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How to clear the Exim retry database

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On a cPanel server with Exim, you may frequently see the following error message in Exim logs:

"retry time not reached for any host"

Once you fix the above issue on your server, you may still see the error in Exim logs. After you fix an issue that caused Exim to defer sending messages with “retry time not reached for any host” as the reason, Exim will continue to defer messages. The retry database, also known as the hints database, must be cleared to send messages again.

To clear the Exim retry database, you will need the server’s terminal / SSH with root or sudo privileges. Once you have the details on hand, follow the below steps:

  1. Access the server’s command line as the ‘root‘ user via SSH or “Terminal” in WHM.
  2. Run the following commands:


    mv -vi /var/spool/exim/db/retry{,.$(date +%s)}

    mv -vi /var/spool/exim/db/retry.lockfile{,.$(date +%s)}
  3. Restart Exim:

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