What are Accept-all & Unknown?

Table of Content

Here is an explanation of what are accept-all and unknown validation statuses and how to handle them.


Accept-all, also known as catch-all, refers to a domain-wide setting on a mail server that accepts all emails sent to that domain, regardless of whether the specific mailbox exists or not. This can be a common practice in small businesses or larger organizations to ensure that they receive any emails sent to them, even if there are typos in the recipient’s address. However, it is important to note that email validation services cannot accurately determine the validity of these emails. As a result, accept-all emails are considered risky.


On the other hand, the status “Unknown – Unreachable” refers to situations where the email server is not reachable or verifiable by the validation service. This could be due to various reasons, such as the sensitivity of the email server blocking validation IPs or temporary network issues.

What to do?

When handling these statuses, it is recommended to consult the API documentation provided by DeBounce. If you are using the API within a sign-up form, it is suggested to consider emails with the statuses of Deliverable, Accept-all, and Unknown as valid to ensure that all sign-ups are captured. Another approach is to check the value of the “send_transactional” parameter, where a value of 1 indicates that the email is eligible for being a new user.

For more detailed information on these statuses and how to handle them, you can refer to the resources provided by DeBounce, specifically their help desk documentation on understanding result codes: https://debounce.io/resources/help-desk/understanding-results/result-codes/.

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