How do I change the default font size for reading the body of messages in Mail 14.0? I know that I can use ctrl ⌃ + +, but I want the reading pane to default the body of the message to a larger font without lowering the default resolution.

This is related to a previous question but the suggested methods no longer work.

  • using com.apple.mail MinimumHTMLFontSize no longer works --- such a simple function that otherwise omnipotent APPLE did not care to provide? Driving me carzy...
    – user39008
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 16:36
  • There used to be /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/Resources/message.css which could be changed for html messages. In BS, this is no longer there and, even if it were, we could not change it (r-o system volume...). There must be a .css somewhere controlling this.
    – Gilby
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 22:44
  • @Gilby Thanks and fully agree with your observation! Hope someone from APPLE DEV sees this.
    – user39008
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:52

2 Answers 2


Mail > Preferences > Fonts & Colors provides selectors for font style, size, usage (list, text body), and color.

Here's the Fonts & Colors preference pane:

enter image description here

To change the text font, style, and size, push the "Select" button that appears at the right end of the line "Message font." Doing so brings up the regular macOS font selector dialog:

enter image description here

Make your selections, and in a moment or two Mail.app will update its display.

  • thanks but unfortunately this does not change the font size in the body of messages
    – user39008
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 16:25
  • @user39008 I believe it does. The entry "Message font" has a button labeled "Select" at the right. Push the button. This brings up the regular macOS font select box, where the user can choose the font, style, and size. This changes the displayed font, style, and size. I'll expand the answer. Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 16:53
  • Thanks again for the effort! Unfortunately it doesn't even when set at 288. See the earlier post here: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/70727/…
    – user39008
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 17:01
  • @user39008 I've no idea; the cited thread indicates that if the email is in HTML, changing this preference may be ineffective. On my machine (macOS 11.2.2), however, changing this preference changes the displayed text characteristics within all emails in mailboxes in Mail.app. Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 17:13
  • Yes I believe your approach is working for plain text mails but not those in HTML coded emails. These are not limited by commercial emails - many work emails are in this format so that pictures can be included, etc.
    – user39008
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 17:19

I am also frustrated by this ongoing bug within Apple Mail. Perhaps this old tip of using a local style sheet would be the solution http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20040219094626558

  • 1
    Pls include the actions suggested in the link you have provided with as much detail as possible so that your answer keeps its informative value even if the link goes bad.
    – Alper
    Commented Jul 29, 2022 at 1:58
  • It would be fascinating if this fix from 2004 still worked. Commented Jul 29, 2022 at 12:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .