively the NHSmail Helpdesk for additional assistance on this issue.

Last Reviewed Date 9/4/2019
Updated on 28/06/2022

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