Disable Mail Animations in Mac OS X

Jul 27, 2011 - 15 Comments

Mail app icon

If you have used Mail for a long time, you have probably noticed the new Mail animations for replying and sending, where the message seems to slide off the screen. Like all the other new animations, this is a polarizing addition and some people hate it. Turning off the general new window animations in OS X doesn’t change Mails animations though, because they are separately controlled by another defaults write command.

We’ll show to disable both send and reply animations, but first you’ll want to quit out of Mail app, then you need to launch Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities directory). From there, enter the appropriate defaults write command to achieve the desired outcome.

Disable Reply Animations in Mail App

defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool YES

Disable Send Animations in Mail

defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableSendAnimations -bool YES

You’ll need to relaunch Mail app for changes to take effect, but sending and replying to emails will no longer display the animation. This can help to speed up Mail on older Macs.

Disable Mail Animation in OS X Lion

As usual this is very easy to reverse if you want the Mail reply-to animations back

Re-Enable Mail Animations in OS X

defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool NO

defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableSendAnimations -bool NO

Relaunch Mail app for the changes to take effect.

I like the animation, but like the rest of the eye candy it can be distracting and even make OS X feel slower than it needs to be.

Related, if you don’t like the new interface of revised Mail.app, you can also easily change back to the classic layout which shows the new mail on top of messages and displays may more messages all at once.

Update: Updated to disable both animations, thanks to Joe Ferrante for tip via comments!


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. GIRAUD says:

    hello everyone,

    need that tip on Mavericks.. because I use a triple screen config, and Mail app is on the screen connected with a USB Display Link.

    Sometime (but often) animation from Mail, when sending mail, make a general crash. Mac Os X automatically restart !

    I’m shure that’s that. before, I was using a keystroke to show the desk, and sometime, animation of all windows was making the same crash….

    Help :-)

  2. Liza says:

    I’ve spent a couple hours trying to get rid of those nervewracking animations! apple support person just helped me via chat. i had downloaded the AndreasVerhoeven link but my computer wouldn’t let me install because “unidentified developer”. i had to change settings in “Security & Privacy” in System Pref’s (to “allow apps from anywhere”. …if anyone else out there didn’t know like me…

  3. Ken says:

    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD how do we turn these off in Mavericks? Am I the only one who these don’t work for in Mail 7.0? These stupid, superfulous animations are driving me nuts because I spend my entire day in Mail. They might be “cute” for some grandma who sends an email every few hours, but they are ridiculous for any power user…

  4. Jon says:

    Does anyone know how to disable the animation that occurs when multiple messages are selected in Classic view? Each new one slides into the viewer and if the messages are large, you can accidentally select more than you want because Mail won’t keep up.

    I tried this command to expose available animation defaults but it shows nothing, not even the ones listed above.

    defaults read com.apple.Mail | grep -i anim

  5. Tim says:

    I never noticed these animations until after I read this article, ha! Now that I see them, I don’t really mind them, but I like them to be faster (not eliminated entirely). I’d like the same for the iCal page flip–speedier, not nixed. Any ideas?

  6. jeff says:

    thanks for the fix. sometimes it’s the little stuff that matters.

  7. Geoff says:

    I have tried this, and verified using “defaults read com.apple.Mail…”, restarted Mail, and rebooted the computer, but it still does not work. I have also tried with a lower case m in com.apple.mail. Am I missing something?

  8. Ola says:

    THANK YOU for showing me this. I use Mail as my primary communications tool, and those pesky animations have been bugging me since the start, stealing my time.

    Thanks again.

  9. pk says:

    This does not work for case-sensitive file systems, you need to change the case of the file:


    Not the lack of capital “M”.

  10. […] Source < defaults, Lion > « Resuminator […]

  11. Parakeet says:

    All of these new animations are straight out of iOS, getting us primed for the full switchover I guess…

  12. Joe Ferrante says:

    to disable the send animation all together where the messages slides up out of the screen when you click send.

    defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableSendAnimations -bool YES

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