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What to do if you updated to 1.5.2/3 and your site stopped sending out emails | Forum

Alia Team
Alia Apr 23 '13
If your site stopped sending out emails, there could be several reasons.


1. Open your database and find "ow_base_mail" table. It might or might not be empty. If it is not empty, just take a screen shot of it.

 IMPORTANT: If you are going to test with activity notification, log in as the user you are going to test with>>go to "My Preferences">>email notifications>>select "Immediately" ( Otherwise you will have to wait 2 days  for the email  =) See "Testing with Activity Notifications" section of the post".

2. Send an email using either "Mass Mailing" feature or "Invite Friends" feature

3. Go to "ow_base_mail" table. Was the new row containing data about your last mailing created?

If new row appeared>>everything is ok. Follow step №4.

If new row didn't appear>>then it means that Oxwall didn't generate the email>>which is not ok>>report this issue on forum or PM  me.

4. Wait until Cron runs or run it manually. Check "ow_base_mail" ( refresh the page) again. Was the row your saw before ( row containing data of your latest mailing) removed?

If new row was removed>>then it means that system is working ok. CRON is working ok. Follow step №5.
If new row was not removed, then it means that CRON is not working or your mail is not set correctly.

-To find out what is wrong with your CRON, you will need to run it manually via SSH client. You can find instructions here: http://docs.oxwall.org/install:cron

-If you are not sure whether your mail set correctly, contact your mail server provider ( usually provided by your hosting company). Check with them whether there are any limitation on the amount of emails sent, whether you have some kind of tool to monitor/track errors related to mailing.

5. Check the email where your mailing should have come ( again, you need to make sure that under preferences this user has "Immediately" for email notifications).
If email didn't come:
a) you have specified incorrect email in admin panel>>settings>>main settings ( applied if you tested using "mass mailing" feature)
b) email went to in spam/junk box
c) your mail server is not working/blocking/restricting you from sending emails.
    Enable SMTP and try sending out emails using gmail SMTP (http://support.google.com/mail/answer/13287?hl=en). Use Outgoing Mail (SMTP)

When you are reporting your issue on forum make sure to include following info:

1. Your site URL
2. Whether you did manual or auto update
3. Whether you followed the steps listed above and where did you get stuck.

Depending on your issue you might be asked to provide:
1. admin panel access details
2. access to database
3. SSh access details
4. access to your control panel.


There are different types of emails users receive: mass mailing, email notifications, verification, welcome and etc.
When you are troubleshooting mailing issue it is important to use right type of emails to check whether, for example, CRON works or not.

Brief explanation on how mailing works bellow:

Activity Notifications  work only via CRON.
Immediately- means notifications will be sent when your Cron runs right away.
Auto- means notifications will be sent when your Cron runs, but only after 2 days are passed and if user was not loged in to your site.

Mass Mailing - runs via CRON as well.
Invite users via contact importer- runs via CRON as well.

You can always see which emails are sent by cron if you check orginal .php source code.
For example, source code of email.php ( ow_plugins/contact_importer/controllers).
The code says:   OW::getMailer()->addListToQueue($mails); .

Whenever you see addListToQueue - means CRON is involved in the process.
In all other cases emails don't need CRON to be sent: verificaiton and welcome emails, for example.

Important thing to remember is if you enable SMTP,  ALL emails will be sent when CRON runs.

For those who have installed fresh copy of 1.5.2 or 1.5.3 :

a) since your CRON is not set, you will be getting a notice in admin panel saying that you should set it up.
b) until you set your CRON and it actually runs first time, your CRON will be running every time somebody refreshes any page on your site. This is the new feature that was added in 1.5.2 version to make things easier for those who actually don't need and don't want to dig into setting CRON manually. How does this work with notifications?

Somebody comes to your site, refreshes your page>>Cron runs>>email notifications that were added to Queque will be sent>> 50 emails are sent every 10 minutes.

One day you will go to  your control panel and decide to set your CRON. Once you do that, and if everything goes well, the feature that runs CRON every time the page is refreshed will be deactivated when your newly set CRON runs. From now on,  notifications will work only according to your CRON's settings.


Information listed above recommends testing with mass mailing or invite friends, because this is the easiest way to test mailing feature, since both mass mailing and invite friends don't have additional configurations.

If you are testing whether activity notifications are coming by email or not, make sure that:

1. under My Preferences">>email notifications>>"Immediately"  is selected.
2. under My Preferences>>email notifications>> needed items are checked. So if you are going to test by sending a private message, make sure that user you are testing with have selected to receive email notifications about new private messages.
3. So UserA is all set, and has everything set correctly under "My Preferences" and you are  ready to test by sending a Private message ( or friend request, for example) to UserA from UserB.

IMPORTANT: log out as UserA from your site using "log out" link. Don't just close browser or tab.
Only when UserA has loged out, log in as UserB and send UserA a testing message or request.

If you don't log out, system will consider that UserA is still loged in for the next 30 mins.
User who just closed the browser/tab  will be loged out automatically after 30 mins, giving that CRON is running on your site.

So once again make sure to log out.  Activity notifications come by email ONLY if user was not loged in when notification was generated.

Alia Team
Alia May 10 '13
Konstantinos,  have you tested with immediate notifications?

So only those ones that were supposed to come in 2 days are not coming?

>>Is this working only when that member has actually logged out from our site

Oxwall works so that even if user has not "loged out" he will be loged out after some time automatically by Cron.

Alia Team
Alia May 15 '13
Konstantinos Karasardelis,

>>Yes, with immediate notifications enabled it works but otherwise it's not working,

This is strange. I have just finished testing on my own Oxwall installation and notifications came.
Here is what I did.
I registered new testuserA. And left notifications to be sent "automatically". I loged off.
In ow_base_user table of the database I have changed actvitystamp of this user to 4 days ago (http://www.onlineconversion.com/unix_time.htm).
I loged in as testUserB and have sent testuserA private message.
System checked that userA was online 4 days ago and have sent this user notification about private message.

You can use the same method to check your issue with activity notifications not coming after 2 days.

>>Is there a way to force immediate notifications for everyone and for new accounts?

Check  http://www.oxwall.org/forum/topic/10490
Alia Team
Alia Nov 6 '13
Rc, you should have some kind of mail server error log in your control panel or any other tool that helps you to monitor mailing issues: something like "Email Trace",   It is the first place to check at.

Secondly, enabling SMTP and using gmail for example, might help you as well. If everything starts working withe enabled SMTP then the issue is with your mail server and you will need to contact your host.