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Exchange 2007 – Message Size Limits

Users are frequently asking, what are the ways to set the message size limits in Exchange 2007.

Let’s consider that they ask for their outlook users because for OWA we have different mechanism to limit the size.

Microsoft Reference : Managing Message Size Limits

1.   Global/Organizational Limit

2.   Connector Limit

     2.1   Send Connector

     2.2   Receive Connector

     2.3   Active Directory SiteLink Limit

     2.4   Routing Group Connector Limit

3.   Server Limits

4.   User Level Limits

Now lets discuss in detail….

1. Global / Organizational Limits

This setting applies on all the Exchange servers in your organization.

You can set this in two ways…

  • If Exchange 2007 SP1 is not installed then you need to set it using the Set-TransportConfig command from the Exchange shell:

Check the configuration setting by below command.



      Now set the MaxReceiveSize and MaxSendSize by below command.

      Set-TransportConfig -MaxReceiveSize 40MB -MaxSendSize 40MB


Now verify the configuration by Get-TransportConfig.


  • If Exchange 2007 SP1 is installed then you can set it through GUI. This setting will be configured for all Hub Transport server in the organization.

Organization Configuration -> Hub Transport -> Global Settings tab ->  Transport Settings -> Click on Properties -> set Maximum Receive Size and Maximum Send Size


2. Connectors Limit

2.1. Send Connector

Send Connectors are used for sending outbound messages to the internet or particular address spaces if you have configured.

  • We can configure the message size on Send Connectors through Exchange Management Shell

You can see the current configuration of Send connector.



Now, to set the message size on send connector to 40MB run below command.

Get-SendConnector | Set-SendConnector -MaxMessageSize 40mb


Or if you know the name then,

Set-SendConnector “Connector Name” -MaxMessageSize 40mb


Verify that it has configured correctly.


  • Through GUI you can set like below.

Organization Configuration -> Hub Transport -> Send Connectors -> select appropriate connector -> Properties -> General tab -> Maximum Message Size (KB) field you need to set.


Note: if you have Edge Server in your environment then it has Send Connector configured to send mail to your Hub Transport server so make sure that it has also configured with correct size.

2.2 Receive Connector

Receive Connectors are used for receiving inbound messages.

  • We can configure the message size on Receive Connectors through Exchange Management Shell

Check the configuration with below command.

Get-ReceiveConnector “Connector Name” | FL Identity, *max*


Run this command to set message size on receive connectors to 40MB.

Set-ReceiveConnector “Connector Name” -MaxMessageSize 40mb


Verify that it has configured correctly.


  • Through GUI you can set like below.

Server Configuration -> Hub Transport -> select a HT server -> Receive Connectors -> select a connector -> Properties -> General tab -> Maximum Message Size (KB)


Note : By default, this is set to 10MB so you need to set as per your requirement.

2.3 Active Directory SiteLink Limit

In Exchange Server 2007 SP1, you have an option to set message size limit on AD Site Links.

By default MaxMessageSize on AD Site Links is set to unlimited.

You can see the current settings by below command.

Get-ADSiteLink | FL Name, Sites, *Max*


You can change it by using the following command:

Set-ADSiteLink “SITE LINK NAME” -MaxMessageSize 40Mb


Verify setting configured correctly.

Get-ADSiteLink | FL Name, Sites, *Max*


2.4 Routing Group Connector Limit

If your environment is in co-existence mode, means using Exchange 2003 also then on Routing Group Connectors also you can set message size limit which will take effect when message passes between Exchange 2003 & Exchange 2007 environment.

By default MaxMessageSize on Routing Group Connector is set to unlimited.

Get the information about RGC by below command.

Get-RoutingGroupConnector “Connector Name” | FL Name, *Max*


You can change it by using following command.

Set-RoutingGroupConnector “CONNECTOR NAME” -MaxMessageSize 40Mb


Verify it is configured correctly.

