Oddly enough, I just started using Mailcatcher during my daily development work. I say oddly enough because I spent most of my time at my previous job working with email services and sending massive amounts of email. I actually used smtp4dev back then, but I’m no longer on Windows and never sought out an alternative.

What Mailcatcher does is intercept all emails sent from your application and allow you to inspect them in a nice web interface without ever having actually sent anything to an external mail server. It’s pure genius and if your application is sending emails you should be using it!


  • No more flooding your personal/work inbox with emails.
  • Never accidentally send an email to someone you wished you hadn’t from your development environment(this happens far more often than I’d like to admit).
  • Dead simple setup(especially for Rails).
  • No setup of an external mail server or email provider for development and local testing.

If you’re curious on how to get started with Mailcatcher, the project website provides dead simple steps to get going(blatantly copied below!).

  1. gem install mailcatcher
  2. mailcatcher
  3. Go to http://localhost:1080/
  4. Send mail through smtp://localhost:1025

If your using Rails add this to your environments/development.rb

config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :smtp
config.action_mailer.smtp_settings = { :address => "localhost", :port => 1025 }