PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Get help with installation and running phpBB 3.2.x here. Please do not post bug reports, feature requests, or extension related questions here.
User avatar
geohei
Registered User
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 1:21 pm

PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by geohei » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:23 am

Hi.

Using 3.2.2.

I have setup my ...
General > Email settings > SMTP settings
... properly.
Send a test email works. I get the email!

However when sending a PM to a user, he doesn't get an email notification.
If I send myself a PM, I also don't get it.

Isn't sending an email notification in case of a PM in the inbox standard (always activated)?

Or is there an option I might miss?

Thanks,
Cu, geohei

User avatar
Mick
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 20237
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Cardiff

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by Mick » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:27 am

This may well be to do with the SMTP setup on the host side, do you necessarily NEED to use SMTP?
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics.

User avatar
geohei
Registered User
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 1:21 pm

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by geohei » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:39 am

My hoster is Dreamhost.
Yes, I need SMTP.

However ... how is it possible that the Send a test email feature works, but sending an email notification triggered by a new PM doesn't work? The mechanisms behind should be identical, right?

Does Send a test email use the setup in ...
General > Email settings > SMTP settings
...?

I don't use the phpBB3 local mail function (server) setup. I use my own ISP's settings (which his MX server accepts). If I use the phpBB3 local email function, it also doesn't work.
Cu, geohei

User avatar
Mick
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 20237
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Cardiff

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by Mick » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:44 am

If you're certain the SMTP settings you're using are 100% correct then I'd be inclined to speak to the SMTP host. They should be able to see the incoming and outgoing mails and what's happening to them. I assume the test email uses whatever you have set up.
  • Do you use a free email address/service such as Gmail or Outlook for your contact details?
  • What happens if you use PHP sendmail?
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics.

User avatar
geohei
Registered User
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 1:21 pm

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by geohei » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:32 am

Some more tests ...

sendmail (from the server phpBB3 is installed upon) to the address which doesn't work for PM notification ... works!

I have test account on phpBB3, which has Gmail as email contact. Sending emails from phpBB3 works (from my normal and test phpBB3 account to all users).

PM email notifications don't get out. Neither from normal, nor test account. Neither with phoBB3 local mail function, nor with user defined SMTP settings!

It really looks like phpBB3 doesn't send emails only for PM notifications.

I also checked ...
Allow users to send you private messages:
Note that administrators and moderators will always be able to send you messages.
... is activated for all Users (UCP > Board preferences)!

Can you confirm this?
Does Send a test email (ACP) use the setup in ...
General > Email settings > SMTP settings
...?
Does Send email to <user> (Profile of <user>) use the setup in ...
General > Email settings > SMTP settings
...?

Running out of ideas ...
Cu, geohei

User avatar
Mick
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 20237
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Cardiff

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by Mick » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:10 pm

Try this:
  1. Go to your hosting account and create an email address supplied by your domain like me@mydomain for example.
    • Don't use admin@mydomain, info@mydomain, noreply@mydomain or any of the more common ones you see, use yourname@mydomain or mydomain@mydomain etc, be inventive.
  2. Go to ACP> General> Client communication> Email settings.
  3. Make sure SMTP is turned off (Use SMTP server for email: Yes/No)
  4. Replace the existing email address in [Contact email address] and [From email address] with the new one you created from your domain.
  5. Click submit.
  6. Test your emails.
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics.

User avatar
Lumpy Burgertushie
Registered User
Posts: 65192
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 3:11 am
Contact:

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm

also make sure that whatever user you are using to send the email from has the notification settings to get an email when they get a PM.

robert
I am available for custom work on a donation basis. Please send me a PM with your needs.

Premium phpBB 3.2 Styles by PlanetStyles.net

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

User avatar
geohei
Registered User
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 1:21 pm

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by geohei » Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:38 pm

Mick wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:10 pm
Try this:
...
Ok, so basically you are trying to tell me that the following addresses are the source of the problem?
[Contact email address]
[From email address]

I created a new email address <veryweird@mydomain.com> and used it as Contact and From as described.
This worked!

