Why would email suddenly stop working after being fine for about a year?

Hi, I set up a website on Cloudflare a few years ago, and in November 2020, I added MX records to configure mail. I set it up to point to the mail subdomain and that was a CNAME that was proxied. This worked absolutely fine for a period, but it has become apparent that the last email received by the account I set up was the end of September 2021 (it used to get maybe a couple of emails a month or so), and we have now confirmed that email set-up was broken - you would get a bounce back if you sent an email to the address.

I now know that my original configuration this is problematic and the mail CNAME should be DNS only. I have unproxied this now and it seems like mail is now being received again. However please could anyone offer any insight into why my set-up worked ok initially? And then suddenly stopped working around 1 year after it was originally set up?

As I say, originally the mail CNAME was proxied, which I have now corrected, but why did the original set up work ok for about a year?

Many thanks


Thank you for asking.

Usually, the MX record should point to a hostname such as mail , and the A (or CNAME ) type record for that hostname should be set to :grey: (DNS Only).

Kindly, make a slight change:

  1. Remove the existing CNAME mail (even it’s unproxied :grey: but it’s target is the proxied :orange: hostname mydomain.com → that’s the issue here).
  2. Add new A mail pointed to the IP address and make sure it’s unproxied and set to :grey: (DNS-only).
  3. Make sure A ftp is unproxied and set to :grey: (DNS-only)

Did you checked if SSL certificate is still a valid one or maybe it did expired recently and has to be renewed for your mail hostname?

Otherwise, you might be using a hostname like yourdomain.com which is :orange: (proxied) rather than the unproxied :grey: (DNS-only) like mail.yourdomain.com (which is actually pointed to the proxied :orange: in your case) in your e-mail client for sending/receiving server (MS Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc.)

May I suggest checking below article if your e-mail records (usually the A mail and the MX record) are configured properly while you are using Cloudflare for your domain name:

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