Howto: Send an email from an Exchange or IIS SMTP server without a client

I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of troubleshooting for an Exchange 2003 sending problem one of my clients has been experiencing, and I’ve probably sent hundreds of messages from their server during this whole ordeal.

I was troubleshooting the problem remotely, without access to Outlook, so I had to send messages using Outlook Web Access.  OWA works great,  but it was time consuming composing and sending message after message.

While researching my SMTP problem, I came across a method of quickly sending emails directly from the server as long as they are properly formatted.  Here’s how to do it per KB 297700:

1)  Create a text file and save it to the server’s desktop.

2)  Paste the following text into the text file.  Make sure to include a carriage return by pressing enter after the last line of text.

Subject: testing

This is the test message body from

3)  Copy the text file to the pickup directory on the Exchange (or IIS SMTP) server.  The path to the Exchange default pickup directory is \Program Files\Exchsrvr\Mailroot\vsi 1\PickUp and the default path to the IIS SMTP pickup directory is \Inetpub\mailroot\Pickup. Obviously, you will need to change the email addresses in the text file to valid email addresses.

I like to create a shortcut to the pickup folder on my desktop, then drag the test message file onto the shortcut.  Alternatively, create a shortcut to the pickup folder in your hidden \Documents and Settings\profile\sendto folder.  This will allow you to right click on the test message files and select Send To – Pickup folder from the context menu.

Other methods I could have used to create these test messages include mapisend.exe, blat, Telnet and scripts, which Rodney Buike covers in this article.

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