Avoiding Accidental Email Sends with alwaysTo()

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February 16th, 2022

Avoiding Accidental Email Sends with alwaysTo()

There's an (as of yet) undocumented way in Laravel to prevent it from sending emails to any old address.

Why is this useful? Well, some of us aren't perfect 😅. Sometimes we accidentally send thousands of emails to real customers from our staging environment or even in our tests.

There are lots of ways to avoid this, but Laravel has a nice, easy method out of the box!

1# File app/Providers/AppServiceProvider.php
2 
3use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Mail;
4use Illuminate\Support\ServiceProvider;
5 
6class AppServiceProvider extends ServiceProvider
7{
8 // Stuff omitted
9 
10 public function boot()
11 {
12 f (! app()->environment('production')) {
13 Mail::alwaysTo('foo@example.org');
14 }
15 }
16}

What's Happening with alwaysTo?

The handy alwaysTo() method will over-ride all addresses added in the to, cc, and bcc within an email message.

This is done within the Illuminate\Mail\Mailer class (see here). Note the code comment:

1// If a global "to" address has been set, we will set that address on the mail
2// message. This is primarily useful during local development in which each
3// message should be delivered into a single mail address for inspection.
4if (isset($this->to['address'])) {
5 $this->setGlobalToAndRemoveCcAndBcc($message);
6}

So, in our code up above, we tell Laravel to only send emails to foo@example.org if we are NOT in the production environment!

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Chris Fidao

Teaching coding and servers at CloudCasts and Servers for Hackers. Co-founder of Chipper CI.