Change the SMTP Banner

How can I change the SMTP banner seen when connecting to my Exchange server via Telnet?

MS KB articles 281224 and 836564 have more:
When you use Telnet to connect to the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) service of a Windows 2000/2003-based server (regardless of whether it is running Exchange 2000/2003), the following banner is displayed:

​220 Microsoft ESMTP MAIL Service, Version: 5.0.2195.1600 ready at Thu, 30 Nov 2000 18:09:43 -0600

Note: The SMTP banner has another function. Read Remote Version Checking through SMTP/POP3/IMAP4.
Note: You may also want to Change the IMAP4 Banner, Change the POP3 Banner or Change the Telnet Banner.

Method #1

To change the response that appears when you connect to an SMTP virtual server, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type CMD, and then click OK.
  3. Change to the Adminscripts directory.

The Adminscripts directory is located in the following location:

  1. Type the following line, and then press Enter:
​cscript adsutil.vbs set smtpsvc/vsi number/connectresponse "Your Text"

In this line, vsinumber is the number of the SMTP virtual server (usually 1, in some cases it could be higher, see your ESM for more details), and Your Text is the text that you want to appear instead of the default response.

  1. To complete this procedure, stop and then restart the SMTP service. You can do so from the Services snap-in or by using the net stop / net start commands.
  2. Close the CMD window.

Method #2

Warning: If you use the ADSI Edit snap-in, the LDP utility, or any other LDAP version 3 client, and you incorrectly modify the attributes of Active Directory objects, you can cause serious problems. These problems may require you to reinstall Microsoft Windows 2000/2003 Server, Microsoft Exchange 2000/2003 Server, or both. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems that occur if you incorrectly modify Active Directory object attributes can be solved. Modify these attributes at your own risk.
This may be an issue if you do not want the version of the SMTP service that is running on your server to be displayed. To remove the version information from the Windows 2000/2003 SMTP banner, follow these steps:

  1. Using a metabase editing tool such as MetaEdit or Metabase Explorer, locate the following file:
​Lm\Smtpsvc\virtual server number
  1. Click Edit, click New, and then click String.


  1. Verify that the entry in the ID box is Other, and then type 36907 (decimal) on the right side of the ID box.


  1. In the Data box, type the banner that you want to be displayed.


  1. Stop, and then restart the SMTP virtual server or the SMTP service.
  2. To confirm that the banner has been changed, telnet to port 25 of the virtual server (the default setting). The “ESMTP MAIL Service, Version: 5.0.2195.1600” banner should no longer be displayed.

Note: The fully qualified domain dame (FQDN) (as it was entered in the SMTP service properties) and the date and time are still displayed. The following text is an example of modified banner:

Related articles

You might also want to read the following related articles:


How to Modify the SMTP Banner – 281224
How to change the default connection response that you receive after you connect to the SMTP port in Exchange 2003 – 836564
How to Modify the POP or IMAP Banner – 303513
MetaEdit 2.2 is available for download by clicking the following Microsoft link:
MetaEdit 2.2 (2.52mb)
Metabase Explorer 1.6 is a part of the IIS 6.0 Resource Kit which can be downloaded here:
IIS 6.0 Resource Kit Tools (6mb)