FAQ: Potential Issues

Why is my file taking so long to process?

Zerobounce deploys break-through anti grey-listing technology. A lot of remote mail servers will issue a 421 response code initially, then after a period of time up to 30 minutes, they will allow the email address to be validated properly.

If any file that you upload to be validated has an email address that we encounter a single 421 response on, it will delay the entire file processing time by up to 35 minutes.

If your file appears to be stuck longer than an hour, please let us know and we'll look into it.

Typically, it takes around 1 to 3 hours to validate 100,000 mixed domain email addresses. So, if your file has 1 million email addresses in it, naturally you would assume it will take between 10 and 30 hours. But, it's not that simple, grey-listing isn't multiplied. So a file of 1 million emails will take between 3 and 23 hours. The average is more like 7 hours.

You next obvious question is: "If someone is validating a million emails addresses, do I have to wait?" The answer is no, because we have multiple servers that process email addresses across different geographical regions.

Typically, there will be little to no wait for your file to start processing. However, it is possible that if a lot of people submit files all around the same time, there will be a delay before your file starts processing. When we start experiencing high queue times, we start adding additional servers to handle the processing. We use all the resources we need to use in order to take care of our customers.

I downloaded my processed file and it's asking me for a password

ZeroBounce.net takes security of your data seriously. When you download a file, a password will be generated and emailed to you to access that file. The reason why we do this, is to add an extra layer of security. If someone was to comprise your account, they wouldn't have access to your data without that password.

The password you receive in email only applies to the file you downloaded. If you download a file a second time, you will be send a new password to access that file.

Where do I get the PASSWORD to decrypt my downloaded results?

When you download your validated results from Zerobounce.net, we send a password to your email, so you can access the zip file you downloaded.

The password should arrive in email soon after you download your results. Every time you download any results, even if it's the same results, a new password will be sent to you.

We do this for the security of your data, to protect you in case you left your PC unattended or if someone got access to your account. They wouldn't be able to get access to your data without the password that's emailed to you.

2-factor authentication is very important.

Decompression failed when downloading on a Macintosh

If you receive a "Decompression Failed" when attempting to download the ZIP file on a Macintosh computer, as seen below in Safari:

Can't Open File in MacOs / Safari
Can't Open File in MacOs / Safari

This can be fixed with the following resolution:

  1. In Safari Preferences/General, do you have the box 'Open Safe Files after Downloading' ticked?

  2. Try UN-ticking that and restart Safari.

My overview PDF Report appears to be blank

There is a known issue with PDFs and the default OSX PDF viewer. Please open with Chrome or Adobe Reader if you are having issues viewing the report.

How come some emails are missing data append features?

ZeroBounce.net does its best to append additional data to your emails, like "First Name, Last Name, Gender, Etc". The more information you know about your customer, the better you can communicate with them.

We gather this information through reliable third-party sources we have contracts with. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide this information for all e-mail addresses, because we don't have it and are unable to retrieve it. It's a nice feature we provide for free and sometimes we achieve an over 80% data appends rate. Other times it is under 10%, depending on the list uploaded.

Just to be clear, we never use customer data, as it would be against our Privacy Policy.

How come my results are .zip?

ZeroBounce.net creates a bundle of files for your convenience, separating the different status codes into their own files and adding an overview report. This allows you to segment your list.

Upload the "Valid" file to your mailing platform.

Upload the "Catch-All" file to your mailing platform, but segment them into their own group, if you decide to email catch-all email addresses. Some of them can be invalid.

We also provide back your original list and a list of all the results combined. This way you can view and study your results in different ways.

If you are unable to open a ZIP file, you will need to install a program that can open them. Most Operating Systems come with a built-in ZIP reader.

We recommend downloading Winzip or 7-Zip if you need a tool to extract the files.

How come the total records I submit, sometimes show a lesser amount when validated?

ZeroBounce.net automatically removes duplicate records and malformed email addresses from all files you upload to be processed.

For example, if you upload 1000 emails and 10 of those emails are duplicates, once processing finishes, you will see 990 emails processed. We didn't lose any emails you uploaded, we just eliminated the duplicates.

You are not charged any credits for duplicate or malformed emails. We simply ignore them.

If you click the arrow, next to the file name on the download results screen. You will see why those emails were excluded.

These ignored records will be located in a file that ends with "_rejected.csv" in the the .zip file you download.

Unable To Expand - Archive Utility

If you're using Mac OS, you might encounter this issue when unzipping your downloaded results:

Archive Utility pop up
Archive Utility pop up

There are a few known fixes for this:

Watch The video below and follow the instructions.

For Mac Users Only: How to Unzip a File (Fixing Mac Error 1 - Operation Not Permitted)

The terminal workaround is explained in greater detail below:

  1. Access your Search function by clicking the magnifying glass in the top right corner of your home screen. Search for "Terminal" and double-click this option.

