Could Not Instantiate Errors


You see the following error:

Could not instantiate mail function


This error occurs when you have selected PHP Mail as your Mail Provider setting. It indicates that the mail server rejected the system’s attempt to send mail.

The PHP Mail function uses the server’s mail() function, which is not always reliable. It also doesn’t generate a friendly error.


Choose another Mail Provider in the Mail tab at Configuration () > System Settings > General Settings. These other methods are also usually more reliable when sending emails.

The Mail Providers setting in General Settings

You could also try the following alternative server-side configuration changes that might resolve PHP mail() issues:

  • Install a local mail server (for example, Postfix).
  • Ensure that your sendmail_path points at the sendmail binary (usually /usr/sbin/sendmail) in your php.ini file.

On Ubuntu or Debian® servers, you may have multiple .ini files in /etc/php5/mods-available or other locations.

Last modified: June 14, 2024