Email for testing (test email accounts)

Use dummy test email accounts to test email end-to-end.

test email account

If you are QA, you will come across the need to have lots of testing email accounts. You should use test email accounts to simulate the mass emails that you are going to send out through an application.

Otherwise, it is not possible to detect issues before you deploy the system in production. Instead of creating dummy email addresses manually, you should think about using a random email generator. It will help you to get all the dummy email addresses that you want for testing purposes within a short period of time.

How do dummy emails work?

Dummy emails are temporary email addresses, which you can get for a short period of time. There are service providers who offer dummy emails. However, you can proceed with creating them on your own as well.

You will be getting a unique email address, which you can use to receive emails. However, some of the dummy emails will even provide you the opportunity to send out emails. In most instances, dummy emails would have a validity of around 10 minutes to few hours.

Where can you create dummy emails?

If you want to create dummy emails quickly, you should locate the best random email generator out there. Here are few such options available to consider.

MailSlurp

MailSlurp is the leading email address generator. Create unlimited test email accounts and use the powerful email API and dashboard to control inboxes and custom domains. You can send and receive email in code from disposable email addresses:

// create a randomly assigned email address
const mailslurp = new MailSlurp({ apiKey });
const { id, emailAddress } = await mailslurp.createInbox();

Create a free account and generate infinite throwaway of permanent test email accounts that can be controlled with SMTP, REST API, or dashboard.

public/

disposable email addresses
Use the online email client or create and control emails in Java, NodeJS, PHP, CSharp, Python and more.

Mailinator

Mailinator is one of the most popular random email address generators you can find. You can get random and dummy email addresses for workflow testing with this. All the emails that you get will be having the @mailinator.com test domain. You will not be able to attach any files to the emails that you receive with Mailinator.

Guerilla Mail

Guerrilla Mail is a free service available for people who are looking for a random email generator. You don't have to go through a sing up process to start using this service. It will provide you the chance to send emails and receive emails. However, it doesn't have the best user interface for you to get work done.

Maildrop

Maildrop is an open-source project, which you can use to generate email addresses instantly. It is coming to you with a good-looking UI as well. It is an effective service that you can use to send out emails without attachments.

Tempmail

You may also use Tempmail to generate disposable emails. The inbox would show you all the incoming emails instantly, and you don't have to refresh the page. This is available for free as well.

Creating a fake email with your Gmail

You may also use your Gmail to create a fake email for testing purposes. You should be using a Gmail account that you are not using. You just need to add a "+" to the preferred username and follow that with some random characters. For example, if your email address is johnsmith@gmail.com, you will be able to create the new email as johnsmith+testing@gmail.com. Likewise, you will be provided with endless opportunities to add any random characters and create new email addresses. Gmail will treat each email address as a unique email account. You can set up filters within your Gmail inbox to segregate the incoming emails, respectively.

Should you use temporary emails?

Even though the idea of using temporary emails for testing purposes looks appealing, there are some limitations to it as well. For example, you cannot use it for complex applications, such as for situations where the recipients have different permission levels. You will not also be able to use them to effectively test on mobile and web applications as well. In all such instances, you are encouraged to use MailSlurp - a powerful test email account service.

Testing with MailSlurp disposable email accounts

MailSlurp is a free email platform for generating disposable (or permanent) mailboxes for testing and development.

Create email address

You can create and control inboxes in code, tests, or using the online dashboard. Here is an example using Javascript:

const MailSlurp = require('mailslurp-client').default;
const mailslurp = new MailSlurp({
  apiKey: process.env.API_KEY ?? 'your-api-key',
});

// create an inbox with options using the inbox controller
const inbox = await mailslurp.inboxController.createInbox({
  // name is used a contact name when sending
  name: 'John Doe',
  // use the expanded domain pool so randomly assigned email address is more varied
  useDomainPool: true,
  // permanent by default or supply an expires at time
  expiresAt: undefined,
});

Automated end-to-end email testing

MailSlurp enables application integration testing e2e using disposable email accounts.

Use Cypress JS to test with email

test email with cypress js
Send and receive emails in Cypress JS to test application sign-up, verification and notifications.

See the cypress test example for more information.

Playwright email testing

Automate integration email test processes with Playwright and MailSlurp. See the playwright guide for examples.

More options

For more email testing options see the guides and developer docs.