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How to Send Email in WordPress using the Gmail SMTP Server

Are you having trouble sending emails from your WordPress site?

One easy way to solve this is by sending WordPress emails using the Gmail SMTP server.

In this article, we will show you how to send emails from your WordPress site using the Gmail SMTP server.

Using Gmail SMTP server in WordPress

Why and When You Need Gmail SMTP Server for WordPress Emails

Your WordPress site sends emails to notify you of new user registration, lost password reset, automatic updates, and even notifications from your contact forms.

By default, WordPress uses the PHP mail function to send out email notifications. However, this function doesn’t work as expected due to a number of reasons.

Most WordPress hosting companies restrict usage of this function to prevent abuse and spam.

Spam filters on popular email service providers check incoming emails to monitor if they are sent from authentic mail servers. Default WordPress emails fail this check and sometimes may not even make it to the spam folder.

SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) is the industry standard for sending emails. Unlike the PHP mail function, SMTP uses proper authentication, which increases email deliverability.

Gmail provides SMTP service that you can use to send out emails from your WordPress site. If you just want to send WordPress notification emails to yourself and few users on your site, then Gmail SMTP servers are the best option.

However, if you are planning on sending newsletter emails using WordPress, then you should use a mass emailing service provider, like Sendinblue or Mailgun.

Free vs Paid Gmail SMTP Service for WordPress

You can use your free Gmail account to send out WordPress emails. However, for better deliverability, we recommend using paid G Suite.

With G Suite, you get your own professional branded email address such as (name@yoursite.com).

G Suite requires you to add MX records to your domain name which means that your emails will appear to be coming from your own domain name boosting authenticity and ensuring better deliverability.

We use G Suite for WPBeginner and can honestly say it’s the best.

How to Send Email using Google SMTP Video Tutorial

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If you prefer written instructions, then please continue reading.

How to Send WordPress Emails Using Gmail SMTP Server

If you decided to use G Suite, then you first need to set up your domain to work with Google Apps. We have a step by step tutorial on how to set up a professional email address with G Suite.

The rest of the instructions are the same whether you are using a paid or free Gmail account.

First thing you need to do is install and activate the WP Mail SMTP plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

WP Mail SMTP is the best WordPress SMTP plugin on the market. It allows you to easily use any SMTP server to send WordPress emails with higher deliverability.

We recommend buying the paid version called WP Mail SMTP Pro which gives you access to premium support, more mailers, and white-glove set up by one of their experts.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure the plugin settings.

WP Mail SMTP Settings

First, you need to make sure that you use your Gmail email address in the ‘From Email’ field. Next, you need to provide the sender’s name.

WP Mail SMTP plugin offers two ways to connect your WordPress site to the Gmail servers.

The first method uses OAuth Authentication. This is a more secure method to send emails using Gmail servers.

The second method is by entering Gmail SMTP settings manually. This method is not recommended because it is less secure.

That being said, let’s set up WordPress to use Gmail SMTP for sending emails.

Method 1: Setting up Gmail to Send WordPress Emails using OAuth Protocol

This method is recommended for all users. It is more secure and once you set it up, you’ll never have to do that again.

You need to start by selecting Gmail as your mailer and set the return path to be the same as sender.

Select Gmail and set return path

Next, you will see the option to enter your Client ID, Client Secret, and a URL in ‘Authorized redirect URI’ field.

Let’s set up these fields.

Creating an App and Generate API Keys for Gmail

Visit the Google Developers Console website and create a new project.

Create a new Google Developer Console project

If you don’t see the blue button to create a project, then you can also click on select a project drop-down and create a new project.

You’ll be asked to provide a name for your project. Give it a memorable name, so that you can easily recognize it in the future.

Name your project

After that, click on the create button to continue.

Developer console will now create your project and take you to its dashboard. Google offer developers access to many of their APIs and services. You need to enable the APIs that you will be needing for this project.

Enable APIs

Click on Enable APIs and services button to continue.

