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I have several IMAP email accounts that I use in Mac Mail. I want to sync those "account settings" across to my iDevices (all on iOS 7). I don't want to enter these accounts manually on each device. There use to be a panel in iTunes called 'info' that allowed this but is missing in iTunes 11.3.1. What is the new methodology?

I notice in Mac Mail that there is an option under the Mail menu to "Synchronize all accounts" which seems hopeful but even if it is pushing account settings to the iCloud then I am still not knowing how to get them to come down to my iDevices.

  • If you use 2-step authentication, chances are your options are probably limited to almost none. – bassplayer7 Nov 22 '13 at 17:04
  • Thanks. For this question assume no two-step verification. – guy Nov 22 '13 at 17:11
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To sync accounts between devices and workstations, you should investigate iCloud Keychain Sync. In addition to syncing keychains (as expected) it will also sync any "Internet Accounts" across devices bound to the same iCloud account. This includes (in my case) two Macs, one Hac, an iPhone 5 and iPad 3rd Generation (WiFi).

The command to "Synchronize all accounts" actually is performing an IMAP folder sync operation across all active accounts, not synchronizing account settings.

Additionally, if you use MFA (multi-factor authentication) via an "application password" generated by your service provider, iCloud Keychain Sync will sync the same password credential between your devices. May be best to revoke them all and issue a new one, or pick one from the device you are starting with, and revoke the rest upon completion.

Sidebar: I recommend doing this one device at a time because you may end up with duplicate accounts on some devices while it propagates. You cannot selectively sync account information to only some devices without also losing Keychain Sync, but you can enable/disable "Internet Accounts" selectively on a device after it arrives there. Bonus -- if you use MFA, you can use invalid passwords to help you identify which accounts are new and which accounts are old. e.g. once you expire test@test.com/iPad for your "Test.com IMAP" account, if you have two "Test.com IMAP" accounts, the one that isn't disabled from a failed login is the one that iCloud Keychain sync gave you.

  • I though iCloud keychain helps you share usernames and passwords for websites, but doesn't share internet email settings across the mail app in OSX and iOS. Can you confirm this ? – Kaizer Sozay Feb 25 '14 at 5:43
  • Yup - I just tried it out. It doesn't sync all "Internet Accounts". Its for storing your Safari passwords. I don't have any safari passwords. I only have email accounts, and it doesn't sync that information. – Kaizer Sozay Feb 25 '14 at 5:50
  • Sure it does — if the account password is in the iCloud keychain. See this discussion (among others) for how frustrating it can be for some users that the Internet Accounts themselves are also included in the keychain sync process: discussions.apple.com/message/24571359#24571359 – incumbent Feb 25 '14 at 15:34
  • Do you have instructions on how to do this - I tried it, and it didn't sync any of my email accounts. I thought that when you enable iCloud keychain, it should just "work" , but it doesn't migrate my email settings on my mac to my iOS device, and there don't seem to be any detailed instructions on this besides just "enabling iCloud" keychain. There are several forums on apple.com where people have the same problem as me. – Kaizer Sozay Feb 26 '14 at 5:52
  • No instructions I'm afraid, I did have everything setup on my workstation before I enabled iCloud Keychain Sync but that's the best I've got in terms of what I did. – incumbent Feb 26 '14 at 21:21
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The change is not iTunes, it is Mavericks. As explained at http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5847 older versions of MacOS have a subsystem called SyncServices that handles synchronization of many types of data including mail account settings between various consumers, including (via iTunes) iOS devices. Apple even includes it in iTunes 11 for Windows, but it is gone in Mavericks. It was replaced in parts by the Internet Accounts subsystem exposed in System Preferences, which will sync accounts via iCloud between Macs, but for some reason they have not extended that to iTunes and iOS. Perhaps because it is VERY buggy.

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There have been a lot of issues with Mail.app after ML came out. I found the best option is to use an alternative app (such as Mail Pilot; what I've been using). After installing it on all of my Apple devices (rMBP, iPhone, iPad, et cetera); my mail is properly synced across all of them. As for an actual solution; waiting for Apple to provide for a patch to the error is probably the most straightforward answer. I would implore you to check Mail Pilot, or any other third-party Mail application in the mean time. The problem will be solved the instance you import your mail accounts.

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