How to Get WordPress Form Notifications Using the WP Mail SMTP Plugin

Are you not receiving email notifications from your WordPress contact forms? Unfortunately, the WordPress contact form not sending email issue is very common.

However, you can quickly fix this issue and start receiving those emails by setting up Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) on your website. This tutorial shows you exactly how to fix the WordPress contact form sending email issue.

Why You’re Not Receiving Notifications

Are you frustrated because your forms aren’t sending emails and they keep disappearing? It’s a big issue in the WordPress community, and can really hurt your lead generation efforts. And if you’re here because you were searching for the answer to where does WPForms send emails? We’ve got you covered.

There can be a lot of reasons behind the lack of email notifications. Here are a couple of the most common:

  • Your WordPress hosting server (even unmanaged or managed WordPress hosting) is not configured to use the PHP mail function that WordPress uses to send emails that are generated by a contact form plugin like WPForms.
  • Your email server is blocking it as spam. To reduce spam emails, your email provider often checks whether your email is originating from the location it claims to be originating from. For example, if your email server is, chances are your form notification won’t even make into the spam folder since they are sent out from a completely different server. This can cause tons of issues including WooCommerce emails being lost, Gravity Forms not sending email, or Ninja Forms not sending email.

This is why we recommend using SMTP to send emails from WordPress instead of using the default PHP mail function. SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is an industry standard way to send emails that use proper authentication methods to ensure email deliverability.

In this post, we’ll be using the free WP Mail SMTP plugin to send form notifications using a simple setup with any email account.

WPForms is the best WordPress Form Builder plugin. Get it for free!

Note: This tutorial method is less secure because it stores your email login and password in your WordPress dashboard. Other WordPress administrators have access to this. For a more secure option, we recommend using one of WP Mail SMTP’s more secure options.

How to Fix The WordPress Contact Form Not Sending Email Issue

Follow these steps to fix the WordPress contact form not sending email issue.

Step 1: Install the WP Mail SMTP Plugin

The first thing you need to do is to install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. You can see this guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for step-by-step instructions.

Step 2: Configure Your From Email

After installing and activating this plugin, go to WP Mail SMTP » Settings to configure the mail options.

adjust settings if wordpress contact form not sending email

Here, you’ll first be asked to enter your From Email. This is the email address that all of your site’s emails (and form’s email notifications) will be sent from. If you’re setting this up on your business website, you might want to enter your business email address here.

This setting works with most mailers, although there are some exceptions. If you use Zoho Mail SMTP, your emails will only be sent from your Zoho Mail address, so this setting will be grayed out in the plugin.

Note: Make sure to enter the same email address you will be using to send SMTP emails (your Yahoo, Gmail, or Live email address).

Additionally, in WPForms the same email must be used in the From Email setting for your form notifications.

We strongly recommend that you also check the box labeled Force From Email. Since the From Emails from anything on your site that sends email must match this email address in order for SMTP to work, this will save you the trouble of editing the WordPress email settings throughout your site (in all form emails, etc).

Step 3: Configure Your From Name

Next, you can change your From Name. By default, this will be set to the site name. However, you can change this to anything you’d like, like your actual name for personalization.

You can also choose to Force From Name to apply this setting to emails site-wide.


We also recommend checking the optional Return Path checkbox to Set the return-path to match the From Email. With this enabled, you’ll be emailed at that address if any messages bounce as a result of issues with the recipient’s email.


Step 4: Select Your Mailer

Next, in the Mailer field you’ll need to select the Other SMTP option.

WP Mail SMTP mailers with Other SMTP selected

If you’re having problems with WooCommerce not sending email, you might want to use a different mailer that’s more suited to transactional emails. Feel free to check out our tutorials on some of the other mailers available like Mailgun, Amazon SES, SendGrid, Gmail, or Microsoft.

The Gmail option lets you send email from any Gmail or G-Suite alias. You can also use multiple aliases to send email. Check out the guide on how to send WordPress emails from Gmail aliases to set this up.

