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I get an email notifying me of every new user registration on my site and now that it gets hundreds or thousands of new users a day, it's getting a little out of hand.

It seems like it'd be a Wordpress setting to disable it, but I can't seem to find anything. Do I really need a plugin to do this?

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No plugins are necessary. This is a wordpress.com article, but it applies to all newer versions of wordpress. en.support.wordpress.com/enable-disable-comments – Stephen Sep 15 '12 at 11:07
so basically the answer is yes, you do need a plugin? – David Barratt Jul 11 '15 at 19:32
up vote 1 down vote accepted

One plugin, among several: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/disable-new-user-email-notifications/

You can grab the function out of it and use it directy in functions.php

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There are several ways to prevent user notification for new registered users and user password changes.

One would be to change the pluggable functions "wp_new_user_notification()" and "wp_password_change_notification()". A different way would be to post the following code in functions.php.

It uses the "phpmailer_init" hook to test, if the subject of the mail is the one sent by "wp_new_user_notification" and "wp_password_change_notification". If the condition is met then the $phpmailer object is newly initialized. That means it is empty and cannot be sent since phpmailer class checks if there is at least a single recipient.

// prevent admin notification email for new registered users or user password changes
function conditional_mail_stop() {
    global $phpmailer;
    $blogname = wp_specialchars_decode(get_option('blogname'), ENT_QUOTES);
    $subject = array(
        sprintf(__('[%s] New User Registration'), $blogname),
        sprintf(__('[%s] Password Lost/Changed'), $blogname)
    if ( in_array( $phpmailer->Subject, $subject ) )
        // empty $phpmailer class -> email cannot be send
        $phpmailer = new PHPMailer( true );
add_action( 'phpmailer_init', 'conditional_mail_stop' );
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