How do I set up Apple Mail to read my email?
(If you have trouble with this automatic method, we also have instructions for manually configuring Apple Mail, although it takes longer.)
Automatically configuring Apple Mail using a profile
The easiest way to configure Apple Mail is to add a new “profile” for your address.
After you enter your email address in the box above, this page will show you a link to download a file to your computer.
Open that file, and your Mac will show you this notification if you’re using macOS Big Sur or later (see below for earlier versions of macOS):
Open System Preferences by choosing System Preferences from the Apple menu:
Then click the Profiles icon:
When you click the “firstname.lastname@example.org” profile on the left, you’ll see an Install button:
Click the Install button and you will be asked to enter your full name (the name that others see your mail as being “From”, such as “Joan of Arc” or “Philip J. Fry”) and your email password (the password is not optional, even if the screen says it is):
After typing those, click the Install button to add the profile, then close the System Preferences window.
After adding the profile, start the Mail program. You should be able to send and receive mail for email@example.com (try sending yourself a test message to make sure it works).
Older versions of macOS
If you’re using a version of macOS from before Big Sur, you will instead see this window when you open the mobileconfig file you downloaded:
Click Continue. Your Mac will then ask you to enter your full name and your email password:
After adding the profile, you can start the Mail program.
Removing the profile
If you ever want to remove this profile from your Mac in the future, you can do so in System Preferences.
If you’re having trouble with Apple Mail, try restarting your computer as a first step. If that doesn’t work, the Mail Connection Doctor can provide useful information that will help you (or us) troubleshoot the problem.
Why does the Mail program say “Profile installation failed: This account already exists”?
You can find the cause of this message by choosing Internet Accounts from the Mail program’s Mail menu.
The address may be listed in there as a separate mail address, in which case you can simply delete that item (assuming you want to start again).
If it’s not listed separately, it’s probably listed as part of the “iCloud” settings, where your iCloud account uses the same email address that you’re trying to set up:
Unchecking the “Mail” box in the “iCloud” section will solve that.
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