Windows Server Summit 2024
Mar 26 2024 08:00 AM - Mar 28 2024 04:30 PM (PDT)
Microsoft Tech Community

[Server Buld 20303.1] IIS 6 Manager crashes trying to edit SMTP Virtual Server Properties

Brass Contributor

I have installed 20303.1 and added the SMTP Service and add the management tools.




Install-WindowsFeature SMTP-Server -IncludeManagementTools




After the installation, I bring up the IIS 6 Management Console.

If I right-click the [SMTP Virtual Server] node and select properties, I get an error like this:



27 Replies
Hello, the SMTP stack and management tools have been deprecated since Windows Server 2012 and will soon be removed from Windows Server 2022. Please refer to this article:

SMTP and the associated management tools are deprecated. Though the functionality is still available in Windows Server 2012, you should begin using System.Net.Smtp.

Kevin Shaughnessy
Sr. Program Manager
Microsoft Exchange Transport
First, that article gives me a 404. Can you check it?

Also, how do we relay mail with System.SMTP.Mail? :)
My use case is that I want to relay local mail from FSRM which uses unauthenticated SMTP. With Server 2019, I set up a relay on localhost, then relay to my account at SendMail.Org to send on to the real account. It works a treat. Can you suggest an alternative way to achieve these FSRM email reports?
Sorry about that. Try this: You'd have to write an application using System.SMTP.Mail or update an existing app to use it. MailKit is another popular SMTP set of services - still requires coding though. Other alternatives include turboSMTP (, a popular SMTP service for Windows that doesn't require coding.
Hmm. That link was good but posting it somehow made it invalid, apparently by stripping the last parenthesis off it. Try copy/pasting this into your address bar then add the "https://" prefix to it:


Well, that's fine it was deprecated, so what's the purpose of letting the feature SMTP to be installed on Windows Server 2022, if you can't manage it anymore.

Was my fault not reading this before, now I'm rolling back to 2019.

@NunoTex Sorry for the troubles. The management bug came about separately / unrelated to the deprecation of the SMTP stack. It should have still worked so long as the SMTP stack shipped in Windows but apparently some updates to the management console caused a regression/bug here. Deprecation (when we no longer officially support something / use at your own risk) usually happens well in advance of removal (e.g. several years). In this case, due to the strategic shift at Microsoft to cloud services the backlog item to remove the SMTP stack from Windows was deprioritized much longer than originally expected. 


Ok, fair enough, at least you gave some honest feedback :smiling_face_with_smiling_eyes:

In meantime I rollback to 2019, since I needed the server ASAP.

Will see what solution can be used to replace this entirely.

This is a terrible move! A lot of us still utilize this feature heavily, if anything, it should be updated. Everything can't be pointed to 365, this will force customers to evaluate 3rd party smtp software now.

@KevinShaughnessy  Pause the service, then edit what you need, then start it.  In addition to crashing when editing, my smtp server crashes any time I connect to it too.

@Maverickx AGREE! That SMTP server is a useful utility that we use heavily. Rolling back to 2019 ASAP.


Microsoft: At least consider open sourcing this. We use it as our core SMTP engine and we do not want or need to get a new service or app. 365 and Azure are not alternatives for self-hosted SMTP.


After  trying all things listed here, I found that stopping the Relay service in IIS and running the IIS 6 console as the administrator, allowed me to get in and configure it in Server 2022 Datacenter.


EDIT: However it still doesn't work after configuring it, the SMTP Service stops when it receives a message. 


So what is a good light weight relay I can go get ?


Thanks Chris

I just downgraded to Server 2019 which works fine. Till it goes EOL, I have a fine SMTP relay VM that I use.



SharePoint Server 2019 and SharePoint Server Subscription Edition are supported for Windows Server 2022 and SharePoint required SMTP Service to receive e-mails.


If the SMTP service is removed then the information for SharePoint 2019 and SE is not correct.


Software requirements for SharePoint Servers for SharePoint Server Subscription Edition - SharePoint...

This doesn't work for me as MMC doesn't work ("MMC has detected an error in a snap-in. It is recomended that you shut down and restart MMC.) and trying all of the remedies on the internet don't fix it. Back to 2019 I guess.
Hello Kevin, could you please check with the server docs team, they should include this warning on this page please. Hi @406979

The 2012/2012R2 could be referenced but they are not much visible in the ToC,

Clarification, SMTP was 'Deprecated' in Windows Server 2012:

SMTP is included all the way up through (including) Windows Server 2022.

However SMTP has been 'Removed' for the next release of Windows Server, and you will see this change has been made that SMTP is no longer available in the current Windows Server Insider preview builds.



What I did to get it to work in WS2022 was install & configure the SMTP Virtual server on a WS2019 instance (decommission that instance once done).

Once SMTP was configured and tested, backup the configuration on the WS2019 server (as mentioned here: The rest of the process is actually almost the same:

I then installed SMTP Virtual Server on my WS2022 instance and copied over the backup files from the WS2019 machine (the backup is stored in C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\Backups\).
The files you will have in the backup are as follows:

I Stopped IIS in WS2022 and replaced all the original files on my WS2022 machine with the ones in the WS2019; all BUT the MetaBase.xml one. I cannot guarantee that replacing these files will also work for you, but it did work for me - and I did do a text compare between the existing config files beforehand (which showed they were identical).

I then used the text compare tool for the last file and added in all the missing rows from the WS2019 MetaBase.xml. Make sure to take a copy of the WS2022 one, and to not replace any Security IP or ACL owner configuration and not delete the extra stuff if not 100% sure!

After this I restarted the IIS and SMTP services and tested. Most of the SMTP configuration I needed was already in there, as I did configure the WS2019 before backing up those settings, so I only needed to make small manual changes.

I tested and everything works. This takes a bit of comparing + hit & miss tries but hopefully it will help someone else as well.


1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by VI_Migration (Silver Contributor)
We found that doing the following worked, and can now edit the settings in the II6 Manager without errors (and without crashing when applying settings) every time:

Stop SMTPSVC service [Display Name: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)]
Stop IISADMIN service [Display name: IIS Admin Service]
Edit "C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\MetaBase.xml"
Find: <IIsSmtpServer Location ="/LM/SmtpSvc/1"
Add (Settings are alphabetical): RelayIpList=""
Save file
Start IISAdmin Service
Start SMTPSVC service
You can now open the Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Manager (InetMgr6.exe) and work like normal. The setting above relates to the Access Tab > Relay Restrictions section, but doesn't set anything in it (i.e. "all except the below list" with a blank list).

After setting this value you can change it to what you need it to be. (i.e. the value doesn't need to be 'null' for the fix to work, just so long as the variable is present in the file).

The above has been tested on a few new installs of Windows Server 2022, and has worked for us every time. If you have done an upgrade there are some other things to consider (seems like the SMTP service is not installed after upgrade so will require a backup of the settings that can be applied post reinstalling the service. But that is discussed in other topics).

PS: Remember to set the SMTPSVC service to start "automatically". By default its set to "manual".


View solution in original post