What can I do if I get an SPF/DKIM error message from Google / Gmail?


Google recently tightened its security which may cause you to see an error message if you send an e-mail to a person or organization that has their e-mail hosted at Google / Gmail. An example of the error message is at the bottom of this blog article.

This problem occurs because the domain name from which the e-mail is sent does not have SPF. In short; SPF tells recipients of e-mail, from which Internet environments it is allowed to send e-mail from a particular domain name. Want to learn more about SPF? Then read this blog article by our Hosting Specialist Maïra.

Important note

Note: Misconfiguring SPF can cause outgoing email from billing or other back-office systems to stop working.

To resolve Google’s error message, our SPF must be set for the domain name. Before you do this, it is important to answer one question: What systems send email on behalf of the domain name in question? Are these only website(s), e-mail box(es) or applications hosted at Hosting.NL (SQR.NL / Cyso)? Then you can get started on the solution now.

Are other systems also sending email on behalf of the domain name? For example, Mailchimp, Exact or Wix? In that case, it is important that you first take stock of which systems are all sending e-mail on behalf of the domain name. Only when that is clear can SPF be set correctly and without problems.

The solution

You resolve Google’s error message by adding our SPF record to your domain name. You can ask us to do that for you (click here to open a ticket) or do it yourself through Mijn.Hosting.NL. Follow the steps below to add the SPF record yourself:

  1. Log in to My.Hosting.NL
  2. Click on Domain Names
  3. Click on the domain name in question
  4. Click on DNS management

Now click on the green plus in the upper right corner. Select as ‘type’ TXT and copy and paste to the content the line below:

"v=spf1 mx a include:spf.hosting.nl -all"

Then click Add to save the changes.

Google’s error message should now be resolved! Note that it may take some time for Google to pick up on the change. After 12 hours or so, test if the e-mail is now delivered to Google.

the error message

   host gmail-smtp-in.l.google.com [2a00:1450:400c:c04::1b]
   SMTP error from remote mail server after end of data:
   550-5.7.26 This mail is unauthenticated, which poses a security risk to the
   550-5.7.26 sender and Gmail users, and has been blocked. The sender must
   550-5.7.26 authenticate with at least one of SPF or DKIM. For this message,
   550-5.7.26 DKIM checks did not pass and SPF check for [hapblokker.nl] did not
   550-5.7.26 pass with ip: [2a01:518:1:42:8::137]. The sender should visit
   550-5.7.26  https://support.google.com/mail/answer/81126#authentication for
   550 5.7.26 instructions on setting up authentication. j16-20020adfff90000000b0031fa8105f61si706847wrr.191 - gsmtp
Reporting-MTA: dns; filter3.antispam-login.net

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