Topic Last Modified: 2007-05-16

The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) runs as a service on computers that are running Windows Server 2008. By default, the startup type is set to automatic upon installation of the SMTP Server feature. For instructions about how to install the SMTP Server feature, see Install SMTP Server.

Although there is only one SMTP service on a computer, you can have more than one SMTP virtual server. You can start, stop, or pause each virtual server independently of one another while the SMTP service is running. For more information, see Start, Stop, or Pause an SMTP Virtual Server.

If you have more than one SMTP virtual server, remember that pausing or stopping the whole SMTP service affects all the SMTP virtual servers.

When you start the SMTP service, it accepts new incoming connection requests. When you stop the SMTP service, it does not accept new connections. When you pause the SMTP service, every running SMTP virtual server stops accepting new connections but continues to service existing connections.

Make sure only trusted and qualified administrators in your organization have the necessary permissions to start or stop the SMTP service. For more information, see Set Security Options.


To start, stop, or pause the SMTP service by using Administrative Tools

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.

  2. In the console tree, select Services (local).

  3. In the results pane, right-click Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and then click Start, Stop, or Pause.

When you restart the SMTP service, all SMTP virtual servers that had been running when you shut down the service will automatically restart. However, an SMTP virtual server that was already stopped when the service was shut down will remain stopped, even after the SMTP service is restarted.