“Help! I’m a PaperCut administrator and I’m seeing the message ‘Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size’ or ‘Scan job exceeded max size’ in the Application log whenever users try to scan a large document. Why does this happen and how can we fix this?”
Is the bottleneck PaperCut or my email provider?
There are two different error messages that you might see:
- If you see “Scan job exceeded max size”, this job was rejected by PaperCut. Follow the steps in the section below to manage the threshold for email attachments in PaperCut.
- If you see “Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size”, this job was rejected by the email system. Contact your email administrator to increase this amount or look at the other scanning options mentioned in this article.
“Scan job exceeded max size”
In the Application Log you msy see the error: “Scan job exceeded max size”. This error will be present if the PaperCut server is blocking the scan job. Users may also receive an email that says “Your scanned document is too big…”.
Why would PaperCut block the scan job? Most email systems have a maximum allowed attachment size of 20MB. By default PaperCut will block any scan larger that 20MB to prevent it from being rejected by the email system.
To resolve this, find out what the maximum attachment size limit on your email system is. Then open the Advanced Config Editor and search for the key
system.scan.email-max-job-size-kb. The default value is 20480 KB, but you can increase this to match the maximum allowed attachment size on your email system. If a user scans a document that exceeds this threshold they will receive an email notification from the PaperCut server via email to let the user know:
Your scanned document is too big: %files%
You can try reducing the scanned document size by using a lower
resolution, or switching color mode to grayscale or black and white.
Alternatively, you can try splitting your job.If you need to send a
larger scanned document, please contact your system administrator.
“Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size”
Here is the full error message:
Delivering scan images for scan job
with an error: Failed messages: com.sun.mail.smtp.SMTPSendFailedException: 552 4.3.1 Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size . See more details in the server log.
When this happens, the user may receive an email message that says something like “There seems to be a problem sending your scanned document… If this persists, please contact your system administrator.”
So what does this mean? This SMTP error code (sometimes “552 4.3.1” or “552 5.3.4”, followed by “Message size exceeds fixed maximum message size”) is coming from your email provider. It means the PaperCut MF server attempted to send the scan to the user’s email address, but the email server rejected it because the attachment was too big.
There are a few ways to make this happen less frequently:
- You can increase the maximum attachment size limit on your email system.
- Change the settings of the scan action so the default DPI is lower and the color type is grayscale.
- Consult the PaperCut embedded application manual for this specific device type (available to PaperCut partners) to see whether there are settings to enable or manage scanning compression.
- As of this writing, this issue is particularly acute when PaperCut’s Document Processing features are in use (like “Make PDF Searchable”, “Blank Page Detection”, or “Deskew”). If this is happening regularly, it may be prudent to follow the steps in our article How to turn off PaperCut’s Document Processing for Scan to Email actions.
- Or if users regularly need to scan very large documents, you could configure a “Scan to Folder” or “Scan to Cloud Storage” action instead as these won’t have the same limitation as email delivery.