How to Add a New Email Account to Mac Mail

Apr 10, 2017 - 6 Comments

Mail app icon

Many of us have multiple email accounts, whether they are for personal uses or work purposes, and thus Mac users may find it helpful to add a new email account to the Mail app in Mac OS.

This guide will walk through the process of adding an email account to the Mac so that it can be checked, managed, and used from the Mail app. You can use this to add another email account to Mail on Mac, setup a new email account, or even add a fresh email account that has never been used before. Technically you can add many email accounts to the Mail app if you want to, there is no small limitation on the number of accounts that can be configured within the app. Configuration is the same on virtually every vaguely new release of Mac system software, whether it’s macOS or Mac OS X.

How to Add Email Accounts to the Mac

This will add a new email account to Mail app, the default email client in Mac OS:

  1. Open the Mail app in Mac OS *
  2. Mail app icon

  3. Pull down the “Mail” menu and choose “Add Account”
  4. Mail add account to add new email to Mac

  5. Select the email service you want to add a new email account for from the list, if the email account service is not listed choose “Add other Mail Account”
  6. Choose which email account to add to Mac

  7. Input your name, email address, and the password to the email address and sign-in
  8. Sign in to the email account to add it to Mac Mail

That’s it, your new email account will be added to Mail on the Mac and configured to use. The Mail app for Mac will auto-detect settings and configure the email account to use on the Mac.

If you have added more than one email account, you will likely find it useful to set your default email account so that emails are being sent from the account you’d like to send them to by default, and since this setup is using the Mail app you likely want to be sure that the default email app is set to Mail on the computer too.

* Note if you have launched the Mail app on the Mac for the first time, it will often solicit you to setup an email account immediately. If that’s the case, just follow the instructions on screen since you won’t need to manually setup a new email account in Mail. You can also use this to create an email address if you want one.

Earlier versions of Mac OS required a bit more setup to configure email on the Mac, including inputting mail servers, but generally speaking those settings are almost always auto-filled now as the Mail app is smart enough to be able to detect and set the servers for most common email accounts and email services, including for iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Outlook, MobileMe and, and plenty of other services too. Sometimes users of ISP based email accounts may need to configure mail settings manually still, so if you’re having difficulty with something like a Comcast, Cox, or Charter email address then you may need to get the necessary mail servers from the ISP and input those manually (they are almost always in the form of “”). If for whatever reason you need to manually edit settings for email accounts or want to change them later, you can that through the “Mail” menu Accounts option, or by going to System Preferences and modifying the internet accounts preference panel for the entry as necessary.

Adding Email Accounts to Mac Mail via System Preferences

You can also add email accounts to the Mac via the System Preference panel for Internet Accounts:

  1. Go to the  Apple menu and choose System Preferences, then choose Internet Accounts
  2. At the primary screen choose the internet service you want to add the email account for, or choose ‘Add Other Account’ at the bottom
  3. Log in with the email account details as directed on screen
  4. Add email account to Mac from Internet Account system prefs

This will also add the email account to the Mail app in MacOS. The setup is basically the same as if you went through the Mail app, and whether you start the process from System Preferences or within Mail app does not matter, the settings will carry over to each.

And yes, you can easily delete an email account from the Mac if you added the wrong one or decide you no longer want a particular account on the computer, so don’t feel like you’re stuck if you try this out and later opt to not have a particular account on the Mac.


Related articles:

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


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Nathan says:

    I want new email

  2. Dee Ross says:

    The problem with accessing gmail accounts from Mac Mail seems to be in the two-factor authentication imposed by Google as additional security measure, but not implemented properly. So when you try to add a gmail account the authentication process first shows a two-factor authentication box for a couple of seconds, followed immediately by the box saying authentication/verification failed. There is no opportunity for the user to follow a proper two-factor authentication procedure. Google has to put it right so that the instructions above could work.

  3. Maria Soraya Creese says:

    every time I attempt to add my outlook account to my mail icon on iMac desk top, it says my password is incorrect- help, please

  4. Jennifer Mendenhall says:

    My spouse and I need to share an email address, for our business. Currently we are both signed in to the same Apple ID. This creates headaches when it comes to texts and iMessages on our iPads. Is there a way for us to sign in to separate Apple IDs, but both have access to the email associated with one ID, including all the stored mailboxes?

  5. Kathy Seiler says:

    I had a google email account on my mac. I deleted it. Now I’m trying to add it back. I’ve tried adding through “add account” steps and also via “preferences”. Neither process works. I go through steps, get to the point where I click “Done” ….. nothing happens. Screen stays open but account not added. Any suggestions?

    • pablo says:

      If adding an email account through Mail fails, then try though System Preferences.

      But first, try quitting out of the Mail app, then rebooting the Mac, then going through the process again. Sometimes just rebooting can make a difference for whatever reason, silly but often the case.

      – Go to the  Apple menu and choose “Restart”

      You can then also try to add the Google account and Google email account through System Preferences on the Mac, which is a slightly different method:

      – Go to the  Apple menu

      – Choose ‘System Preferences’

      – Click on “Internet Accounts”

      – Click the “Google” logo to start adding the Google account to the Mac, including Mac Mail and others

      If you have Google 2-factor authentication enabled you need to slightly adjust to accommodate for that.

      See if that works.

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