After that, I reverted back to the initial address which didn't work.
Now, that one worked as well all of a sudden ... ?!

Do you have any explanation for this?
Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:57 pm
also make sure that whatever user you are using to send the email from has the notification settings to get an email when they get a PM.
So you mean, the user who sends the PM, but enable an option on his UCP that the receiver gets an email in // to the sent PM?

Is that what you mean?
Cu, geohei

User avatar
Lumpy Burgertushie
Registered User
Posts: 65192
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 3:11 am
Contact:

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by Lumpy Burgertushie » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:08 pm

what I mean is that before you can get an email for a pm you have to set your notifications to yes for email for PM.

that applies to every user. if you are sending a PM to your test user then that test user has to set their notifications to get a email when they get a pm.
otherwise the board will not even send an email to notify that user that they have a PM.
since your board seems to be having no problem sending other emails, that means that your email settings are correct and the server is doing what it is supposed to do.

robert
I am available for custom work on a donation basis. Please send me a PM with your needs.

Premium phpBB 3.2 Styles by PlanetStyles.net

OK, so what's the speed of dark?

User avatar
EA117
Registered User
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:23 am
Contact:

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by EA117 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:16 pm

geohei wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:23 am
If I send myself a PM, I also don't get it.
In my experience, this is normal, if you mean "myself" literally. i.e. There is no email notification and no on-board notification if you send a PM from your account to literally your own account. You need a test account to send the PM to a second account in order to have notification options triggered.
geohei wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:23 am
Isn't sending an email notification in case of a PM in the inbox standard (always activated)?
No, you need to verify that the on-board notification and the email notification are both enabled for the user you are sending to. Meaning the "Someone sends you a private message" in the "Edit notification options" section of the "Board Preferences" tab in the UCP. For example, email was not already enabled by default for PM notification in my account here on phpBB.com, even though email notification was enabled for threads I was subscribed to.


The idea that email notification for PM simply isn't turned on seems like a much more likely explanation for why "specifically PM notifications emails aren't being sent" when the board email otherwise works. But just for what it's worth, a spam filter that GoDaddy.com's hosting service was using had black-listed the subject line "New private message has arrived" due to prior use in spam emails, and was the reason I saw a symptom of "board email works, but PM notifications by email do not work."

You can send your own test email with that exact specific subject line to test this / rule this out. If you need to solve it, changing the /language/en/email/privmsg_notify.txt template to have "Subject: {SITENAME} - New private message has arrived" so that the inclusion of {SITENAME} makes the subject line unique to your site was one way to solve this particular cause.

User avatar
Mick
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 20237
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Cardiff

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by Mick » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:52 pm

geohei wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:38 pm
the following addresses are the source of the problem?
The email addresses appear to be the culprit.
geohei wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:38 pm
After that, I reverted back to the initial address which didn't work.
Now, that one worked as well all of a sudden ... ?!

Do you have any explanation for this?
None whatever personally, but it's something I'd like to know too.

I had interesting results as well once I figured out the addresses were the issue.
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics.

User avatar
david63
Jr. Extension Validator
Posts: 14916
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2002 8:08 am
Location: Lancashire, UK
Name: David Wood
Contact:

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by david63 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:20 pm

geohei wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:38 pm
Do you have any explanation for this?
One possibility is that a mail server somewhere in the chain is treating the email as spam and discarding it.
David
Remember: You only know what you know and - you don't know what you don't know!
My CDB Contributions | How to install an extension
I will not be accepting translations for any of my extensions in Github - please post any translations in the appropriate topic.
No support requests via PM or email as they will be ignored

User avatar
EA117
Registered User
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:23 am
Contact:

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by EA117 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:41 pm

geohei wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:38 pm
After that, I reverted back to the initial address which didn't work.
Now, that one worked as well all of a sudden ... ?!

Do you have any explanation for this?
Do you mean you also reverted back to using SMTP settings, too? Or you just reverted back to the original email address that was in use with SMTP, but you're still having phpBB send mail using non-SMTP / the PHP mail() function now?

