If your organization deployed a Nextcloud server, you’re probably already enjoying the out of the box features (file syncing, sharing, etc.), but did you know that you can add email to extend the functionality of the server? This process is incredibly simple and brings Nextcloud closer to being a one-stop shop for your small business.

There is one caveat: Nextcloud doesn’t have a built-in email server; instead, Nextcloud connects to your current email server. In order to do this, you will need the following information from your email provider:

  • Encryption type: None, SSL, or TLS
  • The From address to be used for outgoing Nextcloud email
  • If authentication is required
  • Authentication method: None, Login, Plain, or NT LAN Manager
  • The email server’s IP address (or fully-qualified domain name)
  • Login credentials

You will also need a working Nextcloud server that’s up and running. With all of that at the ready, let’s connect your Nextcloud server to your email provider.

SEE: Internet and Email usage policy (Tech Pro Research)

Adding the Mail app

The first thing you must do is log into your Nextcloud server with admin credentials. Once you’re logged in, click the Files drop-down (Figure A) and click the + button above Apps.

Figure A

In the new window, click Productivity (from the left navigation), and scroll down until you see the Mail entry. Click the Enable button (associated with Mail) and, once the app has finished enabling, click the Files drop-down again. This time you will see the Mail entry–click on it and then, when prompted, enter the details for the email account you want to add (Figure B).

Figure B

This service does an amazing job of auto-configuring your email account. Although if it misses the mark, you can click the Manual Configuration drop-down and manually enter your mail server’s information (Figure C).

Figure C

You can now read your email from within Nextcloud. You can even add multiple email accounts by clicking the gear icon from within the Mail main page and then clicking Add Mail Account (Figure D).

Figure D

Sending notifications

With Nexcloud, you can also set up the sending of internal (Nextcloud) notifications via email (such as password resets).

Out of the box, the Nextcloud email tool defaults to using PHP for the sending of such notifications, which works great. Without configuration, however, there is no From address configured. You have two choices: You can configure a From address and stick with PHP, or you can switch to using SMTP (which is recommended by the developers). Here’s how to do either option.

  1. Log into your Nextcloud server as an admin user.
  2. Click the User drop-down in the upper right corner.
  3. Click Admin.
  4. From the left navigation, click Email Server.
  5. If you want to stick with PHP, enter your from address.
  6. Click Send Mail to test the delivery.
  7. If you want to switch to SMTP, select it from the Send Mode drop-down.
  8. Fill out the necessary information (Figure E).
  9. Click Send Email.

Figure E

If you get an error about setting your user email, do the following.

  1. Click the User drop-down (upper right corner).
  2. Click Personal.
  3. Enter an email address in the Email section.
  4. Hit Enter on your keyboard.

You should get a notification that the address was saved. At this point, you can go back and change the notification sending service.

A quality email interface

I was quite surprised by how much I like the Nextcloud email interface. I’m not usually one for webmail, but the developers have done a great job adding the email functionality to their platform.

Get this service included in your Nextcloud server, and see if your end users prefer it over their usual solution.