I manage around 3 dozen J! sites. Joomla 3.5+ sends an email to admins by default whenever there's an update available. Obviously I don't need 3 dozen emails every time a patch version is released. (I wish this feature was opt-in.)

Is there a better way to stop the emails than disabling the System - Joomla! Update Notification plugin? An option somewhere?

  • Why would you want to stop the emails but not disable the plugin? At that point it is not doing anything so should not be activated. It is (very slightly) hampering your websites performance. I agree it would be better to have one notification than many.
    – Eoin
    Dec 14, 2016 at 14:30
  • It's not a convenient thing to go in and disable plugins for dozens of sites. Alsas, that's what I ended up doing.
    – isherwood
    Dec 14, 2016 at 14:37
  • I'm not sure how else it can be resolved. What solution would you like to happen? Some sort of a central administration panel?
    – Eoin
    Dec 15, 2016 at 15:37
  • An option at install/update is what I was thinking.
    – isherwood
    Dec 15, 2016 at 15:47
  • Oh I see. I think that is less likely as they want people to update the CMS and not everyone is as savvy as you or has as many sites. Now you know where the plugin is you can turn it off easily wnen you create new installs.
    – Eoin
    Dec 15, 2016 at 15:50

6 Answers 6


Unfortunately not.

It's an "opt-out" feature to encourage more people to keep their sites up to date. Loads of people either forget or don't think it's important so telling them straight away rather than letting them find out in their own time is the best option.

The only thing you can do is either:

  • Disable the system plugin on the sites
  • Block the emails using your email client
  • Thanks. I get the reasoning, but a strongly-worded post-install message with the option would've saved me a bunch of hassle.
    – isherwood
    Apr 7, 2016 at 19:44

After checking the source code:

The plugin sends email to email address put as comma separated in the plugin config else if empty to all super user

Condition-1: If email field is not emtpy in plugin config: In such case plugin checks if those emails belong to super users and if those users has "Receive System Emails" in user as 'Yes'.

Condition-2: if email field is empty in plugin config then plugin checks users of all groups that has super user privilege and checks if those user has "Receive System Emails" option enabled as 'Yes' in their profile

So, without disabling the plugin, the only way is disable system email for all super user


Further to Lodders answer, another option would be to :

  1. Create a dedicated email account for Joomla updates.

  2. Create a super user account on all the sites you maintain with that email address.

  3. Edit the System - Joomla! Update Notification plugin and add that email address.

  4. Then, all your update emails from all sites will go to one inbox.

  • Not a bad idea, but a collection filter for the existing account would probably be easier than creating new users on three dozen sites.
    – isherwood
    Nov 2, 2016 at 13:11

Enabling update notifications by default is probably the best option for inexperienced Joomla users so they have the best chance of being informed when new versions are released.

More experienced users who build multiple websites for clients, and where some of the default settings are not particularly helpful, should consider building a website as a template, changing settings as required and then saving this as a "standard build" using Akeeba Backup or similar. The standard build can be deployed using Akeeba Kickstart or similar just as quickly (or even quicker) than building the site from scratch and the preferred settings will already be implemented. The standard build can also include favourite extensions such as Akeeba Backup and JCE Editor etc.


Go to Extensions -> Plugins. Search for "System - Joomla! Update Notification" and disable it. Not sure it will work, I have just disabled it. I'll see if it works over the comming days.

  • 1
    The OP is asking for a solution other than disabling the System - Joomla! Update Notification plugin so this isn't particularly helpful. Jul 21, 2016 at 12:28
  • He's asking for a solution other than disabling the plugin. He's asking for a solution that switches off the email. If you want to keep the plugin enabled and also switch off the email it makes no sense. The only way to switch off the email is by using the method mentioned here.
    – Eoin
    Dec 14, 2016 at 14:31

Why not turn off the plugin on all sites except one... that way you still get notified, but only from one site.

  • 1
    A good suggestion, Thellie, but not really an answer. You might take the tour to understand better how SE networks function.
    – isherwood
    Jul 6, 2018 at 13:27

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