Set Up Apple iMail

Configuring Mail for your email account(s)

Note: This article applies to Mac OS X v10.5 and later.

Before you configure Mail:

  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet (check your connection with a web browser, for example).
  • Use Software Update to install the latest available updates.
  • Incoming Mail Server is
  • Outgoing (SMTP) Mail Server is

Mail has the ability to automatically get the email account settings for many email service providers:

  1. Open Mail.
  2. Choose Add Account from the File menu. If this is the first time you've opened Mail, you will be automatically prompted to add an account.
  3. Enter your Full Name, email address, and password. See Mac 101: Mail article for more information.

Usually, your email account can be configured automatically for you. If you use an email account that Mail cannot configure automatically, continue with this article.

Tip: You can also use the Mail Setup Assistant to check for your email service providers settings. If the Mail Setup Assistant does not have settings for your email service provider, use the "cheat sheet" of questions below when you contact your email service provider.


Manually configuring Mail

Note: You should make note of your email settings--see the cheat sheet below. Contact your email service vendor and note all of the details needed to fill in your settings. During the setup process, you will need these details to complete the setup process. You can either print the sheet and write on it, or paste it into a text document and fill it in on your Mac. Keep the sheet for later reference in case you need it.

  1. Open Mail (click it on the Dock or open it from the Applications folder).
  2. If the "Welcome to Mail" assistant does not appear, choose Add Account from the File menu.
  3. Fill in the Full Name, Email address, and Password fields.

    Note: Your email account password will be stored in Keychain to allow you to automatically log in to your email account when you open Mail.
  4. Deselect "Automatically set up account" if it is enabled. Click Continue to proceed.
  5. Choose the proper Account Type.
  6. Give your account a useful description, such as "Anne's Gmail account" or "Juan's Yahoo! email account". It can be called whatever you want.
  7. Enter your Incoming Mail Server, User Name and Password. Click Continue to proceed.
  8. If prompted, enter your Incoming Mail Security settings. Click Continue to proceed.
  9. For Outgoing Mail Server, a useful description such as "Gmail Outgoing Mail Server" or "Yahoo! Outgoing Mail Server".
  10. Enter the Outgoing Mail Server details.
  11. If necessary, select "Use Authentication" and enter your User Name and Password. Click Continue to proceed.
  12. If prompted, enter your Outgoing Mail Security settings. Click Continue to proceed.
  13. Verify your settings in the Account Summary. Check "Take account online". Click "Create" to complete the process.