Configure Email Account Settings

Configure Email Account Settings
Mac Tip #296/04-July-2007

Last week’s Tip was about POP email, where your computer collects emails waiting for you on the server.

To set up your email software you need several pieces of information:

  1. your email address
  2. your email password
  3. the address of the POP server
  4. the address of the SMTP server.

Note that passwords are case sensitive and have to be absolutely accurate.

Most email programs allow you to set up ‘accounts‘ under the Preferences. Even if your email software is already set up, you should follow through the steps in this Tip so you can see what information is in each section. These details can be very handy from time to time.

To set up Apple’s Mail software go to the Mail menu and choose Preferences, then click on the Accounts tab. In the Accounts list on the left you will see all the Accounts you currently have set up.

Click on one to view its details. In the Account Information tab you should see information about the mail server address, the username and so on. Instead of the password you will see asterisks.

To set up to collect email from another existing email account click the + symbol at the bottom of the Accounts list. A wizard takes you through the settings you need to enter.

Make sure you first set up the email account with a provider — all you’re doing in is entering settings, you’re not actually creating an account.

The screenshots show me adding a Gmail account for Aphra Jordan. I used Apple’s version 2.1.1 (752.3) under Mac OS X 10.4.10. If your version of Mail is older or newer you may notice some differences, but the essential information should remain the same.

I used the Gmail Help to tell me what to enter at each stage.

Choose POP for the Account Type and enter a memorable name in the Account Description field. Put the Full Name and Email Address in their respective fields, then click the Continue button.

On the next screen follow the Gmail Help instructions and again click the Continue button. This section is about collecting mail from the Gmail server:

  1. Enter ‘‘ in the ‘Incoming Mail Server:‘ field.
  2. Enter your Gmail username (including ‘’) in the ‘User Name:‘ field.
  3. Enter your Gmail password in the ‘Password:‘ field.

Now you need to tell how to send mail through the Gmail server:

  1. Enter ‘‘ in the ‘Outgoing Mail Server:‘ field.
  2. Check the box labelled ‘Authentication‘.
  3. Enter your Gmail username (including ‘ and Gmail password.
  4. Click the Continue button.

A screen appears summarising the information you have entered. The line that reads: SSL: on is referring to a security measure called Secure Sockets Layer. It helps keep your email safe while it’s travelling between your computer and the Gmail server.

If everything looks correct click the Continue button.

Your Apple Keychain may pop up an alert that Mail has been updated. Click the Change All button to allow Mail to access previously stored passwords.

You have now set up Mail to send and receive through Gmail. If you need to enter settings for further email accounts click the Create Another Account button, but if you’re finished then click Done.


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  1. Sondra said:

    Love the iPhone and iPad, but the iPad will not “hold” the settings to configure for Outgoing Mail Server. You can enter the data all day long, and it will not “hold” it.
    If anyone knows what is hindering the iPad from taking and storing/holding this information, I’d appreciate knowing.

  2. G.Galle said:

    When I am sending a message in Mac Mail it automatically attaches my Log In Image in the upper right hand corner. How do I change this?


  3. Tom Donahue said:

    I have a .mac account and a new iPhone. How do I set up my email account on the iPhone?


  4. wbradley said:

    Do I have to pay 99 dollars to set up a email account

  5. Johan van Eenennaam said:

    How can I block unwanted e-mails in this program?

Comments are closed.