I'm stuck with something that ought to be simple: My Joomla system is not sending activation emails when users register on the site.

I've checked (and double-checked) the configuration, and I can't see anything that would stop it from working. I also have the option enabled to send email to administrators when a user registers, and that email isn't arriving either.

It isn't a problem with email in general on the site, because the contact form works perfectly (using the Nevexo Contact extension).

I'm struggling to get to the bottom of the problem. My current thinking is that possibly one or other of the extensions I've got installed is causing the problem, but I don't know which one and I'm drawing a blank on how to debug it any further.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can work this one out? Thanks.

Oh, for reference: Joomla version 3.5.1.

7 Answers 7


I had this issue with one of the latest Joomla 3.5.xx updates.

Now you have to fill in the senders eMail address in the joomla config.

Did you do that?

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  • Hi. Thanks for the reply. Yes, I can confirm that this is already set up correctly.
    – Simba
    Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 14:57

Step 1: Check your junk mail. You will HATE yourself if you don't and that's where it is.

Step 2: Make sure your site can send emails. Fill out a webform, use the Send Test Email, anything, with your own email of course, to see if it works.

Joomla 3.5.1 did change a few things, as mentioned above. I've had to change SMTP ports on a few different sites just to get email going through again after updating. It's also possible your host made some server changes that are now blocking your current settings.

Step 3: If you can get an email through, the next thing to check is all your config - yes there is the one in the user options, but there is also a toggle inside the user itself and the default is set to NO. Third, in Global config there is the option for "Disable Mass Mail" (and send mail should be on of course - made that mistake before!!).

Step 4: Everything is set up right but it's still not working? Go to your plugins and order them backwards by ID. Disable everything you've added to the site that's not there natively (it'll be at the top).

Once you've got everything new disabled (hopefully you don't have so many that you can't keep track of them mentally, but be sure to keep a record if needed), try sending your mail again. If it doesn't work, flip all your plugins back on, they're not the cause. If the email does work, flip your plugins back on in chunks and keep testing until you eliminate the problem. Then you'll at least know what plugin is the culprit and can check the developer page for information.

Step 5: If none of this has worked...check your junk mail again. It might have worked and you just didn't notice.

Step 6: Update all the things and try steps 2 and 3 again. Note that 3.6.2 has the same problems that 3.5.1 has, so you might need to play around with some port settings.

If none of this works, go back to the host. See if they're blocking mass mail, or have heard of this happening on their server. They might be able to help.

  • Just to be completely sure as to what you're saying in Step 3, you're saying that "Disable Mass Mail" should be off? (And if so, isn't that a poor name for that option - what does activating a new user have to do with "mass mail"?)
    – RenniePet
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 20:28
  • Yeah, I agree it's poorly named. Essentially if Disable Mass Mail is on, then the site won't send mass email, which could be causing problems.
    – Faye
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 22:33

Try this configuration once, if it worked. You haven't set it up correctly.

Use Gmail as your mailer, below are the SMTP config and it works perfectly (even on localhost)

Go to Global Configuration -> Server -> Mail Settings

Send Mail : Yes

Mailer : SMTP

From Email : [email protected]

From Name : name_goes_here

SMTP Authentication : Yes

SMTP Security : SSL

SMTP Port : 465

SMTP Username : [email protected]

SMTP Password : your_gmail_account_password

SMTP Host : smtp.gmail.com


We had the same issue yesterday along with another issue which was part of the same problem.

We had tried everything mentioned above then decided to ring the hosting company. This was a good move because they pointed out that we had an email routing issue.

Newly registered users didn't receive an email. The answer was in the Hosting cPanel under email routing. The email routing was set to automatically detect if we were using a remote (hosted elsewhere) email or a local (on your hosting) email address.

We are using an email address hosted by Google which means the email routing is "remote". As soon as the setting was changed to Remote instead of Automatic the new users received the email.

If you are using a locally hosted email, try changing the settings to local instead of automatic.

These settinga can be found in the Hosting cPanel under emails / email routing or under MX Entry.

The other part of the problem was that the administrator was not receiving the email to activate the new user account once the new users email had been confirmed.

This problem came from the superuser account not having Receive System emails enabled under the user settings (something simple that took forever to find).


Some tips on testing Joomla's Email Sending

1. Send Test Email

Recent Joomla versions have a Send Test Email button on the email configuration tab (Global Configuration). Use this to see if emails can be sent successfully from your configuration.

2. Test while creating a new user

Another thing I use to do to check if emails are sent or if there are errors sending them, is to create a new user in the backend and enable the option for the user to receive emails. With the creation of the new user, Joomla will try to send the "welcome" email to the new user's email address. If there are obvious issues/errors for Joomla to send it, then it will display the error message right after saving the new user.

See if you get any such messages there.


My solution, eurika, maybe it could work for anyone else...

I am new in Joomla, and I was stuck in the same: Activation email not being sent. At first I create my classified page using djclass with an old version of Joomla, and at that point no activation mail, so I update it to 3.6.5, and still nothing, then update it to the new one (3.7.4), and solve a lot of problems that this update create and still no activation mail.

I try everything I saw in forums and tutorials, including the test button and the SMTP config, and still nothing. I was using a gmail account in the From mail. The test pass OK, but still no activation mail....

What I did is to create at my hosting a domain email, and set it at the FROM MAIL, then I test it creating a new user and it is working...


I had the very same trouble for a couple of days, I went through all this nonsense advice I found online and still couldn't figure out what's going on.

Is all down to your server. I am using Joomla 3.7.5.

Just go to Global Configuration and Sever, on right hand side just below database is Mail Setting this where all this problem lies... From Email need's to be the exactly email you have register in your sever scroll down to Mailer choose SMTP next SMTP Host need to check with your server something like (mailout.o**e.com) next comes the SMTP Port this number again is provided by the by the server now come down to SMTP Security need to carefuller to choose the STARTTLS. I did chose SSL/TLS and it didnt work and couldnt figure out why. So last but not least come to SMTP Username and SMTP Password which are the from the above (From Email) and your password, and WUALLA working fine

  • Bob said, in a now-deleted post: "Changing from SSL/TLS to STARTTLS (port 587) did the trick. Although the Test e-mail was successful using SSL/TLS, the activation e-mails were not sent. (Joomla 4.2.6)" Commented Jan 14, 2023 at 23:18

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