Skip navigation

Mail 5.2 in Lion keeps asking for password

18267 Views 28 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2013 6:11 AM by maurizioplll RSS
1 2 Previous Next
maurizioplll Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 3, 2012 7:31 AM

I just got a new macbook pro, which obviously came with Lion. I imported my settings from my old macbook running Snow Leopard, as I've always done with previous macs.

After launching Mail I found that my imap mail accounts, which use my University server, are not able to connect anymore. They are working just fine in my other Snow Leopard installations. The problem is that Mail keeps asking for the password over and over. I checked several online tips and tried to: i) update the system, ii) remove and recreate the mail account, iii) delete the password from keychain, iv) change the password on the server; v) remove the Library/Mail folder to force Mail to run the setup again. Nothing worked! Weirdly, gmail and netscape (AOL) accounts instead seen to work properly.


I heard rumors of problems with Mail on Lion, but I thought that by now they were solved. This is a BIG problem, since I'm using macs to manage everything consistently on desktop, notebook, iPhone and iPad. I don't want to revert back to Thunderbird or another mail client since it means loosing all advantages of an homogeneous system, which is why I use macs.


Anyone has a tip to solve the problem, or should I fall back on Snow Leopard?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • yackandandah Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 3, 2012 11:33 PM (in response to maurizioplll)

    Check in properties for the account on the advanceed tab. Is the authentication on password or Apple token. I found by moving the authentication from password to Apple Token it solved this issue for icloud account.

  • Dimitar Ratchev Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 4, 2012 1:16 PM (in response to maurizioplll)

    There is no problem with Mail in Lion.


    Check carefully all account settings, especially authentication, port No., SSL.


    Have in mind that in case you read your e-mail box too often, your account may be temporary blocked.


    I am getting once a week a message from Mail that I have to enter a password of some account (of about 10), but I do not enter any, just cancel the message, it does not appear anymore and account works normally in couple of minutes.

  • yyyapple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2012 11:55 AM (in response to maurizioplll)

    I had the same problem after upgrading to Lion and fixed the problem by changing authentication from Password to MD5 Challenge Response.

  • crazyscreenwriter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 9, 2012 1:22 PM (in response to maurizioplll)

    I used to have the same problem with my Gmail, Google Apps, and iCloud accounts in Mac Mail Lion.


    My solution was the Franklin Fix ... I bought Sparrow, which plays a lot better with Gmail / Google Apps IMAP settings and doesn't eat up RAM for  no particular reason.

  • Glenn Leblanc Level 5 Level 5 (5,925 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 7:35 AM (in response to maurizioplll)

    A long shot, but try adding the Mail application to the KeyChain passwords for that account on all servers.

  • bg1999 Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 10, 2012 9:10 AM (in response to maurizioplll)

    Fortunately you are still in the warranty period.  The next step may be to call Apple and open a ticket.  I don't have your exac prblem but I have had problems with connecting to exchange servers at the university and the rep at Apple was great and had me up and running within 15 minutes.  I recall it was a combo solution of deleing the account, deleting various info in the ~/Library/mail folder and adding the account fresh.


    Hope that helps

  • Raymon Goes Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 14, 2012 4:11 PM (in response to Dimitar Ratchev)

    Dude, have you actually checked the Apple forums?


    The app that is most bugged is Mail.


    For starters:


    *Keeps asking for iCloud (and other) passwords

    *Often fails to delete concepts when they are already sent

    *In-line attachments 'blow up' like they are pictures even though they are in fact documents of 1 page

    *The fact that ATTACHMENTS are embedded in the first place

    *It often takes waaaay longer for Apple Mail to get new mail as opposed to iOS devices


    And the list goes on.


    Saying 'Mail has no problems' is like that Iraqi general in 2003 saying: 'the Americans are nowhere' when you where just short of seeing American choppers and tanks in the background.