If you reverted back to SMTP settings in addition to reverting back to the email address that had been working with SMTP settings (for everything but PM notification), the explanation that comes to mind for me is "It's successful because you now have PM notification by email enabled in the PM recipient's UCP."

i.e. The "now even my original settings are successful too" outcome is because the failure wasn't due to the phpBB email configuration, but instead was due to the UCP notification configuration and/or now testing the sending of a PM "between two different accounts" instead of "to myself."

Not saying it's the right explanation 😃 just another one to consider that might potentially fit the outcome.

User avatar
geohei
Registered User
Posts: 163
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2003 1:21 pm

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by geohei » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:03 pm

Lumpy Burgertushie wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:08 pm
what I mean is that before you can get an email for a pm you have to set your notifications to yes for email for PM.
...
Yes, every test user has this setting enabled.
EA117 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:16 pm
... There is no email notification and no on-board notification if you send a PM from your account to literally your own account. You need a test account to send the PM to a second account in order to have notification options triggered.
Yes, that's what I did. Sorry ... could have mentioned that in my OP.
EA117 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:16 pm
No, you need to verify that the on-board notification and the email notification are both enabled for the user you are sending to. Meaning the ...
All settings in preferences (mine, and the test users) are checked and were properly set.
Thanks for the hint with the Subject line!
Mick wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:52 pm
None whatever personally, but it's something I'd like to know too.
I did further tests with the old (initial) email address in both fields. Seems to work now.
I was not aware that sending emails from a web server would be so tricky.
EA117 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:41 pm
Do you mean you also reverted back to using SMTP settings, too? Or you just reverted back to the original email address that was in use with SMTP, but you're still having phpBB send mail using non-SMTP / the PHP mail() function now?
Sorry for the confusion. What I meant was that I reverted back to the initial email addresses in both fields. I keep on using the PHP mail() function!

Ok, but for what I figured out yesterday ... 90% of the emails (for PM notifications) arrived. Some didn't, even to the same user (= same email address). So sending a PM to a specific user worked (he received an email) and 1 hour later, same thing, but the same user didn't receive an email. I believe that spam filtering mechanisms are heavily involved here. Like that, I can live with it. I will test further during the next days.

Last question. Why was it suggested to leave the SMTP settings disabled? What's bad about using this setup to send emails?
Cu, geohei

User avatar
Mick
Support Team Member
Support Team Member
Posts: 20237
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2008 9:49 am
Location: Cardiff

Re: PM doesn't send notificaion email to user.

Post by Mick » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:02 am

geohei wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:03 pm
Last question. Why was it suggested to leave the SMTP settings disabled?
I wasn't suggesting you should stop using SMTP, I was suspicious of what was causing you not being able to use sendmail.
geohei wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:39 am
If I use the phpBB3 local email function, it also doesn't work
I've seen the same symptoms several times before, hence I said:
Mick wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:10 pm
Try this
Which fixed your problem with sendmail. If you want to go back to SMTP or experiment you can thats fine, at least you have sendmail working in case you can't get SMTP to work. I was in the middle of writing a KB article on this very same thing and your issue hit the nail on the head ;)

The problem with SMTP as I see it is you don't really know what's going on under the hood, you have the settings your host gives you and if it works it works. Mine worked for eleven years or so then stopped and nobody at my host could say definitively why so I went back to sendmail with a domain email address and all was good.

For reference: Knowledge Base - EMAIL - Easy setup (NOT SMTP)

If you do try going back to SMTP I'd be interested to know how that goes.
EA117 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:41 pm
Do you mean you also reverted back to using SMTP settings
I tried reverting to my (correct) SMTP settings but it still doesn't work, so no miraculous fix for that :cry:
"The more connected we get the more alone we become" - Kyle Broflovski

There are no ‘threads’ in phpBB, they are topics.

Post Reply

Return to “[3.2.x] Support Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Blitze, kholman, Tom84, Toxyy and 26 guests