SPF Record Checker

Lookup and validate your SPF record.

SPF Record Checker

Use this tool to lookup and validate your SPF record.
Please enter a valid domain name, without http:// prefix

SPF Status

Record Checks

Valid SPF record
Failure Mode
DNS Lookups below 10 /10
Void Lookups below 2 /2
Error Details

Tags Found

Tag Value Description
v v = spf1 Record version
+ip4 Allow the listed IPv4 addresses
+ip6 Allow the listed IPv6 addresses
+include Check the SPF record of the listed domain for a matching IP address
+a Allow the IP addresses listed in the domain’s A record
+mx Allow the IP addresses of the domain’s MX hosts
+ptr Allow the IP addresses of the domain’s PTR hosts
+exist SPF passes if an A record lookup of the listed domain returns a valid result
+redirected Replace the current SPF record with that of the listed domain
-/~/? Apply a hardfail/softail/neutral result if no other mechanisms match
Any text as spf content
This is any error
spf record

What is SPF Record?

SPF  (Sender Policy Framework) is an email authentication protocol that allows recipients to distinguish between the domain owner’s authorized list of senders, and unauthorized emails. Authenticating your email using SPF is the first step toward preventing domain name abuse and impersonation. To configure SPF you have to set up a DNS record. Pairing your SPF record with other email authentication DNS records can increase its efficacy against cyberattacks. 

Our SPF checker is a software tool that helps you look up and check for errors in your SPF record. SPF checks help you to verify your domain’s SPF (Sender Policy Framework) configuration.

SPF Record Examples

1. Basic SPF record: v=spf1 mx -all


mx: Allows all the mail servers listed in the domain’s MX records to send email.

2. SPF record allowing specific IP addresses: v=spf1 ip4: -all


ip4: Allows the server with the IP address to send email.

ip4: Allows the server with the IP address to send email.

3. SPF record including another domain’s SPF record: v=spf1 include:_spf.example.com -all


include:_spf.example.com: Includes the SPF record of example.com. This means any servers authorized to send mail for example.com are also authorized for this domain.

How SPF Checker Works

Our SPF Checker Tool works by:

1. Retrieving the domain’s SPF record from DNS.

2. Parsing the record to understand its rules and mechanisms.

3. Evaluating the sender’s IP address against the SPF record.

4. Determining the authentication result (pass, fail, softfail, neutral, or permerror)…

Our SPF lookup tool performs the following functions:

1. Checks the existence of your published SPF record

2. Detects Multiple SPF Lookups

3. Evaluates SPF Record Validity

4. Validates IP Addresses and Domains

SPF Record Tags Explained 

SPF records are published in DNS (Domain Name System) and are comprised of several tags that define the syntax of the record. Here’s a breakdown of the commonly used SPF tags:

Why You Need to Test SPF Record?

An SPF checker tool can reduce the chances of your legitimate email messages landing in the spam folder, improve your overall email security, and filter out fraudulent emails. Here are the various benefits of frequent SPF record checks:

Common SPF Configuration Mistakes

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is a powerful email authentication method to prevent email fraud. However, domain owners often make mistakes during the configuration process that can undermine its effectiveness. Here are some common errors to avoid:

How to Make Sure Your SPF Record is Valid?

More Email Authentication Protocols to Explore

SPF Record Check FAQs

Check our comprehensive database of popular SPF record checker questions we come across often on our support forum.

Is SPF record check free?
With PowerDMARC, SPF record checks are completely free of charge no matter how many times you need to check SPF compliances and for how many different domains. However, lookups are performed 1 domain at a time.
How often should I perform SPF checks?
Our email authentication experts recommend domain owners to perform SPF checks once every month to ensure that record validity is maintained.
Why do I need SPF?
You need SPF to enhance email security and prevent email spoofing as it allows receiving mail servers to check whether the incoming email is sent from an authorized source.
What are my next steps?
Along with SPF, it is important to set up DMARC and DKIM for well-rounded protection against cyber attacks and reduce your DNS lookups with an SPF flattening tool.
How to check SPF record in office 365?
To check the SPF record in Office 365, follow these steps:
  1. Log in to your Office 365 Admin Center
  2. Go to Settings > Domain
  3. Select your domain name and click on DNS records
  4. Check if your TXT status is ok, and review your SPF record from the list of DNS records.
What to do if SPF checks fail?
Failing SPF checks in email authentication can lead to several consequences:
  • Increased likelihood of emails being marked as spam or rejected by recipient servers.
  • Diminished email deliverability, affecting communication with clients, partners, or customers.
  • Higher risk of phishing attacks succeeding, as spoofed emails may appear legitimate to recipients.
  • Damage to sender reputation, potentially leading to being blacklisted by email service providers.
  • Negative impact on brand reputation due to compromised email security and potential misuse of the sender’s domain.
How to improve SPF management with Macros?
At PowerDMARC, we do more than just offer SPF flattening services. While our platform fully supports automatic and dynamic flattening methods for SPF, we also offer an alternative (and better) solution. In several cases, traditional as well as automatic SPF flatttening methods fall short in optimizing your record effectively. Hence, we encourage using Macros.

Our platform supports SPF Macros integration which optimizes your record to stay under SPF limits for both lookups and character length! Macros is also effective in far more complex situations incomparison to flattening. This ensures an optimal and error-free SPF experience.
How often should I use the SPF checker tool?
It's recommended to periodically monitor and maintain SPF records for your domain, especially after any changes to your email infrastructure or domain settings.

