4 Ways to Automate Sending Emails from Microsoft Access

Manually sending a single email from an email client is easy. Automating email sending, by contrast, is deceptively hard.

4 Ways to Automate Sending Emails from Microsoft Access


Philipp Stiefel covers all the basics of using the DoCmd.SendObject method to send emails from within Microsoft Access.  Here's the "simple example" from Philipp's article:

DoCmd.SendObject acSendNoObject, , , _
    "someone@somewhere.invalid; someone.else@elsewhere.invalid", , , _
	"Email without attachment", "This is the email body.", True

The article goes on to discuss attaching Access objects, such as forms and reports, to the email.

Access & Email

Outlook Automation

The most common approach to sending email that I've used personally is Outlook automation.  This has one major drawback, though: the user must have a copy of Outlook installed.  In many corporate environments, this is a safe assumption to make.

One thing that you may run afoul of, though, is the Outlook Object Model Guard. You'll know this is a problem if you (or your users) see either of the following warnings:

These warnings used to make Outlook automation a terrible user experience without extensive workarounds or third-party tools (such as vbMAPI).  It seems Microsoft may have addressed that with a more forgiving approach beginning with Outlook 2007.  According to this article, those warnings are hidden if the following conditions are met:

  • Windows Vista or later
  • Antivirus software in "Good" health status
  • Default Outlook security settings

Though I've never used it–and it may be less necessary in light of the above changes–Wayne Phillips (of twinBASIC and vbWatchdog fame) offers a code library that avoids the warnings shown above.  The library also includes several samples that cover common email tasks, like:

  • Sending reports from Access
  • Embedding images
  • Resolving recipients
vbMAPI - Outlook Security Evader for Visual Basic
A fantastic new solution to the Outlook Security Warnings. Use Extended MAPI directly from any VBA, VB6 or VB.NET forms application.


What if you can't guarantee that your end user will have any email client installed?  One option is to use the Microsoft CDO library.  Once again, Philipp Stiefel provides a thorough explanation of how this is done.  Philipp recently updated his article on July 9, 2021 (he originally published it on November 15, 2015).

This solution also runs from any VBA environment, not just Access.

Sending Emails from Access with VBA and CDO
An extensive article describing how to send emails from within an Access application with VBA and the CDO Library.

Total Access Emailer

While I've never used it, I would be remiss to write an article about automating emails from Microsoft Access without mentioning the Email Add-in program from FMS.

Microsoft Access Email Add-in program emails messages with PDF reports from your MS Access Databases, HTML and text
Send personalized email merging data and attaching PDF reports directly from your Microsoft Access database with Total Access Emailer from FMS

One thing that has always turned me off from the FMS offerings is that each license is tied to a specific version of Microsoft Access.

One Final Thought

I strongly recommend against using any of these solutions to run large-scale email campaigns (think 10,000+ subscriber newsletters).  It is far too easy to run afoul of anti-spam laws or accidentally get your email server blacklisted by trying to roll your own version of mailgun.

External references

DoCmd.SendObject method (Access)
Security Behavior of the Outlook Object Model
Mailgun Technologies
Powerful Transactional Email APIs that enable you to send, receive, and track emails, built with developers in mind. Learn more today!

Image by Muhammad Ribkhan from Pixabay

All original code samples by Mike Wolfe are licensed under CC BY 4.0