How to get started with the Mail app on your Mac

Mail is a built-in Mac app that lets you read, reply to, and organize email from different accounts in one place. You can use it to read your latest Gmail emails and then browse your Yahoo junk folder without having to switch between different tabs or browsers.

Organize your email and make it impossible to miss messages by setting up Mail on your Mac. Read on to learn how to add your email accounts there and how to use the app, so you now have a single point of email.

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How to add an email account to Mail

To use Mail on your Mac, you need to add at least one email account to the app and sign in to it.

To add an email account, run Mailthen click Mail > Add Account from the menu bar. You will need to select your email account provider, such as Google, iCloud or other. Once you have chosen one, click Continue.

A window from your account provider will open where you will enter your email address and email password. You’ll probably have to hit two Next buttons to end navigation in these windows. You will then be prompted to allow Mail to access your email account information. This includes your emails, but also your contacts and calendar information. Click on Allow give permissions.


Mail will ask you if you want to use your email account with other apps, such as Contacts and Calendars. You can check the boxes of all the apps you want to include or just click Do to finish adding your email account to Mail.

After a while of synchronization, you should see your new email account appear in the Mail boxes menu. Now you can start using it in the app! Add all your emails to get them all in one convenient place.

If you want to remove an email account from Mail or change which apps are allowed to use it, go to Mail > Accounts (which will open a System Preferences window), then click on the email account you want to edit.

Check or uncheck the app’s checkboxes to grant or remove login permissions. To delete an account all together, tap the less (-) under your list of accounts, then click OKAY.

Once you have added your email accounts, you can browse all your messages by clicking All Inboxes. You can also click on the Mailbox option below the different account names in the Mail boxes menu to see a specific inbox for that account.

To browse emails, scroll the central inbox window or use the At the top and Down arrow keys. Click on the email to read it and see more details about where it came from and when it was sent.

Mail checks for new messages itself, but you can have Mail check for new messages across all your accounts by clicking the envelope icon at any time.

Mark important emails for later

To mark an email as read or unread, control-click the email and select Mark as read/unread or press Shift + Command + U while the email is highlighted.

To flag an email for later, Control-click an email and select one of the colored flag icons below the Flag option. You can also click Message > Indicator in the menu bar and select your color there. To remove a flag, Control-click a message and select the flag. X icon or go to Message > Flag > Clear Flag.

Filter your inboxes

Indicators can help you sort messages, because you can click on the Mark possibility to see only the messages reported in your different accounts. All sent and All drafts work the same way, just with sent and composed emails. You can also sort your inboxes in other ways in Mail. Click on View > Filter > Enable Message Filter and return to View > Filter to select filter options like unread only, or see only emails with attachments.

The View > Sort By The option lets you organize your entire inbox by date, sender name, subject line, and more. You can also adjust whether the most recent emails or the top of the alphabet are displayed at the top or bottom of the window.

How to write and send a new message in Mail

To compose a new email in Mail on your Mac, click the icon of a pencil on paperselect File > New messageor type Command + N. A new window will open for your message.

Put the email addresses of the person you are writing to in the To Where CC boxes. To BCC someone, click the bulleted lines icon and select Bcc address field. Type text in the Matter box. If you don’t put anything here, Mail will warn you when you try to send it, because emails with no subject can often go unnoticed. Click on the name in Of to select the email account from which you want to send your message.

Write your message in the main area of ​​the window. You can change the font size and color by clicking on the Aa and include images and emojis by selecting the image or emoji icon. When you’re done, click the arrow/paper plane icon to send your message.

Reply to and forward e-mail messages

To reply to an email in Mail, click a message, then click the double arrow (>>) icon at the top of the Mail window. Select Answer Where Reply to allor type Command + R Where Shift + Command + R. To forward an email, select Forward from double arrow (>>) menu or press Shift + Command + F.

Type and send your message in the window that appears, just as you would a new message.

How to delete and archive messages in Mail

A deleted message is moved to Mail’s trash, where it is permanently deleted after one month. An archived message goes out of your main inbox, but it’s not automatically deleted after a certain period of time.

To delete an email in Mail, select it and click the waste icon or press Going back Where Wipe off on your keyboard. By clicking Edit > Delete also works. To archive an email in Mail, select one, then click the box icon or press Ctrl+Command+A on your keyboard. By clicking Message > Archive also works.


You can use the above gestures to delete or archive multiple emails at once if you have multiple emails selected.

Select multiple emails by Command-clicking them individually, or clicking one and Shift-clicking a message below to select all intermediate messages. It’s the same way you would select everything in other apps on your Mac.

To view your recently deleted emails, click the Trash can option for a specific account in the mailbox sidebar. To view an archived message later, click the Archive option in the same place.

Dealing with unwanted messages

You can also mark a message as junk (or spam) in Mail. Click on the box with a X icon while highlighting an email, type Shift + Command + Jor go to Message > Move to Junk Mail.

To change the time it takes for deleted and unwanted emails to be permanently deleted, or to stop or start this process for them, go to Mail > Preferences > Accountsand select the Mailbox behaviors tongue. Put it on Delete unwanted messages and Erase deleted messages drop-down menus to whatever you want for each of your email accounts.

The Favorites The menu in Mail sits at the top of all your inboxes for easy access to certain folders and mailboxes in Mail. It displays by default All Inboxes, All sent, All drafts and Mark as options, but you can customize it to make it easier to use Mail on your Mac.

To add a favorite to this menu, press the plus (+) button that appears when you hover the mouse over the Favorites title, then select the mailbox or folder you want to add. Then click OKAY. To remove a folder or mailbox from Favorites, Control-click it and select Remove from favorites.

Use Mail for easier inbox management

Mail is a great app for managing multiple email accounts at once. You can browse all the emails you have, or focus on particular inboxes, and sort or filter the messages to see all the ones you need at different times. With a customizable Favorites menu and simple controls, Mail on Mac is ideal for all your email needs.

About Sandra A. Powell

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