I am trying to remove a duplicate copy of my iCloud account from Apple Mail that seems to have managed to get stuck there.

I cannot remove it from the Internet Accounts or iCloud panels as it does not appear there, just in my account listing for Mail. If I try to remove it there I am told to use the Internet Accounts panel (where it isn't).

I have tried changing the name and gripping the contents of Preferences and Application Support for the unique name, but no luck.

Where does Apple Mail store it's account information and can I remove the account from there?

3 Answers 3


The list of accounts is stored in the property list located at:


The account data itself is stored in ~/Library/Mail/V2/<account-type>-<email-address>.
This entire folder can be deleted for the account you wish to remove.


I came here while trying to solve the same problem (I think) and after like 45 minutes of messing around to no avail (including trying to delete all program data and return to factory settings), grgarside's answer put me on the right track.

To remove my unwanted iCloud duplicate account, I first did as grgarside suggested, and deleted the folders in Library/Mail/V2 that corresponded to the accounts I wanted to get rid of. This didn't remove the accounts from the Mail interface, so I tried deleting the Accounts.plist file - this removes all accounts I had configured, though, and I didn't want that - I wanted to ensure that the correct iCloud account was ONLY added by the iCloud pane in system preferences, to prevent any more duplicates.

In the end, I opened the Accounts.plist file in a text editor and removed all information pertaining to the unwanted accounts. The .plist format is very easy to read, so this is not very difficult at all – but I do recommend you use a text editor capable of highlighting matching tags in an XML file.

The part you're looking for begins with the following:


the next thing you'll see is a <dict> tag. This is the beginning of an individual account 'object'; all information for each account will be between <dict> and </dict> tags. Find the 'block' that seems to correspond to the account you don't want, and delete everything from the <dict> to the </dict>, including the tags themselves. Be careful though, because there's another set of tags nested inside to contain info about the vendor of your email account - you want to be sure you're selecting the matched outer pair.

Having done this, I was able to load up Mail again, and the unwanted accounts were gone. The remaining accounts were working fine.

P.S. If I have forgotten to delete some other trace that will come back to bite me, please let me know/edit this post. But so far, so good.


To delete ghost accounts in mail inactive or active.

go to the following:


Open with Xcode application, download it via the App store if you have to.

Once it opens, click on the diamond arrow across from the Accounts item.

go through each account and find the ghost account you want to delete.

pull down edit menu and select delete

Do this for each account you want to delete.

Save with Xcode.

Mail in Yosemite now should no longer show this account either active or inactive, Past mailboxes with past email from this account should still be in the each mailbox that has them.

btw, I went into system preferences first and deleted the account with the - minus button before hand. Of course this began the ghost problem to begin with in mail.

btw2 , I did not modify anything in keychain cloud email stuff.


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