Community Knowledge Base

General System Settings

Below are the configuration options available when viewing the General Settings section of SmarterMail.

Server Info

  • Hostname - The hostname of the server. Note: Hostnames should be in the format
  • DNS IP Address #1 - The IP address of the primary DNS server. If left blank, the DNS server information will be pulled from the Windows Networking settings. (Recommended.)
  • DNS IP #2 - Enter the IP address of the secondary DNS server. If left blank, the DNS server information will be pulled from the Windows Networking settings. (Recommended.)


By default, SmarterMail stores certain information in pre-defined paths. However, there may be times when system administrators want certain things stored in separate locations. A perfect example of this is the SmarterMail Spool: for many servers, having the Spool process on a separate drive on the server can increase performance and server reliability, not to mention save disk i/o. That's because the Spool for any mail server can tax a drive due to all the file reads and writes. Having the Spool on a separate drive -- we recommend putting it on an SSD drive -- can help the overall lifetime of a mail server.

In this section, system administrators can specify which drive paths to use for the following:

  • Spool Path - Having the Spool on a separate drive is recommended for any mail server due to the i/o required. If you are using a real-time virus scanner, this is the path that must be scanned in order to properly handle viruses.
  • Log Files - Storing SmarterMail log files on a separate drive means that more space is available for users. Depending on how log files are set up -- the level of detail stored for each -- having a separate, large hard drive specifically for log files means less potential for disk space issues for users. Note: Changing the log path will not take effect until you restart the SmarterMail service.
  • Quarantine Path - This is the directory used for files caught by SmarterMail's antivirus and antispam integrations. Having quarantined items stored on a separate drive can further protect a mail server from issues caused by viruses.

Webmail Login

Small businesses using SmarterMail on their own servers, or even companies using SmarterMail from their hosting provider, will benefit from the ability to customize the SmarterMail login page to add a company logo, provide additional branding text, or simply adjust the default 'Login to SmarterMail' text to be more in line with an overall brand message. Note: System administrators can allow domain administrators to override the custom login screen by editing the Domain and enabling Webmail Login Customization in the Features section.

  • Logo Image - Upload an image, like a company logo, by dragging and dropping a file in the highlighted area or clicking to browse for a file (max file size of 3mb). Uploading an image using this upload control will host the image publicly on the server and enter the <img src="URL" /> tag in the HTML section. Note: Uploading an image here alone will NOT display the image on the login screen. The HTML must remain in the Login Page HTML section. This upload control can be used by those who don't have their logo publicly hosted or who wish the image source to point back to their mail server. Furthermore, regardless of the image uploaded, the image's source URL will remain the same; only one image may be hosted at a time.
  • Custom Login Text - Use this setting to customize the login page header to something more in line with an overall brand message. If Custom Login Text is left blank, SmarterMail's login page will show the default text "Welcome to SmarterMail".
  • Custom Title Text - Use this setting to customize the title of the login page to something more in line with an overall brand message. If Custom Title Text is left blank, SmarterMail's login page will show the default text of "SmarterMail" in the browser tab title. Note: When a system administrator is logged in, the custom title text will appear on all pages. If the login display for a domain is not set to default or overridden, users will see this text on the login page only, with their email address displayed as the browser title for all other pages.
  • Login Background - Use this option to select the background image(s) that displays on your login screen. Use the default images that come with SmarterMail, point to your own path on the server or select a solid color background. For custom images, the following image formats are supported: SVG, PNG, JPEG/JPG and GIF. Minimum size is dependent upon the image type being used. However, you can use 1920 x 1280 as a general guideline.
  • Enable custom login page HTML - Check this box to enable the ability to use HTML to further modify the login screen to add additional text or adjust the layout.
  • Login Page HTML - Enter the custom HTML that will be used to further modify the login screen (in-line custom CSS can be used as well). Note: To include white space around the Image on Login Screen, the div id "companyinfo" must be included.


  • Redirect to a webpage on logout from webmail - Enabling this setting allows you to add a URL to which users are redirected when they log out of SmarterMail. By default, users are presented with the login page for the mail server. If this should be different, a new URL can be added. Enable this setting to add in a Logout URL.
  • Allow domains to override Logout URL - Enable this setting to allow domain administrators to specify a Logout URL for their domain. If this option is not enabled, the option will not be visible to domain administrators.
  • Replace online help with custom URL - When enabling custom help, whatever is entered as the Custom Help Text, and the URL that text redirects to, will replace the standard, default Online Help link that is displayed. That means you'll be redirecting users of the SmarterMail server to your OWN help documentation and away from the documentation created by SmarterTools.
  • Hide external email avatars - This allows system administrators the ability to block email avatars from services like Gravatar or other external image sources.


