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Question: Can't set up iCloud email in Apple Mail

On my Mac, I turned on email in my iCloud settings [System Preferences > iCloud]. I went through the procedure of setting up an email address etc. When that was finished there was a new account in Apple Mail. But that account has a number of problems:


  • It's a POP account instead of IMAP.
  • Incoming Mail Server is my ISP instead of iCloud.
  • Is offline and I can't get it to go online - I get this error in Connection Doctor "Trying to log in to this POP account failed. Verify that the username and password are correct.


I can't find any way to change the user name. Also, I can't find a way to change the password.


Apple's support pages say that iCloud email can't use POP ! So, why is it set up as a POP account ?


Weirdly, outgoing email works. I can send messages from the iCloud account in Apple Mail but I can't send (because it's offline ?).


I've tried turning Mail off and on again in iCloud settings but nothing changes. I can't figure out how to delete the entire email account from iCloud so I can start again.


How can I set up iCloud email in Apple Mail to be an IMAP account and with the correct incoming server etc ?

iMac, macOS Sierra (10.12.6), late 2009, Core i5, 2.66Ghz, 12Gb

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OK, I think it's fixed.


I went through the correct procedure for changing the Apple ID in Safari for Mac. I then updated iCloud and turned on iCloud Mail on my iPad. It worked perfectly using the email address I set up yesterday.


I then logged into iCloud on my Mac using the new Apple ID (it did take a little while for iCloud prefs pane to realise the ID had changed). Then I turned on Mail in iCloud prefs.


Then I opened Apple Mail. And, there was my new iCloud email account correctly set up as an IMAP account sending and receiving mail perfectly.


I guess that iCloud was being confused by my old Apple ID and simply changing the Apple ID to another email address removed that confusion.


Anyway, many thanks to munkymajik and Eric for help.

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Dec 17, 2017 4:48 PM in response to Garry Brooke In response to Garry Brooke

Yeah sounds like it's going to be a case of enabling/disabling the tick next to mail in System Preferences > Accounts, and then editing it in Mail > Preferences > Accounts.


You could try rebooting and see if that sorts it out somewhat.

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Dec 16, 2017 9:16 PM in response to Garry Brooke In response to Garry Brooke

You probably need to setup the account in System Preferences > Internet Accounts.


Check that mail is ticked in iCloud.


Then setup a new iCloud mail account.


Use Mail on your Mac (Document Type: Document) Aug 17, 2017 Set up Mail Compose new messages View your email Reply to email Conversations Attachments Organize your email https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204093

Dec 16, 2017 9:16 PM

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Dec 16, 2017 9:42 PM in response to munkymajik In response to munkymajik

Many thanks.


I went to System Preferences > Internet Accounts > iCloud and ticked the Mail box. Nothing else happened because I have already set up an address.


Then, I opened Apple Mail. The iCloud account is now visible.


Anyway, as before, the account is a POP account and cannot be taken online. The email address is correct [myaddr@icloud.com] but the incoming server is still my ISP and the username is the user name for my email account at the ISP [mail.iinet.net.au].


I tried to set up a new account in Apple Mail: Preferences > Accounts > clicked on "+" > iCloud > had to give my AppleID and password > Nothing happened.


Then I tried "Other Mail Account..." > entered email address and password > "Unable to verify account name or password" > manually added User Name [which is my AppleID] > an IMAP account was created but can't be take online. Connection Doctor says "Could not connect to this IMAP server. Check you network connection and that you have entered the correct information in the account preferences. Also verify that that the server supports SSL. If it does not, deselect the "Use SSL" checkbox in the Advanced tab of Account preferences"


Now, the server address for incoming and outgoing is "Automatically added for iOS & OS X Mail". Should I manually set it to something ? When I try to save the Server Settings in Mail for the new account I can the error: "Unable to verify account name or password".


Why is this so hard ? Or, what did I do wrong at the beginning that I can't undo ?

Dec 16, 2017 9:42 PM

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Dec 16, 2017 10:11 PM in response to munkymajik In response to munkymajik

Can't delete the POP account inside Mail. When I click on the '–' symbol, I get a message saying the iCloud account is shared by other applications on this Mac and that I can remove it in Internet Accounts. In Internet Accounts, beside the iCloud entry in the left hand pane, I unticked the "Mail" box. The POP account disappeared from Apple Mail.


The IMAP account is still visible in Mail. So, I changed the Outgoing Mail Server from the offline iCloud account to iCloud [the one that is NOT visible in the "Edit SMTP server list" pane. Sending messages now works. But, I can't figure out how to fix the incoming server settings. It has the correct user name [my AppleID] and password [my AppleID password]. Tried the email address as user name instead of my AppleID but it could not verify the account or password again.

