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php – Error handling with PHPMailer

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m trying to use PHPMailer for a small project, but I’m a bit confused about error handling with this software. Hoping someone has experience with it. When I’ve set up an email and I use:

$result = $mail->Send();

if(!$result) {
    // There was an error
    // Do some error handling things here
} else {
    echo "Email successful";

Which works fine, more or less. The problem is when there’s an error, PHPMailer also seems to echo the error out, so if there’s a problem, it just sends that info directly to the browser, essentially breaking any error handling I”m trying to do.

Is there a way to silence these messages? Its not throwing an exception, its just printing out the error, which in my test case is:

invalid address: @[email protected] You must provide at least one recipient email address.

Its meant to be an error, but it should be residing in $mail->ErrorInfo; not being echo’d out by the software.

How to&Answers:

PHPMAiler uses Exceptions. Try to adopt the following code:

require_once '../class.phpmailer.php';

$mail = new PHPMailer(true); //defaults to using php "mail()"; the true param means it will throw exceptions on errors, which we need to catch

try {
  $mail->AddReplyTo('[email protected]', 'First Last');
  $mail->AddAddress('[email protected]', 'John Doe');
  $mail->SetFrom('[email protected]', 'First Last');
  $mail->AddReplyTo('[email protected]', 'First Last');
  $mail->Subject = 'PHPMailer Test Subject via mail(), advanced';
  $mail->AltBody = 'To view the message, please use an HTML compatible email viewer!'; // optional - MsgHTML will create an alternate automatically
  $mail->AddAttachment('images/phpmailer.gif');      // attachment
  $mail->AddAttachment('images/phpmailer_mini.gif'); // attachment
  echo "Message Sent OK\n";
} catch (phpmailerException $e) {
  echo $e->errorMessage(); //Pretty error messages from PHPMailer
} catch (Exception $e) {
  echo $e->getMessage(); //Boring error messages from anything else!


You can get more info about the error with the method $mail->ErrorInfo. For example:

if(!$mail->send()) {
    echo 'Message could not be sent.';
    echo 'Mailer Error: ' . $mail->ErrorInfo;
} else {
    echo 'Message has been sent';

This is an alternative to the exception model that you need to active with new PHPMailer(true). But if can use exception model, use it as @Phil Rykoff answer.

This comes from the main page of PHPMailer on github https://github.com/PHPMailer/PHPMailer.


Please note!!! You must use the following format when instantiating PHPMailer!

$mail = new PHPMailer(true);

If you don’t exceptions are ignored and the only thing you’ll get is an echo from the routine! I know this is well after this was created but hopefully it will help someone.


Just had to fix this myself. The above answers don’t seem to take into account the
$mail->SMTPDebug = 0; option. It may not have been available when the question was first asked.

If you got your code from the PHPMail site, the default will be
$mail->SMTPDebug = 2; // enables SMTP debug information (for testing)


Set the value to 0 to suppress the errors and edit the ‘catch’ part of your code as explained above.


We wrote a wrapper class that captures the buffer and converts the printed output to an exception. this lets us upgrade the phpmailer file without having to remember to comment out the echo statements each time we upgrade.

The wrapper class has methods something along the lines of:

public function AddAddress($email, $name = null) {
    parent::AddAddress($email, $name);
    $error = ob_get_contents();
    if( !empty($error) ) {
        throw new Exception($error);


Even if you use exceptions, it still output errors.
You have to set $MailerDebug to False wich should look like this

$mail = new PHPMailer();
$mail->MailerDebug = false;


This one works fine

use try { as above

use Catch as above but comment out the echo lines
} catch (phpmailerException $e) { 
//echo $e->errorMessage(); //Pretty error messages from PHPMailer
} catch (Exception $e) {   
//echo $e->getMessage(); //Boring error messages from anything else!

Then add this

if ($e) {
//enter yor error message or redirect the user
} else {
//do something else 


In PHPMailer.php, there are lines as below:

echo $e->getMessage()

Just comment these lines and you will be good to go.


$mail = new PHPMailer();

$mail->From     = $from;
$mail->Subject  = $subject; 
$mail->Body     = $body;

    echo 'Email Successfully Sent!';
    echo 'Email Sending Failed!';

the simplest way to handle email sending successful or failed…