Inbound Email | Troubleshooting


Inbound email automatically routes inbound email inquiries to the right place both quickly and efficiently. All inbound emails are placed in the Inbox mailbox until they are processed. Once cleared, they are moved to the Received (if processed) or Junk (if ignored by your Inbound Email Actions) mailbox. If the ServiceNow system is restarted for any reason, such as during a system upgrade, all inbound mail remains in the external mail server until ServiceNow can request delivery.



If emails are not received or processed as expected, it is important to identify the root cause. The following steps help understand the inbound email process as well as guide you through troubleshooting common issues. 

  1. A message is sent from a customer’s email such as Microsoft Outlook, Hotmail, or Gmail.
  2. Email is delivered to a mail server.
  3. The ServiceNow instance polls the email server every two minutes to download sent messages.
  4. Confirm the scheduled job (POP Reader) is running.
    Note: Polling time is configurable and may vary by instance.
  5. Emails are received in the ServiceNow instance and processed.
  6. Confirm the email is processed by the instance.


Video Tutorials

If you are having issues using the inbound email functionality in ServiceNow, our video tutorials are a great way to help find solutions. These video tutorials guide you step by step to a solution and provide common troubleshooting methods. This tutorial covers common issues, their causes, and the required steps to resolve them. They range from basic to more advanced topics, and are best watched in the order that they are listed.

You can view an overview to the inbound email troubleshooting below or follow a link below to jump to a different section of the serie. The steps can generally be applied to other email issues as they often have common root causes.

Troubleshooting Inbound Email Part 1: Introduction [2:17]
Part 2: Instance Does Not Receive Email  [4:25]
Part 3: Inbound Email Action Not Processed  [4:16]
Part 4: Email Events in System Logs  [3:22]

Article Information

Last Updated:2019-08-02 21:36:38