Setup Apple's Mail Application to check an IMAP account

An IMAP email account is an account that stores messages on the mail server. The advantage to checking emails with IMAP is that you have a central storage for all of your mail and your archives can be checked from any computer with an internet connection. This is beneficial if you are checking from multiple computers or devices (like an iPhone). The main disadvantage of checking email with IMAP is that you are limited to the allocated storage space on the server for that specific email account. If you are checking email from a single computer 90% of the time and/or regularly receive large attachments, you will want to instead set up your mail as a POP account. Instructions for that can be found here. To create and check an IMAP account with Apple's Mail application, follow the below instructions:


1. Login to the cPanel for your hosting package, commonly found at ( should be replaced with your actual domain name)


2. Click on the Email Accounts module in cPanel.


3. Scroll down the page until you see a list of your existing email addresses. Click the Configure Mail Client link for the email address you want to setup in the Apple Mail client.


Auto Setup info


4. On the next screen under the Auto Configuration Scripts section you will see a list of email programs near the top of the page. Select MacOS®® for Lion (10.7+) / IMAP over SSL/TLS if you are running 10.7 or higher as your OS, or select MacOS®® for “Pre Lion” (10.4+) / IMAP over SSL/TLS if you are running an older OS prior to 10.7.


Auto Setup info


4. Click Proceed at the following pop-up box.


Auto Setup info


5. Once the script has been downloaded, open it and you will see the following pop-up window. Click Run.


Auto Setup info


6. Once the script has finished running you will see the email account in your Mail application.


7. If you see your Junk, Sent, and Trash as blue folder icons you need to sync your IMAP folders by following our instructions here.

Congratulations. Your Mail app is now setup to check your email address via IMAP over SSL.  Now you will want to get in the habit of regularly archiving messages to prevent problems. Click here to learn how.

Did this answer your question? If not, please let us know what issues you're having in the MacHighway User Forums.

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