Step 5: Configure Other SMTP Settings

After selecting Other SMTP as your mailer, a new section will appear called Other SMTP. Here, you’ll need to enter additional details to connect your site to your email provider.

Configure Other SMTP Settings

Each email provider requires slightly different SMTP configurations. In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to configure options for Gmail, Yahoo, and Live/Hotmail.

When entering your username and password for any email option, please note that this information is stored in plain text. For a more secure approach, check below the Password field for instructions on adding the password to your site’s wp-config.php file instead.

For more details check out WPBeginner’s tutorial for details on how to edit wp-config.

smtp password

Here are the SMTP settings you’ll need for the most popular email providers:

Gmail / G Suite SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your Gmail or G Suite accounts, you can use the below SMTP options.

  • Host:
  • Port: 587 (or 465 using SSL encryption)
  • Username: Your Gmail account email address (e.g. [email protected])
  • Password: Your Gmail account password
  • Encryption: TLS

Then, enter your Gmail username and password and save these settings.

Note: Please note that we recommend using the built in Gmail integration instead of this less secure Other SMTP mailer. If you use SMTP, though, don’t forget to enable less secure apps in the next step.

Hotmail / Live SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your Hotmail or Live email, you can use the below SMTP options.

  • Host:
  • Port: 587
  • Username: Your Hotmail account email (e.g. [email protected])
  • Password: Your Hotmail account password
  • Encryption: TLS

Then, enter your Live or Hotmail username and password, and click Save Changes.

Yahoo Mail SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your Yahoo email, you can use the below SMTP options.

  • Host:
  • Port: 465
  • Username: Your Yahoo Mail account email (e.g. [email protected])
  • Password: Your Yahoo Mail account password
  • Encryption: SSL

Then, enter your Yahoo username and password and click Save Changes.

Note: Please note you will need to enable less secure apps, found in the next step.

AOL SMTP Settings

If you want to send notifications using your AOL email, you can use the below SMTP options.

  • Host:
  • Port: 587
  • Username: Your AOL screen name (e.g. john)
  • Password: Your AOL account password
  • Encryption: TLS

Once these details are entered, be sure to click the Save Settings button.

Step 6: Enable Less Secure Apps

In order for SMTP to be used on your WordPress site, you may need to enable less secure apps on your email account. Below, we’ll show you how to do this in:

How to Enable Less Secure Apps in Gmail

To enable less secure apps on Gmail, log in to your Gmail or G Suite account.

Then, go to less secure apps by clicking this link. Next to Access for less secure apps select Turn on. (If you have Two Factor Authentication enabled, you will need to disable it before you can enable this option.)

less secure apps on for when wordpress contact form not sending email

Sometimes for security reasons Gmail may automatically block the sign-in used by SMTP, even with less secure apps enabled. When this happens, your recovery email address will be sent an email with a sign-in attempt warning like this:

google smtp block when wordpress contact form not sending email

To remove this block, you’ll need to click the Review Your Devices Now button (or visit your account’s Recently Used Devices page) and follow the instructions to let Google know this was a legitimate login attempt.

How to Enable Less Secure Apps in Hotmail/Live

If you’re using Live or Hotmail email, you don’t have to enable less secure apps on your account to configure SMTP on your site.

How to Enable Less Secure Apps in Yahoo

To enable less secure apps on Yahoo, log in to your Yahoo account.

Then, click here to go to account security settings.

Now scroll down to Generate app password and click on it.

yahoo account security screen for if wordpress contact form not sending email

A screen will appear to generate your password. From the dropdown, select ‘Other App’. Name it whatever you’d like, and click on the Generate button.

generate app password yahoo when wordpress contact form not sending email

Your password will be displayed on the next screen. Copy it and click done. You’ll need this to paste into the WP Mail SMTP settings area.

generate app password yahoo

You’ll see the app password generate for you.

app generated password

Once the password is generated, you can paste this password into WP Mail SMTP.

smtp password

Step 7: Send a Test Email

Once your SMTP settings have been added to WP Mail SMTP, it’s important to send a test email to ensure that everything is working right.