  • Dimitar Ratchev Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 15, 2012 6:16 AM (in response to Raymon Goes)


    I have encountered zero problems with Mail on Lion and believe eventual problems mentioned here lie in mail servers garden, not properly implementing industry standards:


    • my Mail DB has 200'000 messages, 107 GB over last 8 years
    • I have sent no less than 11'000 messages via Mail, 3'200 on Lion
    • I have 16 account on 8 different domains
    • one of the accounts is IMAP (on, the other 15 accounts are POP. I kept gmail account as IMAP for some months last year without any problems
    • 99% of my 1000+ recipients are using Windows mail clients
    • for most of accounts I use gmail as SMTP server, for account and local provider in some cases
    • Mail keeps running 24 hour a day and reads all accounts once a minute
    • same mail accounts are read occasionally, once a day, on my iPhone, via push
    • Mail 5.2 on Mac OSX 10.7.3 and MBP early 2009
    • mail accounts preferences are stable for many months
    • I change passwords once a couple of months and change authentication settings if an account SMTP/POP server settings are changed


    Once a week or so I am getting an error message on Mail asking to supply a password during mail read. Most often when a message comes from one account, it comes from EACH account on the same domain:


    • I cancel that message and do nothing (do not supply any passwords, Mail never forgets my password)
    • after some time, 5 min. or hour, I just reset the account status, if needed, and try again to read the account
    • after sometime, the account is read normally, without changing anything on Mail side


    What is happening is not a problem of Mail itself, but a problem at IMAP/POP server side or in communication with that server. Such problem could happen with any IMAP/POP server, including gmail and and is self-cured within some time, minutes or hours, in typical case.


    Similar problem arise during mail send, but vary rarely. Again, I do not need to do anything, just tray again later and wait until SMTP server begins to work normally.


    What I would suggest to Apple designers is to make error messages less cryptic and more descriptive on password request. In any case Mail or Keychain do not forget any passwords :-)


    Having a JPG or single page PDF shown as embedded is a feature I like. Once a three months someone complains (I send daily attached JPG/PDF files) that these are embedded and not attached, but I believe it is a matter of recipient mail client (quality).


    My only complain is that Mail begins to work very slow in low memory environment, but it is a general complain about Mac OSX.


    Memory management of Mac OSX is not optimal for me (too quick too much inactive and not free memory) even with 8 GB RAM. After couple of hours intensive use of Safari (typically 10+ tabs open), Mail, Preview (5-10 PDFs), Numbers (5-7 spreadsheets), FileMaker, Skype and Trillian free memory is approaching zero and FreeMemory Pro comes in action if I do not want to reboot

  • HerrDrKarl Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 9:37 AM (in response to Dimitar Ratchev)

    My solution suggests that Dimitar is on the right track: that the issue is with the server, not the Mail client.


    For months, I've been getting the Lion Mail prompt asking me for my iCloud password, even though its on the keychain, hasn't changed, and no other servers have issues.  I'd click Cancel and some days the account would work, others it would stay offline all day.  I just ignored it, thinking Apple would fix things.


    This past week, I've found a solution that works 100% of the time for me.  When I wake my computer in the morning and it won't connect to iCloud mail, I log into my iCloud account in Safari and open mail, then log out. Instantly, Mac Mail works again.  One time last week, iCloud web mail itself would not open and gave me a web crash message and a 'report to Apple?' dialog.


    So... I think the issues are on Apple's end in their iCloud server / load balancing architecture.  I'm just surprised that this has been going on for so long and that some of the world's brightest engineers (Apple) have not managed to fix it yet.




  • RandomThings13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2012 10:49 AM (in response to HerrDrKarl)

    I have checked with people using Mountain Lion Preview. These people had this issue on OSX Lion and it went away as soon as Mountain Lion was installed.


    I have done a complete fresh install of Lion yesterday (without using Time Capsule etc.) and have reset my Apple ID at least 10 times, but the problem stays. So it definately is a issue with OSX Lion Mail.


    For now, I have set 'Look for new mail' to 'Manual' but this creates a new problem: messages are somehow no longer pushed to Apple Mail on Lion (even though 'IDLE' command is still on).


    Conclusion: Apple Mail in OSX Lion is a piece of ****. I am giving Apple til 10.7.4 to fix it and if they don't ill be gone to Google Mail.


    PS: Also find it hilarious that Apple says it doesn't need anyone, yet for someone to actually have an Apple ID you have to provide an external e-mail adress suchs as

    Unlike Google they don't let you use your adress as your main Apple ID username.

  • Tony Young2 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 11, 2012 4:46 AM (in response to RandomThings13)

    OK, I understand your frustration with the password issue as I have encountered it many times, and it is not specific to Lion, I have encountered it since Tiger - in each case for different reasons.


    However, regardless of whatever frustration you may have with Apple - don't go making false statements like the crap you wrote above about not using Apple email addresses for AppleID - I have 3  accounts with AppleID - one using, one with and the third with That makes two out of three with Apple addresses. Your comment is the one that has holes shot through it and is plummeting toward the earth in flames.

1 2 Previous Next


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (1)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.