WooCommerce email settings not saving

Symptoms of the problem

You’ll find you can’t change the email settings on an individual email (like the recipient email address) because hitting Save changes doesn’t actually save the changes.

How to fix

Do you only experience the symptoms on the New Order email?

WooCommerce 3.7 introduced a new “Additional Content” area for its emails, which includes a ๐Ÿ™Œ emoji in the New Order email. I haven’t yet figured out why dealing with emojis causes problems on some WordPress installs/servers (the ones I’ve seen have been fairly up-to-date) but it seems fairly common. To work around the problem, just remove the ๐Ÿ™Œ from the Additional Content field and re-save.

If that happens to fix your problem, I’d be curious to hear from you in the comments, particularly if you don’t mind sharing:

  • Your hosting provider
  • Browser used when saving the settings
  • If you’re familiar with the MySQL my.cnf file, the default-character-set, character-set-server, and collation-server lines

The default message is being changed in a future version of WooCommerce to avoid this problem.

Do you experience the symptoms with multiple email types?

I’d suggest a few troubleshooting steps in order of likelihood:

  1. Make sure a plugin/extension/theme isn’t at fault. Usually people suggest disabling all of your plugins for this, but if you’re on a busy store where that would be disruptive, you can instead:
    • Install the official Health Check & Troubleshooting plugin.
    • Turn on its Troubleshooting Mode which disables all plugins and returns you to a default theme. This only affects your browsing session, not your visitors.
    • From the Troubleshooting menu at the top of the admin area, enable the WooCommerce plugin.
    • Try saving the email settings. If it works successfully, you can repeat the above step for each plugin you have until it becomes obvious which one is breaking the saving.
  2. Look for server-side errors. The most straightforward way of doing this is to save the email settings and immediately check the error logs for problems. If you see errors referring to running out of memory, you can look into increasing the memory limit.
  3. See if caching is at fault. This is a particularly likely cause if you notice similar problems elsewhere (settings reverting after saving, product/cart changes not updating, or updating in unpredictable ways). Try disabling each caching component/layer you have to see if it helps, and if you find one at fault, the documentation on configuring caching may help. Make sure you check all three levels:
    • Caching plugins (WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache, etc.)
    • Caching services on your host (hosts like Flywheel, Cloudways, SiteGround, and WP Engine provide a caching layer, often powered behind the scenes by Varnish, NGINX, or Squid)
    • External caching/CDN/security services (Cloudflare, CloudFront, MaxCDN, Fastly, Akamai, Sucuri, etc.)
  4. Make sure it’s not due to a browser/add-on quirk. See if it works correctly in a different browser and/or check for errors in the browser console (usually accessible by hitting F12) after saving the settings.

You made it to the end!

As a reward, here are 3 randomly-generated emojis that will surely tell a compelling story:

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