This will bring you to the APIs library page. Next, you need to type Gmail in the search box to quickly find the Gmail API and click to select it.

Select Gmail API

You will now see an overview of the API and what it can do. Simply click on the ‘Enable’ button to continue.

Enale Gmail API

Now that your API is enabled, the next step is to create credentials that you can use in your WP Mail SMTP plugin settings.

Click on the create credentials button to continue.

Create credentials

On the next screen, you will need to select ‘Web browser JavaScript’ in ‘Where you’ll be calling the API from’ field. After that click on the ‘User Data’ option.

API credentials step 1

To continue, click on the ‘What credentials do I need?’ button.

You will now be asked to provide a name for your OAuth client name. You can enter ‘WP Mail SMTP’ here.

API Credentials step 2

Under JavaScript origins field, you need to add your website’s domain name. Next, you need to copy and paste the authorized redirect URL from WP Mail SMTP plugin settings.

After that, click on the ‘Create client ID’ button to continue.

Next, you need to enter a name for OAuth consent screen. You can put the plugin’s name here.

Ouath consent screen

After entering the details, click on the continue button and the developer console will show your client ID. You can copy and paste this in the WP Mail SMTP plugin’s settings page. However, you will still need to add your client secret key.

Getting your client ID

Go ahead and click on the Done button to move on.

You will now be taken to your project’s credentials page. On this page, you can see your recently created credentials listed here. You need to click on the edit icon next to your credentials to continue.

Edit credentials

This will bring you to the edit credentials page where you will be able to see your client secret key. You need to copy and paste the key in your plugin’s settings page.

Client secret key

Return back to plugin’s settings page in your WordPress admin area. Now that you have both client ID and client secret keys, you need to click on the save settings button to continue.

Save client credentials in plugin settings

The plugin will now store your settings and reload the page. After that, you need to scroll down to the bottom of the settings page and click on the ‘Allow plugin to send emails using your Google account’ button.

Allow plugin to send emails

This will take you to your account on Google, and you will be asked to give the website permission to send emails on your behalf.

Allow Gmail

Click on the Allow button to give permissions.

After that, you will be redirected back to your website where you will see a success message.

Connected successfully

Method 2: Setting up Gmail SMTP as SMTP Sender

This method allows you to manually connect to Gmail’s SMTP servers to send your WordPress emails.

First, you need to visit Settings » WP Mail SMTP page to configure the plugin settings.

You need to start by providing the Gmail address you want to use in the ‘From Email’ field, and your name in the From ‘Name’ field.

Gmail SMTP

Next, you need to select ‘Other SMTP’ as your mailer and check the box next to return path.

After that, scroll down to the Other SMTP section to configure more settings.

Gmail SMTP settings for WP Mail SMTP plugin

Here is the exact configuration you need to add in the plugin settings:

  • SMTP Host: smtp.gmail.com
  • SMTP Port: 465
  • Encryption: Use SSL encryption
  • Authentication: Turn on authentication
  • Username: Your complete Gmail address, e.g. john.smith@yourdomain.com or john.smith@gmail.com
  • Password: Password of your Gmail account

Once you are done, click on the save changes button to store your settings.

That’s all, you have successfully set up WP Mail SMTP to use Gmail SMTP servers.

Note: If you use method two, please know that it’s less secure because your password is stored in text. You can enhance this by using the constants tip, but we strongly recommend using Method 1.

Testing Your WP Mail SMTP Settings

WP Mail SMTP plugin allows you to test your email settings, so you can make sure that everything is working properly.

You need to visit Settings » WP Mail SMTP page and click on the ‘Email Test’ tab. Simply provide an email address that you can access in the send to field and click on the send email button.

Send test email

You will see a success message. You can now check your inbox to see a message with the subject line ‘WP Mail SMTP: Test Email to…’.

That’s all, you have successfully setup your WordPress site to send emails using Gmail SMTP servers.

Get More With WP Mail SMTP Pro

If you want even more functionality, you should try WP Mail SMTP Pro.