Use this tab to specify the following settings:

  • Delete Server Stats After (Months) - The length of time server stats should be kept before being deleted. By default, server stats are deleted after 13 months.
  • Delete Domain Stats After (Months) - The length of time domain stats should be kept before being deleted. By default, the domain stats are deleted after 13 months.
  • Delete User Stats After (Months) - The length of time user stats should be kept before being deleted. By default, the user stats are deleted after 13 months.

Folder Auto-Clean

Folder Auto-clean is a method for limiting how much of a user's disk space is used by the Junk EMail, Sent Items, and Deleted Items folders. By placing limits on the size of these folders, system administrators can help ensure that user accounts do not fill up unnecessarily. Messages are deleted from the folders in the order that they were received so that older messages get deleted first.

  • Allow domains to override auto-clean settings - Enable this setting to allow domain administrators to create their own auto-clean policies for their domain.
  • Allow users to auto-clean Inbox - Enable this setting to allow users to create auto-clean policies on the Inbox folder.

Any existing auto-clean rules will be listed. To add a new folder auto-clean rule that will apply to all users across all domains, click on the New Rule button.

If the Rule Type is set to Size, the following options will be available:

  • Folder - The folder that will be auto-cleaned: Deleted Items, Junk Email or Sent Items.
  • When size greater than (MB) - The maximum size of the folder, in megabytes. Once the folder reaches this size, the auto-clean process is started and older messages (messages that were received the longest time ago) are deleted.
  • Reduce to (MB) - The size the folder should be after the auto-clean process has completed, in megabytes. When auto-cleaning, SmarterMail will delete older messages first until the folder reaches this size. Note: This number should always be lower than the previous field.

If the Rule Type is set to Age, the following options will be available:

  • Folder - The folder that will be auto-cleaned: Deleted Items, Junk Email or Sent Items.
  • Days - The maximum number of days mail will stay in the selected folder before deletion.

Calendar Auto-Clean

Having a system-wide setting for all domains that limits past calendar appointments is another way to help prevent disk drives from filling up. Just as with messages, calendar appointments are deleted in the order they were created or accepted.

  • Calendar Auto-Clean Months - The max age of a calendar appointment before it is permanently deleted.
  • Allow domains to override auto-clean settings - Enable this setting to allow domain administrators to create their own auto-clean policies for their domain.

Notification Auto-Clean

One other way to help limit disk space is by automatically cleaning out old notifications for a user's account. When notifications are dismissed, they're still logged by SmarterMail. Therefore, unless old notifications are actually deleted, that log file can grow rapidly, especially if a user has a number of notifications. When notifications are automatically cleaned, they're cleaned in the order they were created or dismissed.

  • Notification Auto-Clean Days - The max age of a notification before it is permanently deleted.

File Storage

SmarterMail's file storage feature allows users to upload files to the server and share them via public links. One benefit of using file storage is that it reduces the stress on the server by keeping large files out of the spool. Note: Files uploaded to the server are counted toward the user's disk space allocation, so system administrators should encourage users to delete any unused files whenever possible.

  • Max File Size (KB) - The maximum size a file can be in order to be uploaded to the File Storage area. This has a relationship to the file size limits for attachments, and any files uploaded to Online Meetings and/or Chats as all of those items are stored in a user's File Storage area.
  • Root Webmail URL - The base URL of any file stored and shared in file storage. By default, the base URL corresponds to the domain the mail server is set up on (i.e., If SmarterMail is configured on an external IP that allows a network address translation (NAT) to an external IP, the system administrator may need to modify the root URL.


