Thoughts and tips for a daily coding life


Configuring Mac Mail for Google apps

March 11, 2013 Posted by Antanas , , No comments
Warning: with setup described below we are going against google philosophy of "Never delete your email again". If I delete email, I DO want it to be deleted.

Ok, so after this scary message let's get started. First things first. Add your google account to Mail application

Server configuration

  • Incoming Mail (IMAP) Server - Requires SSL
    • Port: 993
    • Requires SSL:Yes
  • Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server - Requires TLS 
    • Port: 465 or 587 
    • Requires SSL: Yes 
    • Requires authentication: Yes 
    • Use same settings as incoming mail server 
  • Full Name or Display Name: [your name] 
  • Account Name or User Name: your full Gmail address ( Google Apps users, please enter 
  • Email address: your full Gmail address ( Google Apps users, please enter 
  • Password: your Gmail password
Link to google answer

Mail configuration

After adding your account open Mail Account settings, select added account and choose Mailbox Behaviors. Make sure your configuration resembles this

P.S. for Mountain Lion users setup stays the same, the only difference you won't have Notes option.

Settings for deleting

Open Settings inside you GMail account and select Forwarding and POP/IMAP. In there, set Auto-Expunge to OFF and Move the message to the Trash.

Don't forget to press Save changes

Setting up labels for IMAP

Tip: if, during configuration process, your label setup fails to update: create dummy label in gmail label management window (you can choose any name), synchronize Mail client and delete dummy label through gmail label management once everything is working.

We are setting up all labels which we can map in Mail application to be visible in IMAP. 

Make sure labels "Sent Mail", "Drafts", "Spam" and "Trash" are marked as "Show in IMAP". You can leave Spam label unchecked if you trust that GMail won't mark any emails falsely as spam.

Set any custom labels you are might be using to be visible in IMAP also.

Starred is replaced in Mail by flags, so it's not needed. Important and Chats have no equivalent in Mail.

The only questionable label is All Mail - you should enable this label only if you have emails which are not in your Inbox or under custom labels. Otherwise it will just slow down Mail application.

Once you have this setup up, go back to Mail application and synchronize this mailbox:

You might need to quit Mail application for updates to become visible.
After synchronization is done you should see structure similar to this:

The only thing left, is to map those gmail folders to Mail's default folders. Select folder Drafts then go to menu Mailbox --> Use this Mailbox for --> Drafts

Likewise, folder Sent Mail goes to Sent, Trash goes to Trash. Spam goes to Junk.

Notice: for Spam (Junk) folder to work correctly, you'll have to enable Junk filtering in Mail and set action to "Move it to the Junk mailbox"

Using aliases (additional mail addresses)

First of all - enable additional addresses in your gmail Account settings

  • Log in into your gmail
  • Open Settings --> Accounts
  • Press Add another email address you own
  • Follow instructions in new window. But leave checked mark Treat address as alias

While adding account to Mail application or after initial setup, add additional mail addresses separated with comma exp.:,

Now while sending new messages you will be able to choose which address to use in a From: field. While replaying, will automatically select From address based on recipient specified in an email.

Using custom labels inside Mail application

To move email from Inbox to any other custom folder (label) you do just that press Move button and select where to move it, or just drag email to desired folder.
If you want message to have several labels (google way) or appear in several folders (Mail way) copy message to the desired folder.


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