With the Pro version of the plugin, you can connect with:

  • G Suite/Gmail
  • Amazon SES
  • Mailgun
  • Office 365 / Outlook.com
  • SendGrid
  • And more

You also get additional features like email logs, ability to fine-tune / control which notification your WordPress site sends, and more.

Troubleshooting Gmail SMTP Not Working Issues

We have seen users encounter few issues when using Gmail SMTP with certain shared hosting configurations.

Take the following steps to fix the Gmail SMTP issue:

  1. Log in to your cPanel account and create an email account that matches your Google apps email address. This might seem strange because you’re not using your server for emails. This step basically tricks your server into believing that you’re sending the email through the server.
  2. In your cPanel account, go to the MX Records and change the MX routing from automatic to remote. It might be a little tricky to find since each host now has a custom cPanel interface. You need to look for a small link next to MX that says Email Routing: Remote Mail Exchanger.
  3. After that log back into your WordPress site and send a test email.

We hope this article helped you learn how to send email in WordPress using the Gmail SMTP server. You may also want to see our list of the best contact form plugins for WordPress, and our comparison of the best email marketing services for small business.

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Reader Interactions

131 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. After completing all the steps it re-directed me to my WordPress site but it went to a page that said not found to there was no success msg so I can’t test as it still says unauthorized.

  2. I want to send newsletters/mail to my website subscribers. I want to send mail to my website subscribers from my gsuite business mail address. Can you suggest to me that what I have to do now?

  3. Hi

    When setting up Oauth consent screen, Internal and External options are present. Only external option is available to Gmail users. Is this the correct one to choose?

    Thanks!

    • It sounds like that would be correct, for questions about the plugin we would recommend reaching out to the plugin’s support for assistance

      Admin

  4. No where can I find where to set the email “to field” please could you explain how to set this field?

    • You would want to check with the settings for your form plugin for setting the to location

      Admin

  5. Hi,

    My emails are automatically deleting, i’ve not set any filters or any other things. What might be the issue?

    • You would want to reach out to who you are using for your emails to ensure there isn’t an issue on thier end.

      Admin

  6. I followed the steps to set up the email and it works, but how do I send emails to my email list now?

  7. With this I get the 2000 limit in a 24 hour period as it uses only 1 email address. Is there a way to use this as the smtp relay that allows 10,000 emails to send per 24 hour period. Or any way to add in multiple emails to send from?

  8. I just used this for my site and it worked. Seriously this was a life saver. I had spent several hours troubleshooting and the video solved the whole problem in like 5 minutes. Thanks.

  9. How can I send emails configured with WP MAIL SMTP (I use gmail) customized with the site’s domain? I need to differentiate emails depending on the type of email my site sends.

    • It would depend on what plugin/tools you are using to send the emails as WP Mail SMTP is for changing how WordPress sends the emails not for users sending emails.

      Admin

  10. Just wanted to say THANK YOU! I was totally struggling to get my contact form to send emails correctly until I came across your post. I used the first method and it worked like a charm. However there was a step (probably recently introduced) where I had to set up a consent form? Took me to a different screen not featured in the video, but was relatively straight forward. Thanks again!

  11. First method (configuring inside GCloud) seemed too long to me.
    So adapted the 2nd method (don’t agree with you that 2nd method is more difficult). 2nd method has just 3-4 steps.

    But it didn’t work. SMTP couldn’t authenticate me. Although my ID/pW is fully correct.

    • If you reach out to the plugin’s support with your specifics they should be able to help you find the problem :)

      Admin

  12. Thanks again for the awesome tutorial, the forms work fine now! I have a question: I’d like to change the From Name in the plugin settings, but it’s impossible. I’ve tried to reintstall the plugin, all my settings were still saved tho. Is there any way I could change the From Name of the email now?

    • You would want to reach out to the plugin’s support for how to set that up but for the moment, if you set it to the default method it should allow you to change those settings.

