DMARC Policy Tag (p)


A DMARC policy tag allows an email sender to instruct the recipient what to do with a message that is not DMARC Compliant. These actions can be to quarantine the message, reject it, or allow the message to be delivered.

The “p” policy tag in a DMARC record provides the receiving mail server (the one that receives emails you send) with a command of what to do with an email that fails DMARC Compliance tests. That command can be as powerful as telling it to reject the message, quarantine the message (put it in the "Spam" folder), or simply do nothing.

Policy Tag Values

  • p=none: With this directive, DMARC does not change how email is handled by the receiver. In other words, no action is taken/messages remain unexamined.
  • p=quarantine: This policy sets aside questionable emails for further processing, which are usually exiled to the “Junk” folder.
  • p=reject: When emails do not come from your email infrastructure, this designation has the receiver outright reject those messages that fail DMARC authentication.

Highlighted below is an example of a policy tag in a DMARC record with a value of "quarantine":

v=DMARC1; p=quarantine; pct=25;;

Policies on Subdomains

This same concept can be applied to all Subdomains (i.e., you can set a policy on all subdomains to quarantine/reject/do nothing to messages that fail DMARC). To learn more about the DMARC Subdomain Policy tag, click here.


If you are new to setting a DMARC policy, MxToolbox recommends setting a policy of p=none to allow familiarization with the overall process and DMARC reports so that large email delivery errors can be corrected to avoid quarantining or rejecting legitimate email. Our team of email experts will gladly help you deploy stricter, more aggressive DMARC parameters that work best for your company email delivery when optimal. That way, your business mailflow avoids interruption and you receive the necessary guidance from industry experts to fix any email spoofing issues. Visit our Products page for more details.