I like getting Growl notifications for incoming emails in Mail.app, but I'd prefer not to have to keep Mail.app running to see them. Is there a setting or third party tool for this?

  • 2
    What is the reason that you do not want to keep Mail.app running, especially as you will need another app running
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 5 '13 at 20:43
  • What types of email accounts are you using? (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Exchange, IMAP, POP3)
    – MoffatMan
    Aug 6 '13 at 20:33
  • @MoffatMan IMAP Gmail, but it shouldn't make a difference.
    – mcandre
    Aug 8 '13 at 0:13

If you're just using Gmail (like OP), then you can use the program Gmail Notifr. It lives in your menubar, and checks Gmail at a specified interval, it also supports Growl notifications.


It is NOT possible to get mail notifications without having the mail application active.

There is no way for notifications to know when you got new mail if there is no active connection to your mail server.

If you want, you can hide the mail app window (red dot).

But as always there are alternatives.

Assuming you use gmail and assuming you use Chrome browser than you can set it up to get your new eamil notification without using Apple Mail.

Desktop notifications in Chrome

Gmail desktop notifications let you know when you have a new email or Chat message. When you enable these notifications, you'll see a pop-up when new messages arrive so that even if you're not looking at your Gmail, you'll still know when someone wants to talk to you. For now, these notifications are available only if you use Google Chrome as your browser.

Finaly there is another alternative.

If you care to do some set up and some scripting, you can use the Postfix.

Mac OSX comes with the

postfix MTA

, which is a fully featured SMTP server.

There are plenty of instructions on the web how to do that.

  • Can you get Gmail desktop notifications without keeping Chrome open?
    – mcandre
    Aug 8 '13 at 0:14
  • Of-course not, but than it is more likely you will have a browser open than email. Maybe we need to narrow down to how do you want the notification, I mean with what shall it be received.
    – Ruskes
    Aug 8 '13 at 8:34

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