Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.8. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Incoming mail configuration.

Incoming mail configuration

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New feature
in Moodle 2.8!

If incoming mail processing is enabled, users are able to reply to forum posts via email and send files to their private files as email attachments. The two relevant settings can be found in Site administration>Server>Incoming mail configuration.


Mail settings

General configuration

The checkbox 'Enable incoming mail processing' (messageinbound_enabled) MUST be ticked for this feature to work.


Mailbox configuration

It is important to have a dedicated email address here. Don't use one you normally use for your personal emails. You do not need to add the @ sign. If you have set up the email mountorangeschool @ then it would be entered as in the following screenshot:


Incoming mail server settings

As an example, if you are using gmail you would use in the Incoming mail server (messageinbound_host) field. (If using gmail you also need to make sure that you've enabled IMAP for yor gmail account - see )

Note1: The SMTP server hosting the mailbox you've configured above must support plus addressing i.e. any email sent to is still delivered to

Note2 : The username and password here must relate to the settings you entered earlier in Mailbox configuration. So if your address was mountorangeschool @ and your username is mountorangeschool, then enter your username in this section along with the password you use to get into this email account.

Note 3: You may also need to make sure that your host does not block outbound connections to the IMAP ports (some do by default).

Note 4: If using gmail, you may find that IMAP does not work with Google's higher security setting. If IMAP is not working with gmail, check out

Message handlers

Accessed from Site administration>Server>Incoming mail configuration>Message handlers, this page allows you to turn on or off the following settings. Note that you must first have completed the fields in Site administration>Server>Incoming mail configuration>Mail settings.

Email to Private files

  • If you enable this, then users will be able to send attachments via email directly to their private files. See Private files for details of how the feature works.
  • Each user will be provided with an address in their Private files to which they send the email and attached files. You can set the default expiry period for this address here.
  • Checking the 'Validate sender address' box will mean that if an email is sent to a user's private files from a different account from that registered with user in Moodle, then Moodle will check first before allowing the file to be stored in the user's Private files.

Invalid recipient handler

If a valid message is received but the sender cannot be authenticated, the message is stored on the email server and the user is contacted using the email address in their user profile. The user is given the chance to reply to confirm the authenticity of the original message.This handler processes those replies.

It is not possible to disable sender verification of this handler because the user may reply from an incorrect email address if their email client configuration is incorrect.

Reply to forum posts

  • If you enable this, then users will be able to reply to forum posts directly from their email inbox. See the section on 'Reply to posts via email' in Using Forum for details of how the feature works.
  • You must set Site administration>Plugins>Message outputs>Email to 'Always send email from the No reply address'; otherwise users will see the email of the forum poster instead.
  • Each user will be provided with reply-to address when they click to reply to a forum post via email. You can set the default expiry period for this address here.

See also