Get-RoutingGroupConnector “Connector Name” | FL Name, *Max*


3. Server Limits

You can set Transport Rule on Hub Transport Servers or Edge Transport Servers to set attachment size limit for some or all mails based on Transport Rule prediction “When the size of any attachment is greater than or equal to limit”.

Reference: Exchange 2007 – Transport Rules & Disclaimer

4. User Level

Individual Users / recipients can be set with their own limits.

  • Check and set through Exchange Management Shell

You can see the current limit by using below command.

Get-Mailbox “User Name” | Format-Table Name, *Max*


You can set by using below command.

Set-Mailbox “User Name” -MaxSendSize 40mb -MaxReceiveSize 40mb


Verify once it is configured.


  • Exchange Management Console: Go to below path to set it.

Recipients -> Mailbox -> select mailbox -> properties -> Mail Flow Settings tab -> Message Size Restrictions -> Set Sending Message Size & Receiving Message Size.


Note : If you set user level send/receive size higher than Global/Organizational level then it works for internal purpose only and while sending mail to external recipient Global Level limit takes effect.

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Written by Amit Tank

April 24, 2008 at 3:55 pm

12 Responses

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  1. Good informative article ….nice


    June 7, 2008 at 10:23 pm

  2. thank’s very much Amit tank. you are very pro.
    I hope you will send for me or everybody many good meterial about exchange 2007.
    best regard.


    July 23, 2008 at 9:33 am

  3. Hi Amit..

    Is there a way to set limit for send and receive globally?, I mean limit the entire Storage Group?



    September 2, 2008 at 8:19 pm

  4. Hello Kamika,

    No there isn’t any direct way to set the limit on storage group/mailbox server.

    But indirectly you can do that by creating a Dynamic Distribution List for a storage group/server and create a Transport Rule to apply message size limit to the users who all are member of Dynamic Distribution List.

    Amit Tank

    September 3, 2008 at 6:43 am

  5. Hi,

    Thanks for a great and informative article. It still doesnt work for me though. I made all of the above changes (except for RoutingGroupConnector, which I do not think I have) to set limits to 40mb, but I still get “The attachment size exceeds the allowable limit” when I try to attach a 15mb file. Is there a way to specify attachment limit separately from message size limits? I’m on my 3rd day trying to troubleshoot this and getting nowhere.



    September 26, 2008 at 2:50 pm

  6. Hi Mike,

    I would say two things…

    1. Check user level settings..
    2. Try restarting transport service on HT servers..

    Amit Tank

    September 26, 2008 at 3:47 pm

  7. I see you have much information on exchange 2007, I am in a dellima and am trying to resolve a HELO response. I have changed my receive and send connectors HELO names to our correct ptr name and restarted the smtp services on the server as well as restarted the server and a telnet session to our IP still resolves to the FQDN name of the exchange server. I am not running a edge server, I have created a personal certificate with the HELO name we need to use so this is now functioning as it should, but still the telnet session doesn’t display the HELO name configured. I am at a total loss.

    Any input would be appreciated


    October 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm

  8. Mate, you will need to restart the server..
    Quite stupid though.. so many services running on it.


    October 16, 2008 at 8:03 am

  9. Great!
    Now, is there anyway to set few users’ message/send/received/ to unlimited while others are limited? Thanks million in advance


    December 16, 2008 at 12:12 am

  10. I have similar issues with sending large attachments. Unfortunately I am running my exchange 2007 on my one and only domain controller(not recommened). I am confident that I have set all my send and receive connectors correctly and I can send 3 attached files that equal say 12MB but I cannot send one attached file that is 12MB. any help is greatly appreciated

    Bill Munsell

    December 29, 2008 at 4:26 pm

  11. I have went through every one of your step but am getting an error when outside people are sending mail to my exchange, any ideas why? Here is the returned email:

    Technical details of permanent failure:
    Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 552 552 5.2.3 Message exceeds maximum fixed size (5000000) (state 18).


    January 26, 2009 at 3:36 pm

  12. Erotsppa,

    Did you try after restarting transport service on Hub/Edge transport server?

    Amit Tank

    January 26, 2009 at 4:59 pm

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