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PHPMailer

PHPMailer – A full-featured email creation and transfer class for PHP

Test status Latest Stable Version Total Downloads License API Docs

Features

Why you might need it

Many PHP developers need to send email from their code. The only PHP function that supports this directly is mail(). However, it does not provide any assistance for making use of popular features such as encryption, authentication, HTML messages, and attachments.

Formatting email correctly is surprisingly difficult. There are myriad overlapping (and conflicting) standards, requiring tight adherence to horribly complicated formatting and encoding rules – the vast majority of code that you'll find online that uses the mail() function directly is just plain wrong, if not unsafe!

The PHP mail() function usually sends via a local mail server, typically fronted by a sendmail binary on Linux, BSD, and macOS platforms, however, Windows usually doesn't include a local mail server; PHPMailer's integrated SMTP client allows email sending on all platforms without needing a local mail server. Be aware though, that the mail() function should be avoided when possible; it's both faster and safer to use SMTP to localhost.

Please don't be tempted to do it yourself – if you don't use PHPMailer, there are many other excellent libraries that you should look at before rolling your own. Try SwiftMailer , Laminas/Mail, ZetaComponents etc.

License

This software is distributed under the LGPL 2.1 license, along with the GPL Cooperation Commitment. Please read LICENSE for information on the software availability and distribution.

Installation & loading

PHPMailer is available on Packagist (using semantic versioning), and installation via Composer is the recommended way to install PHPMailer. Just add this line to your composer.json file:

"phpmailer/phpmailer": "^6.2"

or run

composer require phpmailer/phpmailer

Note that the vendor folder and the vendor/autoload.php script are generated by Composer; they are not part of PHPMailer.

If you want to use the Gmail XOAUTH2 authentication class, you will also need to add a dependency on the league/oauth2-client package in your composer.json.

Alternatively, if you're not using Composer, you can download PHPMailer as a zip file, (note that docs and examples are not included in the zip file), then copy the contents of the PHPMailer folder into one of the include_path directories specified in your PHP configuration and load each class file manually:

<?php
use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\PHPMailer;
use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\Exception;

require 'path/to/PHPMailer/src/Exception.php';
require 'path/to/PHPMailer/src/PHPMailer.php';
require 'path/to/PHPMailer/src/SMTP.php';

If you're not using the SMTP class explicitly (you're probably not), you don't need a use line for the SMTP class. Even if you're not using exceptions, you do still need to load the Exception class as it is used internally.

Legacy versions

PHPMailer 5.2 (which is compatible with PHP 5.0 — 7.0) is no longer supported, even for security updates. You will find the latest version of 5.2 in the 5.2-stable branch. If you're using PHP 5.5 or later (which you should be), switch to the 6.x releases.

Upgrading from 5.2

The biggest changes are that source files are now in the src/ folder, and PHPMailer now declares the namespace PHPMailer\PHPMailer. This has several important effects – read the upgrade guide for more details.

Minimal installation

While installing the entire package manually or with Composer is simple, convenient, and reliable, you may want to include only vital files in your project. At the very least you will need src/PHPMailer.php. If you're using SMTP, you'll need src/SMTP.php, and if you're using POP-before SMTP (very unlikely!), you'll need src/POP3.php. You can skip the language folder if you're not showing errors to users and can make do with English-only errors. If you're using XOAUTH2 you will need src/OAuth.php as well as the Composer dependencies for the services you wish to authenticate with. Really, it's much easier to use Composer!

A Simple Example

<?php
//Import PHPMailer classes into the global namespace
//These must be at the top of your script, not inside a function
use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\PHPMailer;
use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\SMTP;
use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\Exception;

//Load Composer's autoloader
require 'vendor/autoload.php';

//Instantiation and passing `true` enables exceptions
$mail = new PHPMailer(true);

try {
    //Server settings
    $mail->SMTPDebug = SMTP::DEBUG_SERVER;                      //Enable verbose debug output
    $mail->isSMTP();                                            //Send using SMTP
    $mail->Host       = 'smtp.example.com';                     //Set the SMTP server to send through
    $mail->SMTPAuth   = true;                                   //Enable SMTP authentication
    $mail->Username   = 'user@example.com';                     //SMTP username
    $mail->Password   = 'secret';                               //SMTP password
    $mail->SMTPSecure = PHPMailer::ENCRYPTION_STARTTLS;         //Enable TLS encryption; `PHPMailer::ENCRYPTION_SMTPS` encouraged
    $mail->Port       = 587;                                    //TCP port to connect to, use 465 for `PHPMailer::ENCRYPTION_SMTPS` above

