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How can I change order of email accounts in Mail on Mountain Lion?

463 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 18, 2012 1:35 PM by ScottBBB RSS
Leisureguy Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Aug 24, 2012 2:08 PM

In Mail on Mountain Lion I have only two email accounts, but the wrong one has been set as default (because it was an account I had overlooked and added later). I cannot find how to change the order of the email accounts. One possibility is to delete the non-default account and re-add it, so that it becomes the most recent and thus (presumably) the default, but this would delete all the email messages in that account, which I cannot afford.


It's a great flaming pain to try to remember each email I write to select the second account option, and yet I can find no way to change email account order---not in Mail and not in System Preferences. Dragging them certainly does not work.


Can Apple have really missed this? Is there any solution?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • rrahimi Level 3 Level 3 (615 points)

    Have you tried dragging the up and down to reorder?

  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (91,410 points)

    Comfortable with terminal...know how to edit using TextEdit:


    Open up a Terminal and use the following commands to change your preferences file to an XML format – the default format is binary, and you can't edit this.

    cd ~/Library/Preferences
    plutil -convert xml1

    Then, open this file with a text editor of your choice, preferably one that highlights XML syntax, but you can also use TextEdit:

    open -a "TextEdit"

    Now, look for the key called MailAccounts. It's value is an array, with dict children. Here, you'll find all your mail accounts in the order they were created in.

    You can now manually move these dict children around. Save the XML file and reopen Mail. Now, your Mail account order will be changed.

    Mac Pro
  • DAMon174 Calculating status...

    This caught me out too. You longer rearrange the list of mailboxes from the preferences tab, but within the actual mailbox list.


    If you don't view the Mailbox List by default, you can call it up by hitting Command + Shift + M. Then just drag the accounts around in that view. Tip: You can drag the main headers for the accounts, or you can drag the headers under Inbox, Sent Items etc... They all have a global effect on the order.


    I found you have to restart mail to have the order change take effect in the compose window.


    Also under Mail -> Prefernces -> Composing, you can select which account you want to be the default for creating a new message.


    Hope this helps.

  • ScottBBB Calculating status...

    In that file, on my machine, there's no key called MailAccounts.  The file is very short.


    I wouldn't mind this change except for the fact that when I rearrange the accounts in the Mailboxes view, making a change to an account in Preferences | Accounts makes them revert to the old order in Mailboxes as well!




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