Since WordPress 5.2 there is an automated E-Mail on PHP exceptions. In some smaller projects I just upload the files for new extensions while developing - whenever an error occurs then, the site admin is getting an email. This is usually one of my freelance customers and they unecessarily panic then.

Therefore I would like to turn of this email notifications (without changing the admin email). Is there some kind of action/filter, config option (e.g. define) to disable this behaviour? Some true/false option would be the best? Then I can disable this just for the times I develop.

  • Do you only want to disable the email notification? If not, setting WP_DISABLE_FATAL_ERROR_HANDLER should deactivate the whole thing
    – kero
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 15:56
  • @kero It would be better to only disable the email notification. I do not know exactly what the error handler does, therefore I am not sure if it is a good idea to disable it completely.
    – Blackbam
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 16:01
  • Well with define( 'WP_DEBUG', true ); define( 'WP_DEBUG_LOG', true ); define( 'WP_DEBUG_DISPLAY', true ); define('WP_DISABLE_FATAL_ERROR_HANDLER',true); you can still see and log the errors, but not mail them
    – Fanky
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


There was some discussion on it a few weeks ago you can find here: https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/04/16/fatal-error-recovery-mode-in-5-2/

According to that and looking through the core, you can accomplish that with one of two methods:

define('RECOVERY_MODE_EMAIL', '[email protected]');


add_filter( 'recovery_mode_email', 'recovery_email_update', 10, 2 );
  function recovery_email_update( $email, $url ) {
    $email['to'] = '[email protected]';
    return $email;

Hope that helps!!

  • 1
    Is the aim of this to change the email? How is it connected with disabling? Do you mean to set it to a non-existent email?
    – Fanky
    Commented Aug 8, 2021 at 14:00

I have thoroughly tested the above suggestions and neither of them work.

The only thing I have found that DOES work is adding the following to "wp-config.php":


  • Worked perfectly
    – Gavin
    Commented Oct 1, 2020 at 15:23
  • What does this do besides disabling the e-mail? Commented Nov 3, 2021 at 9:11
  • 1
    @JānisElmeris As most of the defines in Wordpress it seems do only this one thing: The only place where it gets checked is in wp_is_fatal_error_handler_enabled. see developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/… Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 11:00
  • OK, thanks! You wouldn't tell by the name though. It may potentially do something else in the future, as it's a "fatal error handler", but I would like to disable the e-mailing only. Commented Feb 10, 2022 at 13:26

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