788e4cc Nov 15, 2017
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Upgrading from PHPMailer 5.2 to 6.0

PHPMailer 6.0 is a major update, breaking backward compatibility.

If you're in doubt about how you should be using PHPMailer 6, take a look at the examples as they have all been updated to work in a PHPMailer 6.0 style.

PHP Version

PHPMailer 6.0 requires PHP 5.5 or later, and is fully compatible with PHP 7.0. PHPMailer 5.2 supported PHP 5.0 and upwards, so if you need to run on a legacy PHP version, see the PHPMailer 5.2-stable branch on Github.

Loading PHPMailer

The single biggest change will be in the way that you load PHPMailer. In earlier versions you may have done this:

require 'PHPMailerAutoload.php';


require 'class.phpmailer.php';
require 'class.smtp.php';

We recommend that you load PHPMailer via composer, using its standard autoloader, which you probably won't need to load if you're using it already, but in case you're not, you will need to do this instead:

require 'vendor/autoload.php';

If you're not using composer, you can still load the classes manually, depending on what you're using:

require 'src/PHPMailer.php';
require 'src/SMTP.php';
require 'src/Exception.php';


PHPMailer 6 uses a namespace of PHPMailer\PHPMailer, because it's the PHPMailer project within the PHPMailer organisation. You must import (with a use statement) classes you're using explicitly into your own namespace, or reference them absolutely in the global namespace - all the examples do this. This means the fully-qualified name of the main PHPMailer class is PHPMailer\PHPMailer\PHPMailer, which is a bit of a mouthful, but there's no harm in it! If you are using other PHPMailer classes explicitly (such as SMTP or Exception), you will need to import them into your namespace too.

For example you might create an instance like this:

namespace MyProject;
use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\PHPMailer;
require 'vendor/autoload.php';
$mail = new PHPMailer;

or alternatively, using a fully qualified name:

namespace MyProject;
require 'vendor/autoload.php';
$mail = new PHPMailer\PHPMailer\PHPMailer;

Note that use statements apply only to the file they appear in (they are local aliases), so if an included file contains use statements, it will not import the namespaced classes into the file you're including from.

Namespaced exceptions

PHPMailer now uses its own namespaced Exception class, so if you were previously catching exceptions of type phpmailerException (or subclasses of that), you will need to update them to use the PHPMailer namespace, and make any existing Exception references use the global namespace, i.e. \Exception. If your original code was:

try {
} catch (phpmailerException $e) {
    echo $e->errorMessage();
} catch (Exception $e) {
    echo $e->getMessage();

Convert it to:

use PHPMailer\PHPMailer\Exception;
try {
} catch (Exception $e) {
    echo $e->errorMessage();
} catch (\Exception $e) {
    echo $e->getMessage();

OAuth2 Support

The OAuth2 implementation has been completely redesigned using the OAuth2 packages from the League of of extraordinary packages, providing support for many more OAuth services, and you'll need to update your code if you were using OAuth in 5.2. See the examples and documentation in the PHPMailer wiki.


Additional classes previously bundled in the Extras folder (such as htmlfilter and EasyPeasyICS) have been removed - use equivalent packages from instead.

Other upgrade changes

See the changelog for full details.

  • File structure simplified, classes live in the src/ folder
  • Most statically called functions now use the static keyword instead of self, so it's possible to override static internal functions in subclasses, for example validateAddress()
  • Complete RFC standardisation on CRLF (\r\n) line breaks by default:
    • PHPMailer::$LE still exists, but all uses of it are changed to static::$LE for easier overriding. It may be changed to \n automatically when sending via mail() on UNIX-like OSs
    • PHPMailer::CRLF line ending constant removed
    • The length of the line break is no longer used in line length calculations
    • Similar changes to line break handling in SMTP and POP3 classes
  • All elements previously marked as deprecated have been removed:
    • PHPMailer->Version
    • PHPMailer->ReturnPath
    • PHPMailer->PluginDir
    • PHPMailer->encodeQPphp()
    • SMTP->CRLF
    • SMTP->Version
    • POP3->CRLF
    • POP3->Version
  • NTLM authentication has been removed - it never worked anyway!
    • PHPMailer->Workstation
    • PHPMailer->Realm
  • SMTP::authenticate method signature changed
  • parseAddresses() is now static
  • validateAddress() is now called statically from parseAddresses()
  • idnSupported() is now static and is called statically from punyencodeAddress()
  • PHPMailer->SingleToArray is now protected