  • Inbound Extension Blacklist - This list allows you to limit the file types that are allowed INTO the mail server. For example, many email administrators won't allow executable files (EXE) as they can cause issues on the mail server, and possibly across an entire network. To add a blacklisted file type, simply type in the file extension, one per line. (E.g., .exe or EXE)
  • Outbound Extension Blacklist - This list allows you to limit the file types that are users are allowed to send OUT OF the mail server. For example, many email administrators won't allow batch files (.BAT) as they can cause issues on the recipients' mail server, and possibly across their entire network. To add a blacklisted file type, simply type in the file extension, one per line. (E.g., .bat or BAT) IF a user attempts to send an email or create a calendar appointment invitation that contains a blacklisted file extension, the outbound delivery of that message or invite is blocked.
  • Extension Blacklist for Uploads - Use this section to select and list any file types that cannot be uploaded to the server across any area. This includes files uploaded to File Storage, attachments to calendar appointments, contacts, contact groups, tasks, and notes, as well as files added to signatures or uploaded via chat or in Online Meetings. Essentially, any area that allows a file upload. System administrators may want to limit the capabilities of users to upload certain file types, such as executables (.exe) or other file types that can possibly be used to cause problems on the server.

External Senders

SmarterMail has the ability to notify users when an email they receive has originated from an account outside of their organization and/or their domain. For example, financial institutions like to be notified if an email comes from someone outside of their own company, and that's where the External Sender text comes in handy.

That said, some organizations like for their users to be able to manage the accounts this text appears on, without disabling it entirely. For those organizations, SmarterMail allows system administrators to give domains the ability to overrid this setting. In addition, system administrators can select where to add external sender text: It can be appended to the body of the message or the subject line.

  • Allow domains to override external sender settings - When enabled, domain administrators can modify the settings made by system administrators, customizing them for their own users.
  • Add text to body - When enabled, this will add a text box to the body of the message that cautions the recipient that the email originated outside their own domain, and to take caution when clicking links or opening attachments.
  • Add text to subject - When enabled, this adds the text "[EXTERNAL SENDER]" to the subject line of the message.


  • SubSpools - SubSpools are within the spool path and allow SmarterMail to work around the NTFS limitation of 30,000 objects in an individual folder. SmarterMail will utilize subspools by evenly distributing mail among the subspools, allocating up to 10,000 messages per subspool. If the subspool count is set to 1, the Spool folder will be used. Note: If the subspool count is lowered, the old subspool folders will not be automatically deleted; however, you may manually delete the unused subspool folders if you wish. This design is to accommodate for situations where the subspool count is lowered while mail is still processing in those folders. (Default value is 10)
  • Delivery Delay (Seconds) - This number of seconds mail will be held in the spool before it is delivered. A delivery delay is beneficial when you are running a secondary service (such as a virus checker) that needs access to messages prior to delivery, as it provides ample time for the secondary service to interact with the message. By default, the delivery delay is 1 second.
  • Retry Intervals (Minutes separated by commas) - When the mail server is unable to contact the receiving server, the email attempting to be sent is held for a period of time before the mail server attempts to resend it. This is the time between retries. Users can specify multiple retry attempts to resend emails before it is bounced. By default, this is set to 16 attempts - at 1, 5, 5, 15, 30, 30, 30, 30, 60, 90, 120, 240, 480, 960, 1440, 2880.
  • DNS Errors Before Bounce - The maximum number of attempts SmarterMail should make before the message is bounced due to a DNS error. The most common cause of a DNS error is a misspelled domain. Limiting the number of attempts before DNS errors are bounced is beneficial because messages will not sit in the queue for long periods of time taking up processing on the mail server and possibly slowing the system down. This will be helpful to users because messages will be bounced sooner and will give users the opportunity to fix any mistakes and get a message resent. By default, the server will make 2 attempts. Note: Setting this at 1 retry can be dangerous if the DNS server fails or if there is a loss of Internet connectivity. To disable this feature, set the number of bounces equal to the number of retry intervals.
  • Notify Senders of Delay After (Attempts) - Sets the number of delivery attempts before the sender is notified that the email delivery is delayed. This can be beneficial as it lets the sender know that the mail server is still attempting to deliver the message but that the recipient has not received it yet. (Default value is 0.)
  • Max Local Delivery Threads - Enter the maximum number of messages that can be sent at one time to email addresses that are on the local server. If a message cannot be sent, the server's multi-threading capabilities will move on to the next message and eventually get back to the one it skipped. This action can save tremendous amounts of time when compared to some other mail servers that stall the spool if a message cannot be sent right away. (Default is 50)
  • Command Line File - Move the slider to the right to enable this option. Then enter the full path to an executable you wish to use to process incoming messages. Use %filepath as an argument to pass the path of the email file to the executable. It is allowable for the executable to delete the message to prevent delivery. Example: If you set this field to "c:\program files\myexe.exe %filepath", the program myexe.exe will be launched with the full path to the spool file as its first argument.
  • Command-Line Timeout (Seconds) - The number of seconds that the server will wait for information from the remote server. By default, the timeout is set to 5 seconds.

