SharePoint Alert Notifications Not Working – Checklist for Troubleshooting

Before proceeding with the checklist, analyze and isolate the issue:

  • Whether E-mail Infrastructure is working on your environment
  • Whether in all SharePoint web applications alerts are not working? SharePoint alerts not working for one site?
  • SharePoint alerts not working after upgrade or migration 
  • Alerts not working after restore or Service pack?
  • Alerts not working all the time? or Stopped working Recently?
  • SharePoint alerts not being sent to All the user? or some users? or distribution groups, ad group members?
  • Whether SharePoint alerts not working for document library? list alerts not working? calendar alerts not working ? or everywhere?
  • Only SharePoint daily alerts not working? etc. 

This will help you to troubleshoot the SharePoint email alerts not working issue, quickly.

Here is the checklist for troubleshooting:

1. Check alerts are enabled for your web application:
How to check? Execute this stsadm in your SharePoint Server: Stsadm.exe -o getproperty -url https://SharePoint-web-App-URL -pn alerts-enabled

This should return <Property Exist=”Yes” Value=”yes” />

If you don’t get this, Enable alerts by: stsadm.exe -o setproperty -pn alerts-enabled -pv “true” -url https://SharePoint-web-App-URL

If its already enabled, try to turn off and turn on it back.

2. Is your SharePoint Server configured for Out-going E-Mail settings?
Go to Central Administration > Operations > Click on Outgoing e-mail settings Link under Topology and Services, Make sure you have valid settings for these fields. Usually you have to provide your Exchange server’s HUB or any valid SMTP server’s address.

SharePoint Alert Notifications Not Working

3. Is your Exchange server allows SharePoint to Send Mails? 
In Exchange Server, If anonymous Relay settings is not enabled, then you must add your WFE/App Servers to the Exchange Server allowed hosts relay list! Make sure your ALL Sharepoint WFE’s IPs are added in allowed Relays or Receive connectors in Exchange Server. If you use multiple domains, add all of them.
Watch the  ‘DROP’ folder in the mailroot of the SMTP server.

4. If you are using SMTP Server for E-mail communication, Make sure SharePoint Servers are allowed to Send Mails and Port 25 is open.Go to SMTP Virtual Server Properties >> Setting >> Access TAB >> Select “All except the list below”

5. Verify the Timer Jobs & Properties:

  • MOSS 2007: Central Administration > Operations > Timer Job Definitions (under Global Configuration)
  • In SharePoint 2010: Central Administration > Monitoring > Review Job Definitions

Check whether the “Immediate Alerts” job is enabled for your web application. check these properties:

  1. job-immediate-alerts
  2. job-daily-alerts 
  3. job-weekly-alerts

stsadm.exe -o getproperty -url “https://Your-SharePoint-web-App-URL” -pn job-immediate-alerts

The expected output is: <Property Exist=”Yes” Value=”every 5 minutes between 0 and 59″/>.  

If you don’t get this, run the following command to change its value.

stsadm.exe -o setproperty -pn job-immediate-alerts -pv “every 2 minutes between 0 and 59″ -url https://Your-SharePoint-web-App-URL
More info:

6. Whether the user account subscribed for alerts has E-mail account associated? In one of my cases, the user has two accounts, One normal account and another one for Administrative purposes. He logged in with the Admin account, created alerts, and then complained that he didn’t receive alerts! LOL

7. Try these Resets: Do stsadm -o execadmsvcjobs. Do restart SharePoint Timer services and IISReset. Is it happening only to a particular user? Try to remove/re-add them.

8. Check the Permissions:
The initial alert is not security trimmed. Whether the user has access to the list or not, He will receive the initial alert. If the user is not getting alert for any changes, then check whether the user has at-least Read permission on the list/library.

If item level permission and Read Access to Only their own items is enabled, Alerts won’t work!

9. Re-register the alert template: Try re-registering the alert template: stsadm -o updatealerttemplates -url https://Your-SharePoint-Web-App-URL -f  “c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\XML\alerttemplates.xml” -LCID 1033

More info:

10. Check your Alternate access mapping
Is your Site URL’s/AAM entries changed recently? Check the below tables in your content databases, and verify you dont have any old URL in “SiteUrl” column  in these tables, if you find, replace them.

  • ImmedSubscriptions (Stores the alerts for emails that are sent immediately when changes occur)
  • SchedSubscriptions (Stores daily or weekly scheduled alerts)
  • EventLog (This table contains events for which only non-immediate alerts exist)
  • EventCache (This table contains a list of site events for which users have requested alerts. WSS inserts events into this table as they occur)

setting up in the Alternate Access Mappings in Central Admin will correct this issue.