    Open the terminal by clicking the magnifying glass on the top right or pushing command + spacebar
    Open the terminal by clicking the magnifying glass on the top right or pushing command + spacebar
  2. Your terminal will now be displayed on your screen. Type "unzip " with a space after.

    Terminal window
    Terminal window
  3. Drag the protected .zip file into this window and press enter.

    Terminal window
    Terminal window
  4. You will be prompted for a password - denoted by a key character. Access your email to copy the password.

    type "unzip " with a space after "unzip" and then drag the file to the terminal window. The file path should automatically populate like shown above
    type "unzip " with a space after "unzip" and then drag the file to the terminal window. The file path should automatically populate like shown above
  5. Paste the password into the terminal and press enter.

    You will see that your .zip file has been expanded under your user profile in "Users".

    You will be asked to enter a password. The password to unlock the file will be provided to you in an email as shown above. Each time you download a zip file, an email will be sent to you with the unlock password
    You will be asked to enter a password. The password to unlock the file will be provided to you in an email as shown above. Each time you download a zip file, an email will be sent to you with the unlock password
    After successfully entering the zip file password, the file unzip like shown above
    After successfully entering the zip file password, the file unzip like shown above
  6. Enable "Hard disk" under "Show these items on the desktop:" in your Finder settings. This will allow you to access your "Users" folder.

    To access your Finders settings in the top menu, and "select preferences"

    Finder Settings window
    Finder Settings window
  7. Access your "Macintosh HD" drive on your desktop and open the "Users" folder.

    Finder Window
    Finder Window
  8. Open your user folder and you will see the series of .csv files that were unpacked from your .zip file. For a more detailed description of each file click here.

    Unzipped ZeroBounce files in finder window
    Unzipped ZeroBounce files in finder window
    Alternatively, if this process does not work for you, these options are available: Download "The Unarchiver" from the Mac App Store. Download "The Archive Browser" from the Mac App Store. If none of the above fixes work, please contact us.

Where can I get software to open the CSV file?

If you don't have a CSV Viewer, you have plenty of free options available to you.

Google Sheets

There are literally hundreds of other options. If you want to recommend a viewer to add to the list above, please contact us.

Why is my bounce rate high after cleaning?

There are many different factors that will cause emails to bounce that's un-related to whether the actual email address is good or bad.

Here are some examples:
  • Your IP is blocked
  • The content your sending is being flagged as spam
  • You are exceeding the rate limits in place at certain ISP
  • Your email is not configured properly to the RFC Standards
  • Your mailing program is not handling domains that grey-list properly.
  • The recipient blocked you.

Obviously, all of the examples above doesn't mean the email address is invalid. It just means, there are other factors causing bounces that need to be addressed. To understand what's causing the bounce you must have access to your SMTP Logs and you have to analyze the SMTP Codes to determine why.

If you experience a high bounce rate and they are not being caused by any of the above issues we want to know about it. But we need the SMTP Bounce you received, in order to investigate.

Please provide the emails along with the SMTP Bounce message to support@zerobounce.net and we will investigate any issues related with cleaning.

If you review your own SMTP Bounce Logs and determine it's not from the emails being invalid, we put together a guide to help you troubleshoot and configure your email for sending: The complete guide to improve deliverability.

Sorry, we couldn't find <file name> on windows

Windows Excel Unable to Find File Message
Windows Excel Unable to Find File Message

In windows, your file name and path combined can only be 260 characters long. When you access the zip file and then access the file name inside the zip file. It can sometimes go over 260 characters if you uploaded a file with a very long name.

There are a few things you can try to fix the issue:
  • To get around this issue, copy or download the file to your root directory and try to access the file again.
  • You can also extract the files to folder and path with a smaller name.
  • (Advanced) You can modify the registry to allow longer filenames: Instructions
  • You can also contact us and we can modify the name of your file internally to make it shorter.

The CSV I downloaded doesn't format correctly when opened.

When files are uploaded to ZeroBounce, we auto-detect the delimiter used and give you the file back with the same delimiter. Excel doesn't auto detect the delimiter and puts all the data in one column.To correct this issue:
  1. Open a blank worksheet in Excel.

  2. Click on the "Data" tab in the top navigation bar

  3. Click on "From Text" under "Get external Data"

  4. The following screen will pop up.

Then click next and select the delimiter you see in the file, in the example above it's a Tab delimited file. So below I selected Tab, then click Finish.
Then click next and select the delimiter you see in the file, in the example above it's a Tab delimited file. So below I selected Tab, then click Finish.
Then Select the first column A1 and click "OK"
Then Select the first column A1 and click "OK"