Anyone who manages an exchange environment of any size has undoubtedly come across a scenario where they are asked to remove e-mails from their Exchange MTA outbound queue. This may be due to spamming users or, possibly an e-mail accidentally being sent to many users.
Whatever the case, if the e-mail has not been fully processed by the MTA server, you can still remove these e-mails. Unfortunately, Microsoft has not provided any tools to make this easier.
In Exchange 2003, outbound e-mails that have yet to be sent to the appropriate SMTP server on the receiving end are stored in a queue folder. These files are plain text.
Which doesn’t leave us many efficient options. We can use Windows Search to search in the files, but this takes forever and there is no way to specify whether the e-mail address you are searching for is the recipient or the sending address.
For this reason, I wrote MTA Purge. It allows you to provide a text file with a list of e-mail addresses, specify whether the addresses are recipients or senders, and move or delete the e-mails.
WARNING: It is important to shutdown the SMTP service before running this software. Doing so will cause the program to fail to move/delete many messages. It may also cause the Outbound Queue in System Manager (Exchange 2003) to display incorrect information temporarily.
Use of this program should be fairly self-explanatory.
1. Specify your search strings.
The most important step is specifying your criteria. In the same folder as the executable (MTA Purge.exe), there is a file named criteria.txt. In this file you should list the e-mail addresses or regular expressions you are searching on.
It’s that simple.
2. Select the location of your MTA outbound queue. (will vary based on your install)
3. Select the criteria you are searching on.
If you are trying to remove e-mails sent to a certain user, this will be “To”. If from “From”. And if you are searching for your own criteria, use “RegEx”. (This feature has not been tested but should work just fine. I hope.)
4. Select whether you would like to move or delete offending messages.
You will be asked whether you would like to continue so feel free to press purge to get an idea of how many messages the program will find.
I hope this software is as useful to you as it is to me. If you have problems, post comments below. I have not had opportunity to fully test this version. (The original was an uncustomizable command line utility)
I’m releasing this software under the BSD license.
Download it now: