Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Mar 14, 2012 5:20 AM by ConfusedOldMan
ConfusedOldMan Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all,


It's not often I post on here but here we go. I have been using Macs ever since the Lisa Electronic Office and have always been perplexed by one strange quirk of the Apple Mail account configuration process. This quirk is now becoming extremely troublesome.


I use BT/Yahoo (I'm not talking about the famous password rejection problem). One main account and several sub-accounts which, for all intents and purposes, can be considered as separate accounts.


Now the problem arises because, while each has a separate email address, they all use the same pop server settings. ie.


Mail will not allow me to use two accounts with the same pop settings. I can set up and verify the account (doesn't stay on-line because SSL is set and the port is wrong) but when I come make a change and save it I get the message:


Invalid Directory

The account path /Users/fredbloggs/Library/Mail/V2/ is already being used by the account “Another One”


Obviously I've changed the account names. Another One is one of my other accounts. I've got one working by using but I've run out of working aliases. I should be able to set up 10 sub accounts and access them all with Apple Mail. IMAP works OK but that is something I don't wish to use for a number of reasons.


Anybody else come across this?


I can do all this with Entourage (horrible) and Outlook which I do not intend to buy. Why does Apple make life so difficult sometimes?

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3), Various PCs - XP, Vista, Windows 7
  • Radiation Mac Level 5 (4,635 points)

    You do realize that you are talking to fellow Forum Users here?  Apple personnel do not contribute here.  Sorry.


    Hope this helps

  • ConfusedOldMan Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply but of course I realise that. The whole point of posting a message on here is to see if some other user has seen a similar issue and has, somehow, resolved it.


    Where would you suggest I went to ask Apple about what is obviously a faulty product without paying a small fortune for Apple support?

  • Barney-15E Level 8 (45,270 points)

    I've got three accounts that all use  the same POP settings and don't have a problem setting them up. It should be setting up, Are they true accounts or are they just aliases to fred.blogs?

  • ConfusedOldMan Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Barney,


    Yep, all the accounts are quite distinct and separate. The only similarity is that they all use the same pop servers. I think I have just found where the problem lies although no easy way to fix it.

    Of the two accounts that are working, I used for one and for the other (these both resolve to exactly the same servers) and this works fine. On looking at where the files are stored users/account/library/mail/v2 there are folders for all accounts but only one for these two accounts.

    There should be for sake of argument: and

    Unfortunately, only the first exists and the mail for both accounts lies within. All looks normal at the user interface but not when we get down to the nitty gritty.

    Looks like I'll have to save all my mail for each account, delete all preferences, set up the accounts again and then re-import everything. A daunting task when I have, probably, 20,000+ emails saved and filed away.


    I think I'll go and lie down in a darkened room.





  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,655 points)

    I don't use Apple Mail as I don't care for it. accept to do trouble shooting like this.


    I had originally setup one account from my ATT/Yahoo/Bellsouth account, which I have 3, all POP. I now just setup one of the others and had no problem what so ever. So you are doing something wrong.


    If those are the email addresses you are using they are wrong as far as I can tell.


    What is the double @ sign for?


    For my accounts it is My Email account name with the server of and of course the correct password for each account.


    You have the email address wrong and more then likely the POP server wrong. the email address should be something like " with the pop server of and the correct password for that account.

    The second should be the same with the 1 replaced with the 2 and the pop server being the same as it uses the same pop server just a different email address and password.


    The SMTP address should be something like or mail.(smtp, maybe not this)


    Login to BT and check there port addresses, althought I find the newer email programs have all that info already and fill it in for you.

  • Barney-15E Level 8 (45,270 points)

    I think I know what the problem may be, having lived over there for a while. For some reason, the ISPs have some sort of email scheme where they allow you to create various aliases to the same account and make them look like separate accounts. They really aren't, but they act like it. Mail doesn't handle those setups as far as I'm aware.


    There are a couple of people around here that understand Mail and email accounts pretty well, so maybe they'll pop in and help before you try something that will likely just waste your time.

  • Defcom(UK) Level 6 (15,350 points)

    Dont know if this is still valid

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,595 points)

    I use btinternet but I have never heard of


    All my three email accounts are with the incoming server being

  • ConfusedOldMan Level 1 (0 points)

    No Shootist, I am doing nothing wrong. I have been doing this stuff for over 38 years (not with Apple obviously). Indeed, I taught at the Amdahl school in Sunnyvale, CA. in a past life. I believe this is a case of screwed up preferences but I'm looking for the least disruptive method of resolving it.


    Here is a screen shot of my mail folder - now you know some of my account names but, no matter,I can live with that.


    Screen Shot 2012-03-13 at 13.46.40.png


    This is the way apple define their mail folders, including the email address and the pop server address.


    The one that says,@mail.btinternet.comactually contains the data for two accounts. This shouldn't happen, hence my problem when I add another account.

  • ConfusedOldMan Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Barney, methinks this is just a screw up with the mail preferences as in my prevoius reply to the Shootist.


    Thanks for your kind attention though.

  • ConfusedOldMan Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Klaus,


    No, this is not general knowledge but it really is a proper address. A small utility called Sam Spade can tell you where addresses resolve. Only works on PCs unfortunately.


    For future information for BT users:


    There are various ways to call the server, all point at the same IP address - for example any of these can be put into any of the pop or smtp settings :-




    as well as a large number of yahoo names like :-


  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,655 points)

    I don't get the different pop3. and the mail. addresses. the sever is either addressed pop3. or mail.


    It looks like it is the same account Jim.tenent@ bt and then you are trying to access that same account with 2 different mail servers, pop3 and mail.


    I don't know what your mail server should be. Never had this problem with any mail povider, ISPs, free or paid mail providers, with multiple email addresses setup with all. But then I do have different email addresses XXXYYUU@ and CCCRRFFE@.


    Yours look like the same user name is being used, jim.tenent.


    Good Luck.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 (16,655 points)

    ConfusedOldMan wrote:


    Hi Klaus,


    No, this is not general knowledge but it really is a proper address. A small utility called Sam Spade can tell you where addresses resolve. Only works on PCs unfortunately.


    For future information for BT users:


    There are various ways to call the server, all point at the same IP address - for example any of these can be put into any of the pop or smtp settings :-




    as well as a large number of yahoo names like :-


    Yeah OK but you are using the same email address "jim.tenent@". Doesn't matter how you call the server if you are using the same email name/address.

  • ConfusedOldMan Level 1 (0 points)

    OK Folks,

    To save confusion and to all those people who think I am using the same email address for everything, here they are.


         British Telecomm Residential

              (USAAF 381st Bomb Group Heavy)

         (My company)

              (Master Account for everything else)


         British Telecomm Business

              BT Business E-Mail - I don't use


         Others I have are:




  currently exists as an IMAP account which works but something I would rather not have.


    As you can see, they are all separate and distinct.


    As I said before, all hese work just fine with Entourage (nasty and a dead product) and Outlook (something I'm not prepared to buy when the Apple offering should do it all for me and integrates really nicely with iCal, Address Book, Notes etc.


    Thank you everybody for trying to help and thanks Defcom but, as you thought, that article is really old hat now.


    I am now going to open a large bottle and sit in that darkened room.


    If I now get flooded with spam, I know where it's come from.


    Goodnight, Good Morning or G'Day depending on where you're from..


    Jim Tennet,

    White Wings Computer Services

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