I sent out a mass e-mail using CiviMail and a recipient who has the "Do not email" privacy setting received it. The help text associated with the "do not email" privacy setting makes it clear that they would receive registration confirmations and contribution receipts, but NOT receive CiviMail emails.

The only thing I can think of is that it might be because I added their "Do not email" setting AFTER I created the mass mailing but before the mailing was sent out. However, I thought that CiviMail adjusted the mail recipients list according to whoever was included in the recipient groups at the time the mail should go out.


  1. Does anyone know when CiviMail creates the sending list of recipients for a mass mailing? Is it at the time the mail is created, or at the time the mail is sent out? i.e. if I generate a mail that should be sent to group X, then I remove a user from group X, then the mail goes out...will that user get the mail?

  2. Can anyone confirm that the "Do not email" privacy setting means that this person SHOULD NOT receive any further mass emails?

I have tested by adding this user to a group and then creating a test mass email. They were not in the list of recipients. But I am paranoid because I do not understand why they received the one that they did.

Thank you

EDIT: I have sent out several more mailings, and the people marked as "Do not email" are now not getting emailed. CiviCRM is specifically flagging that they will not be emailed. So, in conclusion, CiviMail must create the recipient list at the time that the e-mail is scheduled, not at the time it is sent.

1 Answer 1


Your analysis is correct, the list of recipients is build when the email is scheduled, not when it's sent

In practice, it shouldn't differ too much, but they are some edge case, like possibly your "Do not email" contacts that might have changed between the time you scheduled the email and it was sent

Depending on what logging configuration you have, you might have more info and find out the timeline: check on the "log" tab to see when the contacts have been modified and by whom (they are some changes that aren't properly logged, but you might find the information you need to understand these cases)

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