I’d like to delete one of my mail accounts from one of my Macs, but not the other (due to the 15GB of email associated with it). When I go into Sys Prefs > Internet Accounts and hit the minus sign, the verification message says that it will be removed from all computers using iCloud Keychain and lists my other Mac (at least it warns me).

I’ve gone into iCloud Drive and turned off the “Mail” entry, although it’s not clear what documents Mail stores there (perhaps AirDrop attachments?), but having that unchecked on both Macs makes no difference.

It’s nice the iCloud syncs internet accounts to you don’t have to re-enter them on your other Mac, but how do I turn off this one feature?

The Mac on which I’d like to keep the mail also has a 200GB iCloud Photo Library, so signing out of iCloud is a pain. But I’m not sure that would work. I would guess that when I sign back in, it would be minus the just deleted email account.

Running Sierra 10.12.6 on both computers.

  • Why did you turn off the Mail entry in iCloud?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 22:17
  • I turned it off under iCloud Drive...it's one of the entries...just seeing if it made a difference
    – user75281
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 22:32
  • I think that is the one thing you could do that will lose your emails. Keep Mail on in the cloud
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Feb 28, 2018 at 8:25

3 Answers 3


The answer turns out to be the no, you can't delete an account on one iCloud synced Mac, without deleting it on the other(s). Beyond leaving said email account disabled, you must go into ~/Library/Mail/V5 in the Finder and uncover the multi-digit-letter folder associated with that account and trash the contents. That's how to reclaim the space occupied (in my case 15GB).


If you just want to delete the files off of your computer you can go to ~/Library/Mail/V5 through the Go menubar and delete the folder associated with your account.

If you want to not receive any more emails from that address you can right click that emails inbox and select "Take '[email protected]' offline".

If you want to remove that account completely from your computer then select File->Preferences->Accounts. Select your account and click minus. This should only remove your email account from Mail.app

  • para1: Ultimately I'm trying to reclaim space on a limited SSD boot drive para2: not only is the account offline, but it's deactived. that's not related to the issue, though para3: that's the problem...when I hit the minus sign, it wants to zap the email account across all my devices. That's what I'm trying to prevent.
    – user75281
    Commented Mar 4, 2018 at 23:42

Running Big Sur 11.4, the following worked for me:

  1. Quit Mail
  2. Open System Preferences > Internet Accounts
  3. Click "iCloud" in the list of accounts
  4. Scroll down and uncheck Keychain
  5. Select the Mail Account to be removed and press the "-" button
  6. Click "iCloud" in the list of accounts
  7. Re-enable Keychain
  8. Re-open Mail

When I did this, the account (in this case, an Exchange account) was intact on the other computer and was gone from the computer on which I did the above. YMMV

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