Troubleshooting Email Notifications


This article provides common email notification errors and their solutions.

Email Notification Troubleshooting

Error or SymptomSolution

A specific user is not receiving email notifications.

The notification preferences might be set to Disable instead of Enable. Check the notification preferences.

  1. Click Self Service > My Profile.
  2. Verify that the Notification field is set to Enable.

Closing a new incident does not generate an Incident Opened notification.

The Incident Opened email notification has a condition of [active] [is] [true]. This means that it is sent out only if the new incident is active. When a user clicks the Close Incident button to submit a new incident, the incident is considered inactive and the notification does not go out. You can create a custom email notification to cover this use case if needed.

Notification fails with the error SMTPSender: no recipients, email send ignored.

This error occurs when an email notification is generated but has no valid recipients based on its notification definition. For instance, an email that would be sent to the assigned_to user from an incident cannot be sent because the incident is not assigned to anyone. Review who receives the email notification and make sure it contains at least one valid user.

Some users receive email notifications but other users do not.

There are two possible reasons why users may not receive email notifications.

  • The user chose not to receive email notifications. There is a flag in the user record that specifies the notification method. Go to the user record (User Administration > Users) and open the record for the user who is not getting email. If the Notification field is set to Disable, the system does not send email to that user. Change the setting to Enable to restore email notifications. Note that changing choice list values can cause all notifications to fail. Do not modify these choice values.
  • The user is the event creator. By default, ServiceNow does not send an email to the person who caused the email action. For example, if you assign an incident to yourself, the system does not notify you that the incident has been assigned to you. If you are testing the system, you might want an email delivered to check your configuration. This default behavior can be changed so that the event creator does receive email notifications. Select System Policy > Email > Email Notifications and open up the notification of interest. Select the check box for Send to event creator and add yourself to the list of notified users to ensure that you receive notifications.