In the post Send e-mail in plain text using JavaMail, you know how to send an e-mail in plain text format. Although tt is possible to add HTML tags to the email's body content, that isn't enough to make the e-mail interpreted as an HTML e-mail in a web mail or an e-mail client program. So, instead of using:

Message msg = new MimeMessage(session);

we should invoke the setContent(Object obj, String type) method of the MimeMessage object. The setContent() method specifies the mime type of the content explicitly, and for HTML format, the type parameter must be "text/html":

Message msg = new MimeMessage(session);
msg.setContent(message, "text/html");


That makes the difference! And following is source code of a sample program:

package net.codejava.mail;

import java.util.Date;
import java.util.Properties;

import javax.mail.Authenticator;
import javax.mail.Message;
import javax.mail.MessagingException;
import javax.mail.PasswordAuthentication;
import javax.mail.Session;
import javax.mail.Transport;
import javax.mail.internet.AddressException;
import javax.mail.internet.InternetAddress;
import javax.mail.internet.MimeMessage;

public class HtmlEmailSender {

	public void sendHtmlEmail(String host, String port,
			final String userName, final String password, String toAddress,
			String subject, String message) throws AddressException,
			MessagingException {

		// sets SMTP server properties
		Properties properties = new Properties();
		properties.put("", host);
		properties.put("mail.smtp.port", port);
		properties.put("mail.smtp.auth", "true");
		properties.put("mail.smtp.starttls.enable", "true");

		// creates a new session with an authenticator
		Authenticator auth = new Authenticator() {
			public PasswordAuthentication getPasswordAuthentication() {
				return new PasswordAuthentication(userName, password);

		Session session = Session.getInstance(properties, auth);

		// creates a new e-mail message
		Message msg = new MimeMessage(session);

		msg.setFrom(new InternetAddress(userName));
		InternetAddress[] toAddresses = { new InternetAddress(toAddress) };
		msg.setRecipients(Message.RecipientType.TO, toAddresses);
		msg.setSentDate(new Date());
		// set plain text message
		msg.setContent(message, "text/html");

		// sends the e-mail


	 * Test the send html e-mail method
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		// SMTP server information
		String host = "";
		String port = "587";
		String mailFrom = "your-email-address";
		String password = "your-email-password";

		// outgoing message information
		String mailTo = "your-friend-email-address";
		String subject = "Hello my friend";

		// message contains HTML markups
		String message = "<i>Greetings!</i><br>";
		message += "<b>Wish you a nice day!</b><br>";
		message += "<font color=red>Duke</font>";

		HtmlEmailSender mailer = new HtmlEmailSender();

		try {
			mailer.sendHtmlEmail(host, port, mailFrom, password, mailTo,
					subject, message);
			System.out.println("Email sent.");
		} catch (Exception ex) {
			System.out.println("Failed to sent email.");


In a mail client like Outlook, the e-mail would look like the following screenshot:

html email message

Recommended Book: JavaMail API


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