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Error: "Could not instantiate mail function"

This error is usually seen when you set up a new site or upgrade an exisiting site. Here are some suggestions for finding the source of the problem.

Local Server

If your site is running on a local development server like XAMMP then there is no mail server installed by default. You will need to install one, or link your site to a remote server like GMail (this may not be possible if the site is not connected to the internet or is behind a firewall on a local network).
 

Chronoforms v4 & Joomla! 2.5.4 and later

There was a Joomla! bug that causes problems with emails in some later releases of Joomla! 2.5 and early versions of Joomla! 3. There is a thread in the Joomla! forums that has more details and some fixes.

Chronoforms v4 & Joomla! 3.0

There were some problems with the standard Email action in some old early releases of ChronoForms for Joomal 3.0. Using my custom Email [GH] action seems to resolve these problems. 

Chronoforms v5

ChronoForms v5 allows you to add SMTP mailer settings in the ChronoForms Settings tab; normally you do not need to use these settings. The standard Joomla! site settings will work. Only use the ChronoForms settings if you want to use a different mail service.  
 
If you are using the ChronoForms v5 SMTP settings to send the email then you can set the "SMTP Debug" setting under the Chronoforms5 settings to receive more information in the Debugger action results.

In all cases:

In general ChronoForms will work well provided that the site Email is correctly set up and will send email from other components like the User Registration form or 'Email a Friend' links in article.
 
If you can receive emails from any of the core Joomla extensions like the core contact form or users registration, then please check your Joomla Global configuration settings, and make sure that the "From name" and "From email" used in the "Mail setup" match the ones used in your form's Email setup.

ChronoForms Book

The ChronoForms Book, written for ChronoForms v3 contains 350 pages of invaluable ChronoForms How-tos hints and tips.

Note: many of the ideas can be used in ChronoForms v4 but the admin interface is very different and code examples may need to be modified.

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