Joomla 3 Contact Form doesn’t send email – I give up!

joomlaI love finding the forum or blog posts that have titles like “Problem I Have – Solved”.  This is not like that.

I installed Joomla 3.2.3 on my web host where I’ve been running Joomla 1.5.26.  The Joomla 3 installation can send mass email, but its contact forms don’t send.  On the 1.5 install, both mass emails and contact forms send fine.

  • It can’t be the mail settings, since the mass emailer works fine.
  • It can’t be the mail program on the host, since the 1.5 install sends fine and the mass mailer on the v 3 install works.
  • It can’t be an issue with the domain of the web host vs domain of my From: address for the same reasons.
  • It could be contact form options, but I’ve tried everything I can find.
  • I’ve tried the tips from blog posts regarding copying libraries from a new install – no luck.

I finally had to admit defeat and installed the free version of the Flexi Contact extension.  I hate to give up, but installing that extension got me a working contact form in a few minutes.

35 thoughts on “Joomla 3 Contact Form doesn’t send email – I give up!

  1. insanus

    Problem solved for me, try to solve it like i do,
    go to single contact -> form tab -> and set custom reply to NO!
    after that my form works fine!

  2. CLO

    Setting Custom Reply to “NO” was the only solution that worked for me. I spent 4 hours troubleshooting, and this was the only solution. It’s little glitches like this that give Joomla a bad name.

    Thanks for your help.

  3. Winao

    Problem solved for me, try to solve it like i do,
    go to single contact -> form tab -> and set custom reply to NO!
    after that my form works fine!


    Work for me !!

  4. Fred

    I was also on my way to give up, but when I in SEO settings changed “Add suffix to URL” from yes to no, the contact form started to work!

  5. Rey

    Fix for me was going to the individual contacts and changing the check session and custom reply fields to No. They were set to Use Global, and global settings were No, but this is what fixed it for me.

    Thanks everyone for your ideas and help!

  6. lite

    none of these work, infact there is no tab like you described, ive done all the modules, all the add contact category and add contact and add the menu item and put the email address in absolutely everywhere and bla bla bla and everything else, and like others before me spent many hours trying this and that and searching online only to find everyone saying the same routine rubbish which im sure all you guys have seen and still joomla is not working, i HATE Joomla with a passion, why does it have to be so darn complicated

    is there an actual fix to actually make a contact form in joomla 3 work ? and i mean actually work, where someone can go to the “contact us” link and fill in their name and email and subject and type their message and click send and get that the message was sent thing and ACTUALLY HAVE AN EMAIL SENT to us or a member they were trying to email, even to email another member also doesnt work,

    i hate this joomla junk joke piece of rubbish
    ive spent so many days and so many hours and still nothing is working, wordpress was so much better, if only could transport the site over to wordpress.\

    can anyone help out to get this joomla thing work right ?
    if so please let us know, i”d even post it on youtube the solution to help other suffering victims of joomla

    please help please

    1. karl.kranich Post author

      Hopefully someone will read this and give you some help. I just barely got my contact form to work, and won’t be using Joomla anywhere else. I picked it for my HOA site to learn it, and my mind definitely doesn’t work the way that Joomla does.

  7. Thalia

    hi guys,
    well, I cant make contact form of my joomla site works too…
    I now use smtp settings but still the same problem..
    1st this error Could not instantiate mail function
    and then after smtp settings:
    Warning: stream_socket_enable_crypto(): SSL operation failed with code 1. OpenSSL Error messages: error:14090086:SSL routines:ssl3_get_server_certificate:certificate verify failed in C:\xampp\htdocs\\libraries\vendor\phpmailer\phpmailer\class.smtp.php on line 344

    I am so tired of this…
    it shouldnt be so difficult to make a contact form works…!
    any chance to have some help????

    1. karl.kranich Post author

      I’m sorry, but I haven’t heard of that problem. Can you ask for help from your hosting company? There’s enough information in that error message that they should be able to figure out how to get the SSL working.


  8. condor

    Thanks Insanus, that worked perfect for me.
    That option (Custom Reply) is YES by default, so you must change it to NO

  9. korby


    I did some trial and error and here’s what worked for me:

    1. CUSTOM REPLY in Component set to ‘NO’

  10. Chris

    Hello to all. I have checked all the possible solutions provided, but none of them worked, until I made a mistake:
    I was using PHP Mail.
    After the update to version 3.something the form stopped working.
    What did work was the following:
    1) Global config -> contact -> form -> custom reply and session check set to “NO”
    2) Components-> contacts -> email form (or whatever you call it)-> form tab -> custom reply and session check set to “NO”.
    From that moment on a new time has come, where Joomla became a useful tool instead of a trouble.
    Good luck and a Happy New Year to all!

  11. jsen_omorigo

    Just in case some of you are still looking. I have been struggling with this for hours today and what Insanus posted saved me for another frustrating hours. Thank you for that.

    I use SMTP service from, a very good one for a free service.

    Joomla 3.6.5
    Components > Choose the contact you use > Form > Custom Reply > set to ‘no’
    Menus > Choose your contact form menu > Mail Option > Custom Reply > set to ‘no’

    I don’t know whether the second one is necessary or not since it can be set to ‘Use Global’ but I didn’t bother to try. Read the short tips and I assume I don’t really need that function.

    Hope the one that Insanus pointed out is the solution for you.

    And thank you karl.kranich. Your post has saved me.

  12. James Pels

    Just helped me, too – most of a day scratching my head and it turns out all I needed to do was set custom reply and check session both to “no”.

    Thanks to the input from everybody here – really appreciate it.

    Karl, I hope you are getting to like Joomla a little more now – it has its moments of insanity but I do like the flexibility it gives if you’re willing to persevere… That said, there are some really great WP sites around now 🙂

  13. Benoît Evrard

    Hi there,
    I had this issue back in the same years this post was first online and was also able to fix it so thank you very much for posting this kind of threads.

    Though today, I encounter the same issue with new 3.8 version of joomla and now I have been even more than two days and nights trying to figure out that a privacy protection plugin was also blocking my web form submission!!! So I share with you in order for you guys not to make a 48 hours shift of work in two days… And they say in France we are supposed to be working only 35 hours!!!! Should I attack my boss? But wait, I’m the boss!!! Keep sticking on Joomla guys. WP is nice but even a more horrible nightmare would be at your door with it!

    Conclusion: I unpublished the plugin for EU privacy and everything works fine. Just I’m no longer respecting the RGPD but I will find another one. I will post the conflict extension name in the vulnerable extensions feed page of

  14. Wil

    I followed the processes described by other commenters (global config, forms, etc) but still had no success. I was using Gmail and had to “allow less secure apps” in order for SMTP authentication to occur. Test emails coming through! Thanks for hosting this discussion, Karl!


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