re:   mail.app  5.2 (MacOS 10.7.4), possibly similar for earlier versions

I'm struggling to understand how to establish and maintain multiple simple POP, non-SSL email accounts on the same mail server. Say, I have two accounts for which the hosting service control panel gives these manual setup summaries:

  account: [email protected]   password:  [blue's password]   outgoing server:  smtp.example.com, on port 98   incoming server:  pop.example.com, on port 99

  account: [email protected]   password:  [green's password]   outgoing server:  smtp.example.com, on port 98   incoming server:  pop.example.com, on port 99

I want to add these to mail.app. No problem with establishing and maintaining the incoming account information. But mail.app uses a non-parallel method for specifying the outgoing server, yes? It wants you to enter the data for a multiply-used SMTP (outgoing) server once, then assign each parallel account to that server. For the above accounts, I think success of this process is indicated by the SMTP Server List (as seen in edit-the SMTP-Server-List mode) showing:

          Server Name               In Use By Account
          -------------------               --------------------------------------------------------------------
          smtp.example.com      [email protected], [email protected]

(Leftmost "Description" column omitted. The table display will likely be mangled in this posting; you can possibly see it correctly by copying the above, pasting it into a new document in an editor, and setting a monospaced font. I think the accounts are listed in order of establishment; here "green" is the second account entered for this outgoing server.)

So far, so good?

Though the basic information about the outgoing server --the server name and port settings-- is the same for both accounts, I think one must set --and later, maintain-- the account name and passwords individually for each account, even though the common server information is the same. These are not simply copied from the incoming values for the same account,yes? (I do not recall seeing an email account in which these credentials differ for the incoming and outgoing servers, and I'm fairly sure some client apps automatically use the same for both.)

I cannot seem to find a method in mail.app's UI to set and later reach these unique settings.

Reference: this thread gives the general method for adding the second account, but is not sufficiently specific, and refers to mail.app on MacOS10.6.

When I add the second outgoing account, selecting the common server from the Outgoing Mail Sever (SMTP): pull-down gives me the information for the first account. Am I supposed to over-write that information? I don't think so -- correct me if I'm wrong. I think mail.app should present me with empty boxes, indicating I can enter the new account name and password for the second account. But it doesn't. (Maybe occasionally, it does, but I can't really figure out how this works.)

The same goes for later maintenance. If the password for the "green" account changes, I need to make that change to both the incoming and outgoing server, (right?) but I don't see a method for persuading mail.app to show me the credentials for "green" so I can update the password for green's outgoing server.

How is done? Am I missing something incredibly obvious?

Supplemental: I noticed that I can run Connection Doctor and click on the rectangle of a failing ("red light") SMTP account to bring up the Edit SMTP window. Cool! That would be a reasonable, though obscure, way of accessing the SMTP credentials following a password change for that account. But the account selected in that window seems to have nothing at all to do with the failing server. It looks like mail.app highlights a random SMTP account in the Edit SMTP window.


1 Answer 1


Update: I've now demonstrated this problem is broken navigation in mail.app. That's sufficiently different to close the above question and start a new thread, which I've done: 10.7 mail.app preferences-->accounts navigation broken; how to fix?

  • Just press the delete button to the right of the share/edit controls.
    – bmike
    Commented Nov 23, 2012 at 13:53

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