Email Issues 
Users say that they do not receive emails from my site. What do I do?

First, make sure that you actually have turn on the email functions here:

Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> Email Options -> Enable Email features -> Yes

Then verify that the email system for your forum is working via the Admin Control Panel. You can do that under diagnostics.

Admin Control Panel -> Maintenance -> Diagnostics -> Email Diagnostics

If there is an error stated, you can look at the logs for your mailer daemon to find out what error is occuring. If their is no error and the email is sent to the supplied address, then the issue is on the ISP/mailbox end. Continue reading further down this page for other suggestions.

If there is no error and you didn't get the emails then make sure you have a valid webmaster's email address in your Admin CP settings and that there is only one address. In addition make sure the domain on the email address matches the domain for your site. Otherwise some ISPs may treat this as spam. Then try this:

Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> Email Options -> Enable "-f" Parameter -> Yes

Then try the vB email functions again. If it still doesn't work, then this is either a server and/or mailbox issue. By default vB uses PHP's mail() function for all its email and uses the SMTP server specified in php.ini. If PHP and the mail server are configured correctly then email will work. You can view the details here: http://us3.php.net/mail/

To troubleshoot any email problems you will need to view the mail logs on the server to see what happened to those emails that don't work. Once vB sends it to PHP it's in the hands of the server. If you are on a shared server you may need to ask your host to look through the logs for you.

Many large service providers such as Verizon, AOL and MSN are implementing aggressive filtering. In many cases, the customers of these providers can place the email address you use for notification in their contact list and then your emails will be allowed through. If this doesn't work, you should contact the provider in question and ask to be placed on their whitelist. Some providers will charge a listing fee for this.

In addition, AOL (and possibly others) will not accept emails from domains that do not have reverse DNS setup. It's possible these emails are being placed into a spam folder or are being filtered.

The problem could also be caused by aggressive spam filters on the user's machine. In these cases their anti-spam software should be configured to allow emails from your domain name. Refer them to the documentation for the software they are using.

If all else fails you can switch to the SMTP mail option to see if this works better for you. These settings are here:

Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> Email Options -> SMTP Email -> Yes

Then fill out the appropriate SMTP settings for your account and server.

My host only allows me to send a certain number of emails per hour to control spam. How can I make vBulletin get around this limitation?
You cannot circumvent hard limitations created by your hosting provider. However, you can use vBulletin's SMTP email processing to point the software to an off-site email provider with more privileges.

Admin Control Panel -> vBulletin Options -> Email Options

Email is sent as "nobody@domain.com"
You need to enable the "-f parameter" in vBulletin. This sends the email address specified in the Admin Control Panel to the email client.

Admin Control Panel -> vBulletin Options -> Email Options.

For more information please see:
http://us3.php.net/manual/en/ref.mail.php

Email from my forums is blocked
One of the reasons for email being blocked is if it is coming from a different domain than what is in the 'From' email address. To ensure a better chance of your email getting through, make sure the Webmaster's email address is using the same domain as your forums.

Error: unrouteable mail domain "****.com"
This problem is caused by this option being checked in WebHost Manager for the server:

Prevent the user 'nobody' from sending out mail to remote addresses (php and cgi scripts generally run as nobody if you are not using phpsuexec and suexec respectively.)

Unchecking this option should stop this problem. You will of course need to have root access to the server to do this. If you don't, then you'll need to ask your web host to do this for you.

McAfee VirusScan Enterprise
McAfee VirusScan Enterprise blocks SMTP port 25 by default, which blocks all emails from being sent. Eliminating or changing that rule will allow emails to go through.

How can I send emails as HTML
vBulletin does not support HTML emails at this time.

Can I log Emails sent by vB?
Yes, in vB 3.6 you can log all sent emails to make sure that vB is sending these. You do this here:

Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> Error Handling & Logging -> Log sent eMails to a File

Then if the emails appear in this log but they are not being received, then you will know this a problem with either the mail server or the recipient's mailbox. If the logs show 'FAILED" then this is a server problem. The server's email function returned a failure. Please see server configuration/logs for more details. You will need to consult your host if you are on a shared server.

SMTP Server Setup
If you are using SMTP for email, in some rare instances the SMTP server will require an additional field that is not part of the normal settings, namely this:

ini_set("SMTP","mail.yourdomain.com");

To add that setting, edit your config.php file and add this line right under <?php:

ini_set("SMTP","mail.yourdomain.com");

...changing "mail.yourdomain.com" with your specific mail domain, of course. If you do not have such a mail domain, then ask this host about this.

Invalid Webmaster's Email
Another possible cause of that problem is that you do not have a valid Webmaster's email address. You need to set this to a valid email address:

Admin CP -> vBulletin Options -> Site Name / URL / Contact Details -> Webmaster's Email

You cannot use more than one address in that field.
Note:
Please be aware that vB does not have it's own email application. It has to use either PHP or SMTP, and both of those are server applications. There is very little control vB has over these.

For the PHP option, you have the -f setting and the webmaster's email address. That's it. The rest is up to the server which needs to be setup correctly for PHP email to work.

For SMTP, the only options in vB for this are the SMTP settings. If those don't work, then this means either the settings are wrong, or there is a problem connecting to that SMTP server from your server. There is nothing vB can do about this.
User Contributed Notes: Email Issues Add a Comment
Brian A. Harper 13th Nov 2007, 01:06pm
On windows 2003, use smtp server, port 25. Then in IIS6 manager, enable 127.0.0.1 for relay, and mail will work perfectly.
Brian Greul 15th May 2009, 10:11pm
For Godaddy and Bluerazor, make sure you setup a email account. The email (admin / contact) must match the domain. i.e. if you are hosting forum.example.com your email must be something@example.com or godaddy will zap it and your site will not work.
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