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📧 Emails

A Retrospected instance sometimes need to send email to its users, when they register or want to change their password.

You have three mechanism for sending emails (or not) you can choose from:

If you don't specify any mechanism (neither Sendgrid nor SMTP), verification emails won't be sent and users will be able to register any email. It also means they won't be able to change their password if they forget it.

You have two ways of solving this problem:

  • Use the Admin Panel, if you are the admin, to manually change someone else's password
  • Setup Sendgrid or SMTP so that emails are verified, and recovery emails are sent if a user forgets their password

The latter is what we are going to setup in this guide.

Is it free?

Sendgrid is completely free up to a certain amount of emails per day. For a self-hosted instance, you are very unlikely to have to pay for it.

Get an account and API keys

  • Go to Sendgrid's signup page and register
  • On your account dashboard, go to Settings then API Keys and finally Create API Key
  • Choose a name, then Restricted Access and toggle Mail Send > Mail Send (see below)
  • Click create, and then copy the key that you've created somewhere safe (we'll need it later)

Set the environement variables

We should now have all the information we need. In the backend section of your docker-compose.yml file, add the following variables:

  • SENDGRID_API_KEY: this is the API key you got in the first section of this guide
  • SENDGRID_SENDER: enter the email you used to create your Sendgrid account
  • BASE_URL: this is the URL to your self-hosted Retrospected (for example:


Now that it is setup, your users should now need to verify their email and will be able to reset their passwords themselves.


Setting up SMTP

In the backend section of your docker-compose.yml file, add the following variables:

  • MAIL_SMTP_HOST: SMTP server host (example:
  • MAIL_PORT: SMTP port (usually 465 for secure SMTP)
  • MAIL_SECURE: If SMTP is using encryption, usually via port 465, set this to true
  • MAIL_USER: SMTP username (or email)
  • MAIL_PASSWORD: SMTP user password
  • MAIL_SENDER: SMTP sender email (usually matches MAIL_USER)
  • MAIL_ALLOW_SELF_SIGNED_CERTS: Only set to true if you want to (unsafely) allow an SMTP server with self-signed certificates