Spamhaus Blacklisting

I recently set up a new server, but the IP it was given was blacklisted previously (likely due to misuse). I already went to spamhaus and it removed it there, but I am still getting the error from Google.

Show comments

Submit an answer

This textbox defaults to using Markdown to format your answer.

You can type !ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

Sign In or Sign Up to Answer

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Accepted Answer

When you spin up a new droplet with the purposes of making an MTA for your person/business and/or migrate a known working instance, check the newly spun up droplet’s external IP at to see if it is blacklisted and of course also check your postfix/exim4 logs when testing outgoing to Google email addresses. If you get this error “The IP you’re using to send mail is not authorized to 550-5.7.1 send email directly to our servers. Please use the SMTP relay at your 550-5.7.1 service provider instead. Learn more at 550 5.7.1 ht tp://”, it says that because DO reuses IPs that were previously abused and so they are still balcklisted on spamhaus, which Google uses (and Yahoo). Instead of whitelisting the IP on spamhaus, just snapshot your image, delete the original, then spin up a new one importing the snapshot. When that’s done, check that the newly issued IP is not blacklisted and of course also test your MTA to see if the error is gone. In my case, I had to spin up two new ones to finally get issued a non-blacklisted IP. The error from Google is very broad and the website is no more specific, but if you also test sending to a Yahoo email, the logs will state explicitly that its because of the spamhaus listing you are being rejected. Here is a SE poster facing the same issue: ht tps:// - Hope this helps others like me who use send only MTAs / relays for small businesses and need them to work when you make them, not 3-5 months later!

Site Moderator
Site Moderator badge
August 14, 2022

Hello @oemb1905

Can you share the error message that you’re receiving from Google?

Keep in mind that Spamhaus’s database contains a lot of lists and even if your IP address is listed in one of those lists, this does not guarantee that you’ll have issues with the mail delivery. Spamhaus contains lists that charge fees to delist IPs and legit providers are likely not to check against their database.

You should aim to keep your droplet’s IP unlisted from any possible blocklist.


Well, Spamhaus block the whole IP range. Doesn’t matter how well your MTA is set up, reputable IP. Once a spammer act on your IP range, you are gone. This happened to us. The worse, we could not even d-list our IP which we were using for few years and had very good reputation. Spamhaus block in and out, so we could not even receive confirmation email from spamhaus. Contacting them with a different email, they told us we should use relays to send email as the whole IP range is block; they did not open ours, instead refer us to digital ocean to act. You know… digital ocean do not care about customers. They don’t care what loses come to your business when you lost all communication with customers. Many times we asked them to give provide us with a right IP. They just don’t. We are a small IT business which we also provide cheap email solutions to our customers. We are moving away from Digital Ocean. Once upon a time Internet was for everyone. Now Internet is for big guys and you have to pay them so your email delivers. This way we are going forward, soon even talking will cost.

Try DigitalOcean for free

Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!

Sign up

Featured on Community

Get our biweekly newsletter

Sign up for Infrastructure as a Newsletter.

Hollie's Hub for Good

Working on improving health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth? We'd like to help.

Become a contributor

Get paid to write technical tutorials and select a tech-focused charity to receive a matching donation.

Welcome to the developer cloud

DigitalOcean makes it simple to launch in the cloud and scale up as you grow — whether you're running one virtual machine or ten thousand.

Learn more
DigitalOcean Cloud Control Panel