I know next to nothing about the OS X, but I've been asked to make a few different scripts for actions in Apple Mail. One is to bind a hotkey that will create a reminder with a followup time of two business days.

I followed a guide on how to build the script and insert it into Automator found here. The script works when running in the AppleScript application, and compiles and runs in Automator. The service/workflow generated by Automator is saved to ~/Library/Services/ but does not show in the services menu in Apple Mail. This article says that services for Apple Mail should be in the /System/Library/Automator folder. I am unable to move the service to that folder as the folder is locked. The service is set to have no input, and be in the mail application.

How can I get this workflow/service to show in the mac mail services menu?


So, apparently, I had to disable rootless system integrity protection just to move the workflow file between folders. I still hope someone finds a better way of installing services in the mail app in El Capitan, because having to do multiple reboots and disabling low level security features seems excessive when I'm just trying to pull data from two basic apps.


  • I don't think you have to put services inside the /System/ tree. Generally, system items go there, not user items. I think that's why it's locked down. I just recreated the service (but didn't put in the applescript code), and found an empty shortcut and assigned it. The service ended up in the 'General' category but it is available while Mail is active and the shortcut triggers the script. Engadget's article actually states that Apple puts its services in the System tree, but users' go elsewhere. You might try without the keyboard shortcut you've chosen — that's a pretty widespread one. – Mockman Aug 30 '18 at 0:15

I stumbled upon this very problem recently, on MacOS 10.11 El Capitan and MacOS 10.14 Mojave.

I created a service in Automator, it automatically saved it in ~/Library/Services/ but didn't appear in services menu as I expected.

The issue seems to be related to the file name of the workflow file (perhaps spaces in file name). In my experience, it should be enough to rename the file to solve the problem.

To do so, go to ~/Library/Services/ (from Finder menu: Go > Go to folder and paste ~/Library/Services/ there) and rename the service file, removing spaces from file name.

Then you may need to go to Keyboard pane in Mac Preferences, and enable your service in the shortcut tab (look in the "Services" section).

  • RE: removing spaces from file name, I have lots of Automator Services/Quick Actions with spaces in their names and they show just fine. Suggesting one remove spaces is ridiculous! – user3439894 Oct 9 '19 at 16:43
  • @user3439894 seems ridiculous to me too. Nevertheless, I faced the same problem of the OP a few times, and renaming the file removing space helped me. I'd like to know if this works for someone else too or not. Perhaps is related to the localization of the system? Mine is Italian. – gerlos Oct 13 '19 at 10:10

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