How do I make Apple Mail leave a copy of my messages on the server if I’m using Mac OS X “El Capitan” or older?
With the Apple Mail application, it's possible to leave a copy of each message on the mail server after you read it.
You'll want to do this if you read email in Mail and another program (or our Webmail system). If you don't set up Mail to leave your messages on the server, it will delete the messages as soon as it connects to read mail, and the other program (or Webmail) won't be able to see the messages.
You can also do this if you want your old incoming mail to be permanently stored in our backup system (see "E-mail backups" on our backup policy page for more details).
This page explains how to set up Mail to leave a copy of each message on the server. It assumes that you have already followed the basic instructions to set up Apple Mail using POP3 (if you're using IMAP, none of this is necessary because IMAP leaves mail on the server by default).
Before you continue, you should enter your email address (the address you want to set up in Apple Mail) in the box above. Entering your email address makes sure that the instructions below are correct.
Changing the Apple Mail settings
To leave messages on the server, you will:
- Open the Advanced settings window for your mail account
- Uncheck the "Remove copy from server after retrieving a message:" checkbox
1. Start the Mail program.
If the Mail program isn't already running, start it now.
2. Open the "Preferences" window.
Using the menu bar at the top of the screen, click Mail, then Preferences:
The preferences window will appear.
3. Choose the "Account Information" screen.
Navigate to the "Account Information" screen shown below:
4. Disable "Remove copy from server".
Select the "Advanced" tab.
Uncheck Remove copy from server after retrieving message.
5. Close the "Preferences" window and save the changes.
Close the "Preferences" window. When the "Save Changes" dialog pops up choose Save.