To send a test email, click on the Email Test tab on WP Mail SMTP’s settings page.

fixing wordpress contact form not sending email with wp mail smtp send test

On this tab, you can enter any email address that you have access to and click the Send Email button.

button to send wp mail smtp test email

After sending the email, you should see a success message.

success message smtp

If you check the inbox for the email address you just entered, you should receive the email for this test. If you’re using Yahoo email it may take about 5 – 10 minutes for it to arrive in your inbox.

wp mail test success message email fix for wordpress contact form not sending email

Be sure to also test out your form emails by submitting a couple of test submissions after completing this setup. That way, you can check that emails deliver successfully.

And don’t forget to set the From Email in your form’s notification settings to the same email you set up this SMTP with.

Final Thoughts

That’s it! You’ve successfully configured SMTP on your WordPress site. You’ll now start getting notifications from your WordPress forms.

And now that your email notifications are working properly, you might also want to check out our post on how to reduce shopping cart abandonment so you can learn more about sending abandoned cart emails and other tips.

What are you waiting for? Get started with the most powerful WordPress forms plugin today.

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  1. I have tried everything you suggested – set-up my SMTP correctly – sent the test email which worked. But I am still not receiving emails sent from my contact form which I set up using WPform Lite. The form looks great and when you send a message you get the confirmation message that the email has been sent. I’ve got an automated email message from WPforms to let me know how my form is performing. I’ve followed all the instructions on how to set-up a form and made sure the form notification in setting is correctly filled out. I’ve Elemenator to edit my website. I’ve checked with my web hosting company LCN and they said the problem is not at their end. I am lost and don’t know what the problem could be. I’m sure this is not uncommon. Please HELP!

    1. Hi Paul – I’m sorry to hear you’re running into so many issues with this (and sorry, too, for my late reply)! If the test email is working, then the good news is that your mailer is working just fine. In most cases like this, the last step is to go to WP Mail SMTP > Settings and check the “Force From Email” box.

      And if you’ve already done that, then my next recommendation would be to try a different mailer. I know that this is a frustrating solution, but it may be that something about the specific mailer just doesn’t work as well with your specific site.

      Last, please know that we’re happy to help with WP Mail SMTP questions over in our forum. Just please be sure to copy/paste your detailed message into the forum post, since that’s all useful to know.

      I hope this helps!

  2. SMTP Host:
    Encryption: SSL
    SMTP Port: 465
    Auto TLS: ON
    Authentication: ON
    SMTP Username: [details removed]
    SMTP Password: •••••••••••••••• (WP Mail SMTP app password)
    It also doesn’t work with my regular Yahoo mail password.

    It gives the error:

    There was a problem while sending the test email.
    Could not connect to the SMTP host.
    This means your web server was unable to connect to
    Typically this error is returned for one of the following reasons:

    -SMTP settings are incorrect (wrong port, security setting, incorrect host).
    -Your web server is blocking the connection.
    -Your SMTP host is rejecting the connection.

    I’ve also tried changing to TLS port 587 it gives the error:

    There was a problem while sending the test email.
    Error due to unsolicited and/or bulk e-mail.
    This means the connection to your SMTP host was made successfully, but the host rejected the email.
    Typically this error is returned when you are sending too many e-mails or e-mails that have been identified as spam.

    If I turn encryption off it just sits there “waiting…”

    It seems every time I try to set up email with WordPress, no matter what plugin I’m using, it is a serious PITA.