11. Clear the SharePoint configuration cache

12. Migrated or Changed the Site URLs?
Are you migrated from existing versions of SharePoint/ Changed your SharePoint Site URLs? You have to update your alerts. Have you performed some database restored in your environment from a different server? Follow my article to fix the alerts: Fix Alerts in SharePoint Migration

13. Export-Import, Backup/Restore:
If you conclude alerts are not working for a entire sub-site but works well with another sub-site, then take the export of the sub-site, delete it, restore it again.14. Is your SharePoint Up-to-Date?

Make sure your SharePoint is updated with latest service packs/patches.

15. Want to send SharePoint alert to distribution list? SharePoint alert email to distribution list not working?
Make sure your group is E-mail enabled and has at-least read-only permission on the site/list where you are creating alerts. It must be Security group and not distribution list. SharePoint can recognize one users and security groups. So, you can create a Mail for the security group.

Go to distribution group properties and un-check “Require that all senders are authenticated” or create a outgoing connector in Exchange, so that exchange server authenticate SharePoint

Same applies, When you send E-mail from SPD Workflow (or any other workflow). Make sure that the group has at least read permission to the site and the group can be viewed by “everyone”.

16. Changes to the user profiles happened wont affect immediately. sync it back.

17. Make sure your timer job account has dbo access to SharePoint content databases.

18. If your Task assignment mails are not delivered, toggle the value for “Send e-mail when ownership is assigned”.

19. Task Assigned notification e-mail: If the user synchronized the tasks list with Outlook 2007 the e-mail will not be sent, and he will receive the notification in his task pane

20. Content database: Try Re-Attaching the content database (stsadm -o deletecontentdb and addcontentdb)

Alternates: you can simply design a SharePoint designer workflow to send E-mails. Or you can have an event receiver to do the same!

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two-decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. He has held various positions including SharePoint Architect, Administrator, Developer and consultant, has helped many organizations to implement and optimize SharePoint solutions. Known for his deep technical expertise, He's passionate about sharing the knowledge and insights to help others, through the real-world articles!

24 thoughts on “SharePoint Alert Notifications Not Working – Checklist for Troubleshooting

  • Ran into this and opened a ticket with Microsoft, just got it resolved with this.
    SharePoint 2019 – new farm March 2022 CU.
    We couldn’t get emails to work. We could Telnet email, and could PowerShell emails. However Alert-Me – didn’t work; SharePoint 2010 / 2013 emails didn’t work. We then ran this and checked, it said that Outbound Email was using SSL – yes – HOWEVER it should NOT be enabled. So we then set it to False and checked and emails all worked in alerts and in SP2010 and SP2013 workflows!

    PS C:\Users\Service.spfarm> $webapp=get-spwebapplication “https://DNSName-notServerName”
    PS C:\Users\Service.spfarm> $webapp.OutboundMailEnableSSL
    PS C:\Users\Service.spfarm> $webapp.OutboundMailEnableSSL =$false
    PS C:\Users\Service.spsfarm> $webapp.update()
    PS C:\Users\Service.spfarm> $webapp.OutboundMailEnableSSL
    PS C:\Users\Service.spfarm>

    Run these to use the DNS name of your farm https://SharePointFarmNameHere (NOT the FQDN or NETBIOS name of your server – SPFarm2019-0) (NO!)

    $webapp=get-spwebapplication “https://DNSName-notServerName”

    That will tell you TRUE or FALSE.

    To change it to false (to change it to true, change $false to $true)

    $webapp.OutboundMailEnableSsl =$false

    Then update it:

    Then check the value, hopefully (IF YOU WANT IT TO BE FALSE) it should be T or F.

  • I solved my problem with this command :

    Get-SPServer -Identity “”
    $ts = $server.ServiceInstances | ? { $_.GetType().Name -like “*sptimerservice*” } | Select -First 1
    $ts.AllowContentDatabaseJobs = $true
    $ts.AllowServiceJobs = $true

    Restart the TimerService or the server 🙂

  • i have sample workflow in sharepoint 2010 for sending mail but the workflow display finished but when i go in is not working in sharepoint log i every time receive
    event id 6858 An error occurred while talking to SMTP host dri-edk.dri.local.
    #160003: Error reading from SMTP host ‘dri-edk.dri.local’.

  • Hello,

    Users are receiving an email when alert created but when any change to an item in calendar users are not receiving an email. If user has full control permission then he is receiving but if user has contribute/editor permission then he is not receiving.

    Could you please help.

    Thanks in Advance.

  • I had an issue where emails were not being sent to the Assigned To user in a custom Task list. I isolated the issue just to that task list, a new task list in the same subsite was sending emails successfully. I then compared the Content Types associated to the list, the working list’s Assigned To field had the Summary Task Content Type attached, but the custom task list’s Assigned To field was NOT associated with the Summary Task CT. I added Summary Task to the list and a new Assigned To field became available (associated to Summary Task). Populating the new Assigned To field with the username then sent emails successfully again.