A good practice is to check SPF records whenever you make updates to your DNS records, email servers, or sender policies. Additionally, regular checks, such as every few months or after significant changes, can help ensure the continued effectiveness of your SPF configuration.
What steps to take if the SPF checker tool detects errors in SPF record?
If the SPF checker tool identifies errors or inconsistencies in your SPF records, consider the following steps:
  • Review the SPF record syntax and configuration for accuracy, ensuring that it includes all authorized email sources.
  • Correct any misconfigurations, such as missing or incorrect IP addresses, or mechanisms.
  • Update DNS records with the revised SPF information and allow time for DNS propagation.
  • Test the revised SPF record using the SPF checker tool to verify its accuracy.
  • Monitor email deliverability and SPF authentication status to ensure that the issues have been resolved effectively through DMARC reports.
  • Consider consulting with our email security experts for assistance in troubleshooting and optimizing SPF configurations. Contact us now!
Why choose the PowerDMARC SPF checker, validator and record lookup tool?
While SPF records can be looked up manually, using PowerDMARC’s SPF validation tool is a no-brainer. We do more than just a routine SPF lookup. We provide an in-depth analysis of your SPF record syntax and DNS configuration. Our SPF lookup tool provides an overview as well as highlights errors in your SPF record.

This allows you easily edit your SPF record and fix your errors, saving you a lot of time. As it is free, there are no limits to the number of times you can use our tool to check your SPF record!
What are SPF best practices?
To help keep your SPF record functioning properly, you can following the tips given below:
  • Make sure you are following RFC-specified SPF restrictions. The details of these limitations have been explained more in the next question.
  • Make sure you are authorizing all your email sending sources, including third party vendors. Failing to authorize email vendors and service providers you use to frequently send emails can lead to serious deliverability issues. Generally, you can find configuration guides in the support section in each of your vendor websites. Alternatively you can check out our FAQs and blogs to find steps to configure SPF records for most vendors.
  • Avoid using SPF mechanisms like the “PTR”. It is widely considered as unreliable and slows down the authentication process. It also introduces more complexities in your SPF record.
  • White SPF “-all” and “~all” can both be configured as a part of best SPF practices, in case of safe SMTP relaying we recommend using the softfail mechanism (~all). On a hardfail policy, relayed SMTP emails will fail SPF, leading to potential deliverability issues.
Why is SPF record optimization required?
There are several reasons why SPF record optimization may come in handy. Given below are some of the reasons:

Outdated SPF records
Your SPF record may be outdated. In the sense, you may have expanded your emailing efforts by onboarding other email service providers or simply switched from your current vendor to a new one. Your DNS doesn’t know this! Hence you need to access your DNS to edit your SPF record and include these new sending sources.

Extremely long SPF records
If your SPF record is too long, so much so that it exceeds the string character limit, then optimization becomes important. You need to shorten your record to stay under the character length limit so SPF functions properly.

SPF records requiring more than 10 lookups
Often times your SPF record may need more than 10 DNS queries to lookup and verify sending sources. This isn’t permitted and can lead to SPF permerror. Hence you may need to optimize your record to reduce complexities and stay under the permitted lookup limit.
What is the SPF lookup limitation?
The Internet Emgineering Task Force defines a set limit for the number of permitted lookups during an SPF verfication session. The maximum number is 10. If an SPF record exceeds 10 DNS lookups, SPF breaks and returns a permerror result.

Moreover, IETF also limits the number of void lookups (DNS lookups which return an empty response) to a maximum of 2.
What happens if you exceed SPF lookup limits?
If your record exceeds the limit for SPF lookups, you record will break and get invalidated. You will also receive a permerror (permanent error) result for the verification. This may often be treated as SPF fail by receiving servers and can potentially lead to email deliverability issues.
Why is SPF permerror harmful for you?
SPF permerror is a permanent error which means that a retrial or a timeout will not fix it! When you receive an SPF permerror result, it is an indication of SPF failure. In several cases emails failing SPF can be rejected or flagged as spam or potentially suspicious.

This takes a toll on your brand reputation, your credibility, your email deliverability and in turn your email marketing efforts.
Can SPF checks produce false positives or false negatives?
SPF checks may incorrectly flag legitimate emails as spam or unauthorized if the sender's SPF record is misconfigured or if the email is forwarded through intermediary servers not listed in the SPF record.

Forwarding scenarios can present challenges for SPF because forwarding often involves relaying emails through intermediary servers that may not be listed in the original sender's SPF record. This can lead to SPF failures if the forwarding server's IP address is not authorized in the SPF record.

Include Mechanism: SPF allows domain owners to authorize additional servers to send emails on their behalf using the "include" mechanism. This mechanism allows a domain owner to delegate email sending responsibilities to third-party services or other domains. By including these authorized servers in the SPF record, forwarding scenarios involving these servers can be properly authenticated.

Despite this, SPF does have limitations in handling forwarding scenarios. For instance, SPF may not work reliably in scenarios involving multiple forwarders or complex forwarding chains. Additionally, SPF does not inherently authenticate the content of emails, so even authenticated forwarded emails could still be phishing attempts or contain malicious content. Therefore, it's essential to complement SPF with other email authentication mechanisms like DKIM and DMARC to enhance email security comprehensively.

What Our Clients & Partners Say About Us

spf checker

PowerDMARC is a highly reliable and effective domain security platform with a user-friendly interface.

Belgin Abraham (CEO, Channel Next)

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“Very easy and intuitive multi-tenant management. Flexible partner program with easy to work with terms and pricing. Overall a fantastic company, product, and MSP vendor.”

Bill Barnett (Founder and President at ClearView IT)

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“PowerDMARC has made enabling DKIM and DMARC settings, and monitoring results very easy for my domain.”

Mr. Toshikazu Watanabe (Domain Owner)

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