  3. Hi I can’t send mails and gives this error code. Please help. Thanks a lot

    WordPress: 5.4.1
    WordPress MS: No
    PHP: 7.3.6
    WP Mail SMTP: 2.0.1

    Mailer: smtp
    Constants: No
    ErrorInfo: SMTP Error: Could not authenticate.
    Port: 587
    SMTPSecure: tls
    SMTPAutoTLS: bool(true)
    SMTPAuth: bool(true)

    OpenSSL: OpenSSL 1.0.1e 11 Feb 2013
    Apache.mod_security: No
    SMTP Debug:
    2020-05-15 10:00:23 Connection: opening to, timeout=300, options=array ()

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 Connection: opened

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 SERVER -> CLIENT: 220 ESMTP 94sm3049930wrf.74 – gsmtp

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 CLIENT -> SERVER: EHLO

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 SERVER -> CLIENT: at your service, []250-SIZE 35882577250-8BITMIME250-STARTTLS250-ENHANCEDSTATUSCODES250-PIPELINING250-CHUNKING250 SMTPUTF8

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 CLIENT -> SERVER: STARTTLS

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 SERVER -> CLIENT: 220 2.0.0 Ready to start TLS

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 CLIENT -> SERVER: EHLO


    2020-05-15 10:00:23 CLIENT -> SERVER: AUTH LOGIN

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 SERVER -> CLIENT: 334 VXNlcm5hbWU6

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 CLIENT -> SERVER: Y2hhbmRyYWppdGhzQGdtYWlsLmNvbQ==

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 SERVER -> CLIENT: 334 UGFzc3dvcmQ6

    2020-05-15 10:00:23 CLIENT -> SERVER: cGh5bHVtY2hhZDE5ODY=

    2020-05-15 10:00:24 SERVER -> CLIENT: 534-5.7.14 534-5.7.14 Please log in via your web browser and then try again.534-5.7.14 Learn more at534 5.7.14 94sm3049930wrf.74 – gsmtp

    2020-05-15 10:00:24 SMTP ERROR: Password command failed: 534-5.7.14 534-5.7.14 Please log in via your web browser and then try again.534-5.7.14 Learn more at534 5.7.14 94sm3049930wrf.74 – gsmtp

    SMTP Error: Could not authenticate.

    2020-05-15 10:00:24 CLIENT -> SERVER: QUIT

    2020-05-15 10:00:24 SERVER -> CLIENT: 221 2.0.0 closing connection 94sm3049930wrf.74 – gsmtp

    2020-05-15 10:00:24 Connection: closed

    SMTP Error: Could not authenticate.

    1. Hey there! Looking at the error message, it looks like your SMTP Username and/or SMTP Password may not have been entered correctly. Please double-check them and if it does not help, I would suggest contacting the WP Mail SMTP support team.

      If you have a paid license of WP Mail SMTP, you can reach out to them here or if you are a free user, you can reach out to them here. Have a good one 🙂

  4. I am having the same problem as Paul. Everything works correctly in the email test, the form looks great, and I get the “thanks for contacting us” message that the form went through when I test it. However, the form is not reaching my email account. I have tried this from other users as well as my own and it’s the same problem. Please help! This is so frustrating!

    1. Hi Julia,

      I was having this issue also. I believe I solved it by going to the WP Contact form settings-General and untick the ‘Enable anti-spam honeypot’. It could only be due to the content in the form I was entering when testing but seemed to solve it for me.

      1. Thank you for your help, SAM. You are absolutely right. I had the same issue with Julia and you, and I fixed it by following your suggestions!

      2. Hey Shirley – Thanks for your message. If disabling the Anti Spam field fixed the issue for you, I assume your form might not have been submitting at all? Usually, that will happen when either some JS error via some plugin/theme or sometimes a few caching plugins are not allowing our Anti-Spam feature to work on your site. Keeping the Anti Spam feature enabled on your site helps to prevent spams on your site.

        Our team can help to find the exact issue on your site if you want us to troubleshoot this for you. If you have a WPForms license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket.