      Admin

  13. Hello there,

    I’m really tired with this issue of CF7 not able to send mails to gmail from my site. It seems everyone has this issue.

    I followed your instructions to the letter and got to the point I’m supposed to allow plugin to send emails using my google account, an error appears telling me of a URI mismatch. What’s that? I copied and pasted the uri as you said. What did I do wrong. Please help me, have not been sleeping because of this.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Afam,

      You may not have saved the redirect URI when creating the app, follow the steps again and make sure that you copy the exact URL from plugin’s settings page to enter in your app.

      Admin

  14. Hello,

    I have followed the instructions you provided, than you! I got all the way to the “allow plugin to send emails….” for gmail and when i click on that button it gives me the message that the app hasn’t been verified.
    I have tried multiple fixes but it is still isn’t working.

    I am using bluehost and WP mail stmp.

    Any suggestions?
    Thank you

  15. Don’t work for me. I’m using Google Cloud and Cloudflare and when i try to send a test email give me a error:

    “Could not authenticate your SMTP account.”

  16. My client use g suite for email, I have created WordPress page website with contact form 7 plugin. I have analyzed contact form was not sending email from website to Gmail.

    Therefore, I have used ‘WP Mail SMTP’ plugin and create gmail API, Now email is working.

    But I am facing one issue, when submit contact us form email receive in gmail but all email recived from title is ‘me’.

    Therefore, every time show like I have to send email to myself.

    I want in email ‘Sender name’ appear at from.

    Please help me.

  17. i think the key is create a same name account in bluehost within email , so as to trick host , the problem is the email will be taken as spam .

  18. hi.. i have tried to send mail using wp-mail-smtp on wordpress BY gmail as per tutorial..

    when i try to OAUTH 2 in gmail on wordpress,, it shows error.
    —————————

    Not Acceptable!
    An appropriate representation of the requested resource could not be found on this server. This error was generated by Mod_Security.
    —————————–

    i have contacted hosting hostgator support.. Mod_security settings cant be whitelisted, as it may will leave the website vulnerable.

    please advise how to send mails

  19. Thank you for the thorough instructions! This site has saved me so many times. I really appreciate the great content!

  20. thanks a lot for this tutorial . i have this problem for an week and the issue has solved with this tutorial.

  21. Hello,
    I setup an email address to send the emails and it worked.
    But I need to change the email account.

    I already tried the Method 2, but it doesn’t work on my server.

    I already unnistalled and re-install the plugin but all the data are stored.

    Can anybody help me?

  22. is this tutor works with free gmail account?
    thanks for great tutorial you make..
    i search anything about wp and your site in top of google..just wow

  23. I just went through this and got the following message after trying to send a test email:

    Connection: opening to smtp.gmail.com:587, timeout=300, options=array ()
    Connection: Failed to connect to server. Error number 2. “Error notice: stream_socket_client(): unable to connect to smtp.gmail.com:587 (Network is unreachable)
    SMTP ERROR: Failed to connect to server: Network is unreachable (101)
    SMTP connect() failed.

  24. Hi please help me when i click on grant permission button it show me that error.

    400. That’s an error.

    Error: invalid_scope

    You don’t have permission to access some scopes. Your project is trying to access scopes that need to go through the verification process. {invalid = [https://mail.google.com/]} If you need to use one of these scopes, submit a verification request.

    Learn more

    Request Details
    client_id=940707600009-5f3lstctsc081s72c27h4hhmf5212a7p.apps.googleusercontent.com

    That’s all we know.

  25. I got . . .

    Fatal error: Cannot redeclare class phpmailerException in /home/content/04/11965204/html/sofp/wp-includes/class-phpmailer.php on line 4040

    I can’t seem to get this fixed no matter what solve I try. There doesn’t appear to be a contact form in our future :-(

    Google Search didn’t help with this error code. I can’t imagine that I’m the first one to get it . . .

  26. I loved how helpful this was, unfortunately I still can’t make the “grant access” button appear! Any idea why that would happen? Googling isn’t working.
    Thank you!

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