MacMost Now 108: Setting Up Mail

Gary Rosenzweig looks at how to set up the Apple Mail application to receive and send email from a standard ISP email account.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 108: Setting Up Mail.

Hi, this is Gary. Today on MacMost now, let's take a look at how to set up mail on your mac. There are many ways to get mail on your mac. For instance, you can get it through a web interface with something like Gmail or Yahoo! mail. But if you have a regular e-mail account, say through in ISP with your own domain name or through your cable modem or DSL provider or even through work, you may want to use the mail application to go ahead and download your e-mail to your computer. Let's take a look on how to set this up.
The things you're going to need are: the name of your mail server, your e-mail address of course, something called a POP Account ID. POP stands for Post Office Protocol. And a POP Account password. Now you're probably also going to need an SMTP which is simple mail transfer protocol and the password for that as well. POP is for getting e-mail, SMTP is for sending e-mail.
Now in mail, you go to File > Add Account. That's the easiest way to add this account. So all you need to do there is enter your name as you'd like other people to see it when they get your e-mail and also enter the e-mail address as you'd like other people to see it. Now the next thing you want to do is add the password, the password that you were given by your ISP. On the next screen you set the type of account. Now we're only going to talk about POP accounts in this tutorial, but there are also IMAP exchange accounts that you can set up. You want to add the incoming mail server just as your ISP gave it to you. And you want to add your username. Now usernames are tricky, in some cases they're what appears before the '@' symbol in your e-mail address, in other cases they're your e-mail adress, sometimes they substitute another character for the '@' symbol, in this case a '+' sign. And then your password is already filled in, or you could add it now.
Now, it confirmed that the POP account does work before it moves on to the next step. So we're going to do the outgoing mail server. So in the outgoing mail server, we're going to type in the same thing.. There we go. In this case it's the same, but it may be different for you. Use Authentication is also the same for me in this case although it may be different for you. Now we're going to continue and it's also going to confirm that that works and it's going to give you this screen that tells you that everything works. And then you click the create button.
Now, immediately it's going to go out and try to get e-mail. Now what I've done is sent an e-mail to this account already from my yahoo! account just to test it and sure enough I was able to get this test e-mail very easily. I can now reply to this e-mail and make sure that the SMTP server is working as well.
Now you get all this information from your ISP or from your cable modem or DSL provider or from work. Make sure you have all of this before you try to setup your mail account. You need every bit of information.
Now in some cases you have a choice of SMTP servers. You can either use the one on your own server like I was using or you can go ahead and use the one by your cable modem, DSL provider or other type of ISP like say, one set up at work. Sometimes this is required, sometimes they only let you send e-mail if you're using their server. This is an effort to cut down spam. So that you can't have a computer and then be going through their system and sending spam out through another computer.
Now this is where a lot of run into trouble. They're able to get POP e-mail very easily but they can't send e-mail. If you can't send e-mail there's a lot of suspects. One is you may have the wrong SMTP server or wrong address or your ISP may be blocking you. For instance, if I'm trying to use's SMTP server but yet I'm behind a cable modem firewall, it may just completely block me from using that. And I have to actually go and configure my computer to use the SMTP server of my cable modem provider. So you want to look at your documentation that your cable modem provider gave you and they probably have an SMTP server listed there. Of course this is all taken care of if you're using POP and SMTP and the e-mail address provided by your cable modem or DSL provider as it should all work then. If you're having any trouble at that point, the next thing is to suspect is your firewall is that perhaps not necessarily on your mac, but on your router there might be a firewall setup so that you can't send e-mail. If this is the case, you're going to have to consult the documentation from your router or from your ISP.
It's worthwhile for us now to go over some more advanced settings. If you go to mail preferences and you click on the accounts tab, you can then select the account you just created. Now this is where you would go to correct any information that may have changed or you may have gotten wrong. You can go in here and change all those bits of information that we talked about including the SMTP server. You can actually edit from the list and go ahead and edit that particular SMTP server you're using. So this is where you can go to check your information or alter it. Also in the advanced tabs there somethings you should check out in addition to enabling and disabling the account, you can have it included so that it's automatically checking for e-mail or you can deselect that to have it manually check that only when you want. And there's also the "remove copy from server after retrieving a message" option. Now it's automatically set to "after one week" but you can also set it to right away. In other words as soon as you get your e-mail from the server it removes it from the server. Otherwise if it's set to one week, it hangs out at the server for a week. This could cause trouble if you have a very small quota from your ISP of how much e-mail you can have on the server and you get a lot of e-mail. You can easily fill up your inbox, a lot of people have this problem. You can also hit the remove now button if you want to clear things out right now. Now one reason you may want to keep things around for a week is if you have two computers, both getting e-mails from the same POP account, in this case what'll happen is you get e-mail from one account but it leaves it on the server for a week. Then later on, say in the evening you go home, you check another computer, it'll get all those e-mails from the server that your first computer left on there. So you could essentially get the same e-mail on both machines. Now each copy of mail will remember which e-mails it got so you won't ever get any duplicates but you will get each copy at each machine so it can come in handy. Also this is where you can go ahead and change ports. Ports for getting e-mail and back in the account information under SMTP you can actually change the ports for sending e-mail too. So if your ISP has told you you need to use special ports to do this, this is where you can go ahead and change it.
So if you're still having trouble with getting e-mail or sending it, you want to go ahead and recheck all your settings, and you also want to go ahead and compare them to the settings that you're given by your ISP and make sure everything's perfect. Then you want to check your router and make sure no firewall is getting in the way and you might consult documentation there. And you probably want to call your ISP if it's still not working at that point. The problem with getting help for your e-mail from the discussion forums or from here at MacMost is that there are millions of possible ways that your e-mail could be setup with your ISP, with your router, there's so many different combinations that it's really hard for some general help to help somebody with a specific problem. So you want to go ahead and talk to somebody in customer service if you at all can.
So I hope this tutorial has been able to help you setup mail on your mac. Mail application is very powerful, and it comes with your mac and it can be a great tool for managing all of your e-mail.
Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 108: Setting Up Mail”

    11 years ago

    Is there any way, in mail and on the iphone, to send an email with a different from email with only one account. I know you can go into setting and change it there, but on an email to email bases.

    I have several email addresses, some for work, some for personal, and I would like to forward them all to my mobile me account, but I would need to be able to send an email with my companies email listed as the return address.

    Mr Anthony Cotton
    7 years ago

    I was going to ask you how do you use Apple`s Mail, but after watching your video it`s one of the most complicated video`s i have watched. I have learnt something what POP stands for. You even say at the end it depends on lots of things.
    Anyway i have learnt something Gary.

Comments Closed.