        Thanks 🙂

  5. I am not able to get a successful test message. When I send the test it just spins and spins, the page eventually went blank and in the top tab header (favicon) it says “nothing found.” Then eventually it went to an error 404 page? I have no idea how to fix this. I’m not getting an error page, just freezing.

    1. Hi There- I am sorry to hear that you are facing this odd issue but we’d be happy to help! When you get a chance, please drop us a line in support so we can assist.

      If you have a WP Mail SMTP license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket. That way we can discuss more details and investigate this further.

      Thanks 🙂

      1. I only have the free version because I’m afraid to pay for anything at this point if it doesn’t work.

      2. Hi Sunshine,

        Please feel welcome to ask your question in the WP Mail SMTP support forum where we provide limited complimentary support!

        I’d recommend you to take a full experience of our product, without limits. This is why we proudly offer a 14-day guarantee. All purchases are fully protected by our 100% No-Risk Double-Guarantee. This means if you give it a try, and over the first 14 days decide WP Mail SMTP isn’t a good fit, then we’ll happily refund 100% of your money. No questions asked. Please see WP Mail SMTP’s Pricing Page

        Thanks 🙂

  6. am using email redirect.its work well and receiving on forwarder mail.but in case of contact form only first contact form submission is receiving on forwarder submission not receiving on forwarder mail(no problem with ordinary emails.)

    1. Hey There – I am sorry to hear that you are facing the email delivery issue!

      Could you please troubleshoot this by referring to this troubleshooting guide? If the issue still persists, the issue is likely because the emails sent from WordPress are not authenticated (unlike emails sent from dedicated email service providers). As a result, they are likely to be filtered by the receiving mail server.

      To resolve email delivery issues like this, you can configure a SMTP plugin on your site so that emails are sent as authenticated.

      If you have a WP Mail SMTP license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket. That way we can discuss more details and investigate this further.

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Hi! I installed the extra plugin to make my form emails work but now they’re going to junk. How do I fix this?

  8. Hey! I also receive the test e-mail but i can’t receive the e-mail from my website. I guess i’ll try another e-mail plugin (i use wp mail smtpm)… what do you recommend, please?

  9. I used your plugin and designed some really complex forms just to find that I cannot fix the sending issues and used all the fixes described in so many of the comments above.

    Will have to find another plugin. It’s not fine to say buy the pro for support. the free is not delivering!!!

    1. Hi Leslie. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having some issues with your Notification Emails not sending, and I apologize for any misunderstanding. We do still provide support for users of our Lite (free) version. To request support for the Lite version, please reach out here at our support forums.

  10. Hello,
    I followed these steps. Yet it doesn’t work.
    I can normally send emails and receive.
    However WPForm submissions show no notification.

    What could be the issue please.


    1. Hi There- I am sorry to hear about the email delivery issues you are facing here! However, to further troubleshoot, please navigate to WP Mail SMTP > Settings > Click on the “Email Test” tab and run a test. Based on that you’ll be able to retrieve the error logs. Please refer to this guide

      If you have a WP Mail SMTP license, you have access to our email support, so please submit a support ticket. Otherwise, we provide limited complimentary support in the WPForms Lite support forum. Here you can share additional details of the issue and we’d be happy to help 🙂


    1. Hi Reshmi! To troubleshoot the issue, you can check that your form notification settings are correct using our tutorial.

      You also mentioned that you’re using the Other SMTP mailer option, with the SMTP configuration provided by your hosting provider. Please note that such a configuration provides no benefits to your site’s email deliverability, and you’ll need to configure one of the SMTP services with the plugin.

      We have an article with a list of recommended SMTP options and links to their setup tutorials here.
      Please sign up for an SMTP service and connect it to your SMTP plugin so that your site’s emails can be sent as authenticated.

      I hope this helps to clarify 🙂 If you have any further questions about this, please contact us if you have an active subscription. If you do not, don’t hesitate to drop us some questions in our support forums.

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