hoping this can be an updated or part 2 of macOS Mail: How to remove background color of a message in message list?

using Ventura 13.3 and looking for a way to reset the color of messages that i added a color to.

note: i'm NOT referring to the body background or text of an email.

when viewing an Inbox/folder list of messages, i started adding colors (both background and text color) for items that a simple Flag would not suffice.

this is done by selecting a message(s) and going to the Format menu & choosing the Show Colors option. or if you have put Colors in your toolbar. or if you've created a Rule to add colors to messages.

i've just discovered that there is NO way (that i've found) to revert/undo/reset/remove these colors!!!

the only semi-solution (which isn't really a solution) is to reselect the message(s) and choose a color that closely matches the background of the list/message viewer. it's been said that those who use LIGHT MODE should choose Snow and those who use DARK MODE should choose Licorice.

BUT, at least to my eyes & screens, these do not fully match. plus, for me using Dark mode, choosing a dark color for some reason hides/removes the faint line between messages.

so i'm putting this out there again, hoping somebody's found a way to do this. perhaps an Automator service or Applescript? or a third party app/plugin?

it would be nice to be able to continue using colors, but there needs to be a (simple/quick) way to remove the colors individually when needed.

1 Answer 1


I was on this same journey today! I almost gave up too, but a thought I had to see if there were colors that automatically change with the system theme led me to the answer.

Since google brought me to an older request for this, my full write-up is there: https://apple.stackexchange.com/a/461044/498532

I wanted to make sure to reply here to avoid the annoying situation when google results show a page where the question is just marked as "duplicate" by the community and nobody posts a link to the duplicate or a solution.

I figured out a way to do this without using special apps/scripts, complicated work-arounds or hacks; this solution will actually "put it back to the way it was." It was just a matter of figuring out the right colors to choose that will maintain UI consistency when switching themes.

To set message text and background to restore the default "non-colors", you want to use the Color Palette selector, and choose "Developer" in the dropdown. You'll see a list with colors named for their UI purpose.

The color to choose to restore original Text color is:


The color to choose to restore original Text Background is:


Again, these are theme compatible and will change appropriately with the OS theme setting.

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