The emailComponent is a way for you to add simple email sending functionality to your CakePHP application. Using the same concepts of layouts and view ctp files to send formated messages as text, html or both. It supports sending via the built in mail functions of PHP, via smtp server or a debug mode where it writes the message out to a session flash message. It supports file attachments and does some basic header injection checking/ filtering for you. There is a lot that it doesn’t do for you but it will get you started.

Class Attributes and Variables

These are the values that you can set before you call EmailComponent::send()


Address the message is going to (string). Separate the addresses with a comma if you want to send the email to more than one recipient.


array of addresses to cc the message to


array of addresses to bcc (blind carbon copy) the message to


reply to address (string)


Return mail address that will be used in case of any errors(string) (for mail-daemon/errors)


from address (string)


subject for the message (string)


The email element to use for the message (located in app/views/elements/email/html/ and app/views/elements/email/text/)


The layout used for the email (located in app/views/layouts/email/html/ and app/views/layouts/email/text/)


Length at which lines should be wrapped. Defaults to 70. (integer)


how do you want message sent string values of text, html or both


array of files to send (absolute and relative paths)


how to send the message (mail, smtp [would require smtpOptions set below] and debug)


associative array of options for smtp mailer (port, host, timeout, username, password, client)

There are some other things that can be set but you should refer to the api documentation for more information

Sending Multiple Emails in a loop

If you wish to send multiple emails using a loop, you’ll need to reset the email fields using the reset method of the Email component. You’ll need to reset before setting the email properties again.


Debugging Emails

If you do not want to actually send an email and instead want to test out the functionality, you can use the following delivery option:

$this->Email->delivery = 'debug';

In order to view those debugging information you need to create an extra line in your view or layout file (e.g. underneath your normal flash message in /layouts/default.ctp):

<?php echo $this->Session->flash(); ?>
<?php echo $this->Session->flash('email'); ?>

Sending a basic message

To send a message without using a template, simply pass the body of the message as a string (or an array of lines) to the send() method. For example:

$this->Email->from    = 'Somebody <>';
$this->Email->to      = 'Somebody Else <>';
$this->Email->subject = 'Test';
$this->Email->send('Hello message body!');

Setting up the Layouts

To use both text and html mailing message you need to create layout files for them, just like in setting up your default layouts for the display of your views in a browser, you need to set up default layouts for your email messages. In the app/views/layouts/ directory you need to set up (at a minimum) the following structure


These are the files that hold the layout templates for your default messages. Some example content is below


<?php echo $content_for_layout; ?>


<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
        <?php echo $content_for_layout; ?>

Setup an email element for the message body

In the app/views/elements/email/ directory you need to set up folders for text and html unless you plan to just send one or the other. In each of these folders you need to create templates for both types of messages referring to the content that you send to the view either by using $this->set() or using the $contents parameter of the send() method. Some simple examples are shown below. For this example we will call the templates simple_message.ctp


Dear <?php echo $User['User']['first']. ' ' . $User['User']['last'] ?>,
  Thank you for your interest.


<p>Dear <?php echo $User['User']['first']. ' ' . $User['User']['last'] ?>,<br />
&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Thank you for your interest.</p>

The $content parameter for the send() method is sent to any templates as $content.

Controller code for using Email component

In your controller you need to add the component to your $components array or add a $components array to your controller like:

var $components = array('Email');

In this example we will set up a private method to handle sending the email messages to a user identified by an $id. In our controller (let’s use the User controller in this example)

function _sendNewUserMail($id) {
    $User = $this->User->read(null,$id);
    $this->Email->to = $User['User']['email'];
    $this->Email->bcc = array('');
    $this->Email->subject = 'Welcome to our really cool thing';
    $this->Email->replyTo = '';
    $this->Email->from = 'Cool Web App <>';
    $this->Email->template = 'simple_message'; // note no '.ctp'
    //Send as 'html', 'text' or 'both' (default is 'text')
    $this->Email->sendAs = 'both'; // because we like to send pretty mail
    //Set view variables as normal
    $this->set('User', $User);
    //Do not pass any args to send()

You have sent a message, you could call this from another method like

$this->_sendNewUserMail( $this->User->id );


Here’s how you can send file attachments along with your message. You set an array containing the paths to the files to attach to the attachments property of the component.

$this->Email->attachments = array(
    TMP . 'foo.doc',
    'bar.doc' => TMP . 'some-temp-name'

The first file foo.doc will be attached with the same filename. For the second file we specify an alias bar.doc will be be used for attaching instead of its actual filename some-temp-name

Sending A Message Using SMTP

To send an email using an SMTP server, the steps are similar to sending a basic message. Set the delivery method to smtp and assign any options to the Email object’s smtpOptions property. You may also retrieve SMTP errors generated during the session by reading the smtpError property of the component.

/* SMTP Options */
$this->Email->smtpOptions = array(
     'host' => 'your.smtp.server',
     'client' => 'smtp_helo_hostname'

 /* Set delivery method */
 $this->Email->delivery = 'smtp';

 /* Do not pass any args to send() */

 /* Check for SMTP errors. */
 $this->set('smtp_errors', $this->Email->smtpError);

If your SMTP server requires authentication, be sure to specify the username and password parameters for smtpOptions as shown in the example.

If you don’t know what an SMTP HELO is, then you most likely will not need to set the client parameter for the smtpOptions. This is only needed for compatibility with SMTP servers which do not fully respect RFC 821 (SMTP HELO).

Here are example options for using Gmail’s SMTP server.

/* SMTP Options */
$this->Email->smtpOptions = array(
     'host' => 'ssl://',