Message Archiving

By default, SmarterMail does not archive messages for new installations. System administrators need to set up rules for archiving domains -- either all domains or for individual domains, depending on need. To specify which domains on the SmarterMail are archived, the system administrator will need to create archiving rules on each domain's Configuration card when the domain is added to the server. (Or edit each domain individually if it's already been added to the server.)

Alternatively, a rule can be created that will archive messages for all domains on the server. To create a rule for archiving all domains, use the Settings button.

By default, SmarterMail will set an archive path, which will match the default data path set up when SmarterMail was installed. (This is generally c:\SmarterMail\Archive.) However, that path can be edited as needed. Then, it's possible to select which messages are archived: all messages, inbound messages, or outbound messages. Finally, set the Archive Auto-Clean rules.

Regarding auto-clean rules, this is purely dependent on need and business rules. Administrators can elect to purge messages in yearly increments, from 1 to 10 years. They also have the opportunity to disable auto-clean rules by selecting "Never". Realize, however, that never cleaning out the archive can take up quite a bit of space, so plans should be made accordingly.

Creating Message Archiving Rules

When adding or editing a message archive settings, the following settings will be available:

  • Archive Path - The directory on the hard drive in which archived messages are saved.
  • Direction - Set the direction of the messages you want added to the Archive. The following Rules are available:
    • Save All Messages
    • Save Inbound Messages
    • Save Outbound Messages
  • Archive Auto-Clean - How long to store messages in the archive before they're automatically deleted from the server.

Once email archiving is set up, both system administrators and domain administrators can search the archives. Note: Please note that domain administrator search requires individual domain archiving rules to be set up, as noted above.

It is also important to know that archives are not deleted by SmarterMail and, as a result, they can get very large. Be sure to check your archive folders regularly to see if they should be backed up and removed from the hard drive.

Archive Autoclean

Message archiving has an automated autoclean feature to help preserve mail server disk space. By default, on new installations, this is set to five (5) years. However, when setting up archiving rules, this can be adjusted to Never, or in one (1) year increments between one (1) and ten (10) years, as needed. For upgrades, autoclean defaults to "Never".


System administrators can configure server-wide message footers that SmarterMail will append on all incoming and outgoing messages. Messages that a SmarterMail user forwards that already has a footer will not have the system footer appended as well. Although similar to signatures, message footers are typically used to convey disclaimers or provide additional information. For example, a system administrator may want every message to include a notice that the message was scanned for viruses or the text "Sent by SmarterMail."

  • Enable footer for all messages - Move the slider to the right to turn on the message footer for all incoming and outgoing messages. This setting does not need to be enabled to allow domain administrators to override. If domain admins do override this setting and it's enabled for all messages, emails will have the domain footer on outgoing messages but still have the system footer on incoming messages.
  • Apply to mailing lists - Move to slider to the right to enable this setting and append the message footer to mailing list messages. Note: Mailing lists have their own configurable footers. If a custom mailing list footer is already configured, enabling this option will append a second footer at the end of each message posted to the mailing list subscribers. Because this may be confusing for mailing list moderators and recipients, most administrators will choose to keep this option disabled.
  • Allow domains to override footer - Move the slider to the right to enable this setting and allow domain administrators to configure a unique message footer for their domain.
  • Footer - Use this section to create the message footer text. Clicking the edit icon will open a modal that includes an HTML-based editor, allowing admins to create footers that seamlessly fit into any email message. Note: The message footer does not support the use of variables.

Block Authentication by Country

Part of a system administrator's job is making sure bad actors can't attempt to brute force logins to user accounts. Blocking authentication attempts from specific countries, or ONLY ALLOWING authentication from specific countries, is one way of doing this. Adding a country to the setting will just block authentication attempts, it won't impact sending or receiving messages from the country. It will simply prevent anyone from the country(-ies) logging into the server, regardless of protocol. However, system administrators won't be able to add their “home” country, which will prevent them from accidentally locking out users. Use this card to specify the following:

  • Countries to Block - Use this dropdown to select "Specified Countries" or "All But Specified Countries". When selecting "Specified Countries", authentication attempts attempted from the country(-ies) that are selected will be blocked. When selecting "All But Specified Countries", only authentication attempts from the selected country(-ies) will be allowed. Attempts from any other country will be blocked.
  • Country - Use this dropdown to select one or more countries, based on the block type selected.