    //Recipients
    $mail->setFrom('from@example.com', 'Mailer');
    $mail->addAddress('joe@example.net', 'Joe User');     //Add a recipient
    $mail->addAddress('ellen@example.com');               //Name is optional
    $mail->addReplyTo('info@example.com', 'Information');
    $mail->addCC('cc@example.com');
    $mail->addBCC('bcc@example.com');

    //Attachments
    $mail->addAttachment('/var/tmp/file.tar.gz');         //Add attachments
    $mail->addAttachment('/tmp/image.jpg', 'new.jpg');    //Optional name

    //Content
    $mail->isHTML(true);                                  //Set email format to HTML
    $mail->Subject = 'Here is the subject';
    $mail->Body    = 'This is the HTML message body <b>in bold!</b>';
    $mail->AltBody = 'This is the body in plain text for non-HTML mail clients';

    $mail->send();
    echo 'Message has been sent';
} catch (Exception $e) {
    echo "Message could not be sent. Mailer Error: {$mail->ErrorInfo}";
}

You'll find plenty to play with in the examples folder, which covers many common scenarios including sending through gmail, building contact forms, sending to mailing lists, and more.

If you are re-using the instance (e.g. when sending to a mailing list), you may need to clear the recipient list to avoid sending duplicate messages. See the mailing list example for further guidance.

That's it. You should now be ready to use PHPMailer!

Localization

PHPMailer defaults to English, but in the language folder you'll find many translations for PHPMailer error messages that you may encounter. Their filenames contain ISO 639-1 language code for the translations, for example fr for French. To specify a language, you need to tell PHPMailer which one to use, like this:

//To load the French version
$mail->setLanguage('fr', '/optional/path/to/language/directory/');

We welcome corrections and new languages – if you're looking for corrections, run the PHPMailerLangTest.php script in the tests folder and it will show any missing translations.

Documentation

Start reading at the GitHub wiki. If you're having trouble, head for the troubleshooting guide as it's frequently updated.

Examples of how to use PHPMailer for common scenarios can be found in the examples folder. If you're looking for a good starting point, we recommend you start with the Gmail example.

To reduce PHPMailer's deployed code footprint, examples are not included if you load PHPMailer via Composer or via GitHub's zip file download, so you'll need to either clone the git repository or use the above links to get to the examples directly.

Complete generated API documentation is available online.

You can generate complete API-level documentation by running phpdoc in the top-level folder, and documentation will appear in the docs folder, though you'll need to have PHPDocumentor installed. You may find the unit tests a good reference for how to do various operations such as encryption.

If the documentation doesn't cover what you need, search the many questions on Stack Overflow, and before you ask a question about "SMTP Error: Could not connect to SMTP host.", read the troubleshooting guide.

Tests

PHPMailer tests use PHPUnit 9, with a polyfill to let 9-style tests run on older PHPUnit and PHP versions.

Test status

If this isn't passing, is there something you can do to help?

Security

Please disclose any vulnerabilities found responsibly – report security issues to the maintainers privately.

See SECURITY and PHPMailer's security advisories on GitHub.

Contributing

Please submit bug reports, suggestions and pull requests to the GitHub issue tracker.

We're particularly interested in fixing edge-cases, expanding test coverage and updating translations.

If you found a mistake in the docs, or want to add something, go ahead and amend the wiki – anyone can edit it.

If you have git clones from prior to the move to the PHPMailer GitHub organisation, you'll need to update any remote URLs referencing the old GitHub location with a command like this from within your clone:

git remote set-url upstream https://github.com/PHPMailer/PHPMailer.git

Please don't use the SourceForge or Google Code projects any more; they are obsolete and no longer maintained.

Sponsorship

Development time and resources for PHPMailer are provided by Smartmessages.net, the world's only privacy-first email marketing system.

Smartmessages.net privacy-first email marketing logo

Donations are very welcome, whether in beer 🍺, T-shirts 👕, or cold, hard cash 💰. Sponsorship through GitHub is a simple and convenient way to say "thank you" to PHPMailer's maintainers and contributors – just click the "Sponsor" button on the project page. If your company uses PHPMailer, consider taking part in Tidelift's enterprise support programme.

PHPMailer For Enterprise

Available as part of the Tidelift Subscription.

The maintainers of PHPMailer and thousands of other packages are working with Tidelift to deliver commercial support and maintenance for the open source packages you use to build your applications. Save time, reduce risk, and improve code health, while paying the maintainers of the exact packages you use. Learn more.

Changelog

See changelog.

History

What's changed since moving from SourceForge?