Apple Mail

Before you begin configuring the Apple Mail client to access a user's U-M Google Account, you must first Enable IMAP Access on the account. Once this is done, you should also identify the user as an Archiver or Deleter. This is important because how they choose to handle messages when they are marked for deletion (i.e. archive, move to Trash, or expunge immediately) will impact how they manage their mail across other IMAP client(s) they may use, and how the client(s) should be configured. We have provided the recommended settings for both Archivers and Deleters below.

Initial Setup of Apple Mail for Google

  1. Start Apple Mail.
  2. From the Mail menu, select Preferences....
  3. Click the Accounts tab.
  4. If the user previously configured Apple Mail for the U-M email server, select the account from the list, and click the button to remove it.
  5. Click the button to add a new account. 
  6. Fill in the Add Account window with the following information:
    • Full Name: user's name as they would like it to appear in outgoing mail
    • Email Address: user's email address
    • Password: user's UMICH.EDU Kerberos password

  7. Click Continue. Note: An error may appear stating that Logging in to the IMAP server failed.... Ignore this, and click Continue again.
  8. Set the Account Type to IMAP, and the Incoming Mail Server to Click Continue:
  9. Set the Outgoing Mail Server to, and make sure Use Authentication is checked. Click Continue:
  10. Verify the information in the Account Summary window, and click the Create button to open the user's Google Account in Apple Mail:

Once Apple Mail opens and begins accessing the user's mailbox, you will see a folder named [Gmail] listed under the U-M Google Account. This is where Google lists its built-in system folders in IMAP clients. Click the arrow next to the [Gmail] folder to expand this list:

You can now configure the Apple Mail client to use Google's server-side folders to save certain types of messages, so they will always be available when the user logs in via browser or mobile device:

  • Select Drafts under [Gmail]. From the Mailbox menu, choose Use This Mailbox For > Drafts.
  • Select Sent Mail under [Gmail]. From the Mailbox menu, choose Use This Mailbox For > Sent.
  • Select Spam under [Gmail]. From the Mailbox menu, choose Use This Mailbox For > Junk.

Now, the user's decision on whether to be an Archiver or Deleter will determine the next steps.

Configuring Apple Mail for Archivers

If the user has chosen to be an Archiver and they have not hidden the "All Mail" folder from IMAP (see Enabling IMAP Access), simply do the following:

  • Select All Mail under [Gmail]. From the Mailbox menu, choose Use This Mailbox For > Trash.

Deleted messages will now be moved to Google's All Mail.

Configuring Apple Mail for Deleters

If the user has chosen to be a Deleter and has hidden the "All Mail" folder (again, see Enabling IMAP Access), do the following:

  • Select Trash under [Gmail]. From the Mailbox menu, choose Use This Mailbox For > Trash.

Deleted messages will now be moved to Google's Trash, and will be permanently deleted after 30 days. The user can immediately expunge these messages by right-clicking (or Ctrl-clicking) the Trash icon and selecting Erase Deleted Items....

When all steps are complete, the [Gmail] folders will move to the top of the Mailboxes list, under the Inbox:

Known Issues

  • If you mark a message with multiple Labels via the Google browser interface, copies of the message will appear in the equivalent folders in Apple Mail. Deleting the same message in Apple Mail will only delete the copy of message from the folder you are viewing.
  • If a message is replied to in the Inbox, it will be tagged with a "replied" icon. If the original message is then moved to a different Label, it will lose the Replied icon. If it is then moved back to the Inbox, the icon will reappear.
  • details many issues in their article on Achieving Email Bliss with IMAP, Gmail, and Apple Mail.

Related Google Support Links