  • hi, in my case, i am able to receive email from workflow email and configuration email when i set up the alert me, but i am not able to receive the alert email from all of my site. do you know the problem for this ?
    thank you

    • I am having the same exact problem!!! Really frustrating.

    • I am having the same problem. SharePoint 2010. I set up an alert. I immediately get an email saying I have successfully set up an alert for any changes. Go to the site make changes…nothing. Anyone have any ideas? Note that when I go to the site and click on the the Alert me ribbon, I can choose manage my alerts but the ‘Set an Alert on this item” is grayed out and says currently disable….Help. running in circles now

  • Step # 12: link to your article please.

  • We are having an issue with emails not sending out after a user is added to a SharePoint group and having the checkbox marked in SharePoint 2013 (on premise). We verified that immediate alerts are occurring for users set on a list, library, or page.

    Any ideas? Thanks Collin

  • Hello and thanks to publish all theses informations.
    I have a question for you, we noticed that a user not connected for a long time stop receiving alert defined in sharepoint list, is there a way to eliminate this issue. because when user are back from vacation they missed lot of alert. I had a doubt with a wss token expiration but it seems it’s only applied with web claim authentication, we are using windows authentication.
    Thanks in advance

  • I have a user with the following problem.
    He created a list with some test name, added items to it and set up user alerts.
    He then changed the NAME of list and now this is happening:
    The assigned user gets an email with the new name of list in the mail header BUT the other users that are alerted about the list actions get the old list name.


  • I have a SharePoint 2010 Calendar that sometimes sends alerts on recurring appointments but the appointment was never changed. Always the same persons appointments but differenter people supposedly modified. I have versioning on so i can check with the users – no changes made.

  • i’m trying with configuration of sharepoint 2010 that he send alerts over email and sms. my configuration over email is ok, but i cannot configure sharepoint 2010 that send alert over sms. i set local sms gateway oziki with guide when i configure a workstation that send sms over outlook 2010, it’s ok, but when i configure sharepoint 2010 with parameters that i typed in outlook 2010, my sharepoint send email alert instead sms alert. when i choose in option alert me sms, again he send email alert. i tested in central administratiton console on test button of configure mobile account- account is valid. i dont want what i do?

    ps: when i typed command stsadm.exe -o getproperty -url -pn alerts-enabled i received

    then i type command
    C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14BIN>stsadm.exe -o setproperty -pn alerts-enabled -pv “true” -url

    Operation completed successfully.

    and when i check with Stsadm.exe -o getproperty -url -pn alerts-enabled again i receive

    in event viewer i don’t receive nothing specific.
    tested sms on sharepoint over web sms services like redoxygen but again it’s same. problem is with sharepoint.i checked sharepoint logs but i cannot find nothing.maybe i need to register alerttemplate_sms.xml with stsadm command?

  • You stated above: “If item level permission and Read Access to Only their own items is enabled, Alerts wont work!”

    Could you please clarify? All permissions are correctly set. The Alert option is available in the ribbon, but when the user tries to set an alert, the access denied window appears.
    All other parameters are ok… on the Admin side.

    • “If item level permission and Read Access to Only their own items is enabled, Alerts wont work” – SharePoint doesn’t allow us to create alerts when the List permission is set to “Read access to only their own Items”. So the alternate is: SPD workflow to send Alert E-mail!

  • Also check the number of alerts someone already has set. I had a user with 500 alerts set and could not set any more. The application was trying but couldn’t and I had not error. Turns out I had to up the default number from 500 to a number high enough to handle her list.

  • #1 solved my issue, Thanks!

    • We have the same problem . Time is also running but alerts are not going in SP2013

  • In my case alerts didn’t start as timer was not working.
    It was enough to stop and start the Windows SharePoint Services Timer.
    Hope this helps.

    • I had the exact same issue, Alert Creation message was delivered, but no actual email alerts. The Windows Server “SharePoint 2010 Timer” Service was the culprit, as it had stopped, even though it was set to Automatic. Simply restarting this service resolved the issue.

  • Salaudeen,

    My problem is that the users are sometimes alerted and sometimes they are not alerted. One user may get the immediate alert from one list. if there is another change in that same list 10 minutes later, the same user may not get the alert from the same list at all. In order to isolate the issue, we are running immediates alerts on one specifc server on that specific content database. I have verified that all the immediate alert jobs are running with success from sharepoint ca monitoring. I am running out of ideas. Any help/ideas is truly appreciated

    • Hello Hakan,

      Since there is no issue with Timer jobs, I would suggest you to try the Resets listed above!


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