Dec 16, 2017 10:11 PM

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Dec 17, 2017 4:48 PM in response to Garry Brooke In response to Garry Brooke

Yeah sounds like it's going to be a case of enabling/disabling the tick next to mail in System Preferences > Accounts, and then editing it in Mail > Preferences > Accounts.


You could try rebooting and see if that sorts it out somewhat.

Dec 17, 2017 4:48 PM

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Dec 17, 2017 12:57 AM in response to munkymajik In response to munkymajik

Did a reboot. Nothing changed. If "Mail" is ticked in the iCloud settings I get a POP email account in Apple Mail that can send but not receive. I have created a separate iCloud account using Preferences>Accounts in Mail which is IMAP (by default) but again, it can send but can't receive. Both accounts can't receive supposedly because the account name and password can't be verified.


Frankly, I suspect something is very wrong when iCloud creates POP accounts. Apple's support documents claim it's not possible to have a POP-based iCloud account ! This is worse than the pile of pain I had trying to get Gmail to work in Apple Mail.


Also, I'm cynical about not being able to change my AppleID – I get the message: "Your Apple ID cannot be updated at this time. Please try again later." Actually, I don't think I have ever been able to change the Apple ID – a problem since Apple ID was first introduced. Doesn't stop me from using iCloud services or buying Apple products etc.


I could delete my iCloud access completely and start again but, that would mean losing the 5GB of files I have stored on it.


Just another question, in their support document, https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT202304, regarding the IMAP incoming server settings, Apple say this: "Password: Generate an app-specific password.". How is it possible to "generate" an email password ? What do they mean ? The iCloud password as far as I can find is the Apple ID password. Is that correct ?

Dec 17, 2017 12:57 AM

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Dec 17, 2017 1:04 AM in response to Garry Brooke In response to Garry Brooke

The app-specific password is if you have two-step or two-factor authentication enabled.


Login using Safari to appleid.apple.com to generate an app specific password if you have those enabled.


I'd untick Mail from System Preferences and then delete all the mail accounts from Mail Preferences. And try ticking Mail on again after you've quit Mail completely.

Dec 17, 2017 1:04 AM

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Dec 17, 2017 4:08 PM in response to Eric Root In response to Eric Root

Eric, thanks. It looks like your screen capture is from the add email account process inside Apple Mail. I have just tested that and chose account type as iCloud. It then asked me to log in with my apple ID and password. Then I got this dialog enabling me to choose the services I wanted:

User uploaded file


I turned off Reminders but left Mail on. Then I clicked on Add Account and the old iCloud account was added [well, I think it was just enabled, not added] to Apple Mail. That's the one which is POP account and can't receive mail.



munkymajik, thanks also. But, that achieved no improvement. I made a mistake and tried to do what you suggested while the iCloud email account was not enabled. Now I'm stuck with an email account I can't delete at all. If I try to delete it in Apple Mail I get a message to delete it in Internet Accounts.

User uploaded file


When I click on Internet Accounts the Internet Accounts prefs pane opens. It has my iCloud account selected and then displays the services available on that account. The Mail service is then quickly ticked. If I untick Mail, the POP account disappears from the accounts list in Apple Mail but is still visible in the Accounts pane of Apple Mail's Preferences where it shows as disabled. I can't "remove" it, only disable it.


I still can't understand why Apple's iCloud would create a POP account. I didn't choose that - that's what I got after following the steps as they appeared on the screen when I started yesterday – when I went into the iCloud prefs pane and clicked in Mail. By the way, at first the account was set up with my ISP's mail server as the incoming server ! Note: my Apple ID is currently the same as my usual email address with that ISP. I suspect Apple's iCloud tools just can't figure it out. The outgoing server, however, is fine. Sending works even though it's a POP account. Go figure.


And why can't I change any Apple ID ? I'll ask that as a separate question.


I suspect that only way to get out of Apple's maze here is to delete my entire iCloud account including Drive and start again. I know that many people get this working without trouble but, I just can't understand what I did wrong and why I can't fix it.

Dec 17, 2017 4:08 PM

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Dec 17, 2017 4:48 PM in response to Garry Brooke In response to Garry Brooke

OK, I think it's fixed.


I went through the correct procedure for changing the Apple ID in Safari for Mac. I then updated iCloud and turned on iCloud Mail on my iPad. It worked perfectly using the email address I set up yesterday.


I then logged into iCloud on my Mac using the new Apple ID (it did take a little while for iCloud prefs pane to realise the ID had changed). Then I turned on Mail in iCloud prefs.


Then I opened Apple Mail. And, there was my new iCloud email account correctly set up as an IMAP account sending and receiving mail perfectly.


I guess that iCloud was being confused by my old Apple ID and simply changing the Apple ID to another email address removed that confusion.


Anyway, many thanks to munkymajik and Eric for help.

Dec 17, 2017 4:48 PM

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Question: Can't set up iCloud email in Apple Mail