Macintosh OS X Mail Version 3 (old)

Cautions about OS X Mail

Older versions of OS X Mail should be used with some caution, they have some behaviors that put an unexpectedly heavy load on the UW email servers, they may not be appropriate email software for users that have either a large number of folders, or big folders. If you do use Apple Mail then please use at least version 1.3. Version 3 adds support for IMAP "idle" which may improve performance.

Installing Mac OS X Mail

The Mail application is automatically installed as part of OS X. No separate installation is necessary. Note: It is strongly recommended that you use at least Mail version 1.3 (with OS X 10.3). You must be sure you are using at least version 10.1.3 of OS X as prior versions do not provide the SSL security necessary to connect to UW email services.

Configuring Mac OS X Mail to Use With UW Email

To configure Mail for use at the UW, you will need to set it up correctly. Be sure your computer has an active Internet connection. If your computer uses a modem to dial in and establish a PPP connection (e.g., using "Network" from the System Preferences) be sure to dial in BEFORE running the Mail app.

Configuring Mail the First Time it's Run

  1. StepsActions
  2. To run Mail just double-click the Mail application icon in the Applications folder or click it in the Dock. If Mail has not been run before, a new account creation wizard will appear, and you'll see a dialog window similar to the one pictured below:

    wizard1

    NOTE: If you don't see this dialog it just means that Mail has been run before. If you have an existing account and would like to add your UW email account, run Mail, select Preferences, then Accounts and click on the plus (+) button in the lower left corner to add a new account. This will launch the new account creation wizard as above.

  3. Enter your name, Email address and password in the spaces indicated and click "Continue".
  4. In the window that appears, replace the default values so that the window looks like the following:
    wizard2
  5. The Account Type should be IMAP.
  6. The Account Description can be anything you like, but "UW Internet Mail" is suggested.
  7. Your Incoming Mail Server should be your_uwnetid .deskmail.washington.edu (or your_uwnetid.myuw.net if you are a MyUW.net subscriber), where "your_uwnetid" is replaced by your actual UW NetID.
  8. Your User Name should be your UW NetID.
  9. Enter your password in the space indicated.
  10. Click Continue.
  11. In the window that appears, replace the default values so that the window looks like the following:
    wizard9
  12. The description can be anything you like, but "UW SMTP" is recommended
  13. Outgoing Mail Server should be set to smtp.washington.edu.
  14. Most users will want the option to "Use only this server" turned on.
  15. You will need to have the option to "Use Authentication" turned on, and enter your UW NetID (as the "User Name") and password in the spaces indicated.
  16. Click Continue
  17. The window should look like the picture below:
    wizard11a
  18. IMPORTANT! Turn <off> the option to "Take account online" at this time, there are a couple more settings to adjust.
  19. Click "Create"
  20. At this point you'll need to make some additional changes to get Mail to read your UW email correctly. The instructions below detail this process.

Creating Your UW Account in Mail

The main Mail window is pictured below, you may have one (or more, or none...) email account already listed, but need to add your UW account to Mail or adjust some settings that the "new account" wizard won't let you change.

mail1

  1. StepsActions
  2. From the Mail menu, select Preferences, then (if necessary) click the Accounts item to bring up the accounts preferences panel, pictured below. If you have completed the new account creation process above you should have values similar to the ones listed below. As mentioned before, some of these values will need to be changed.

    mail2

  3. Note: If you have an existing account and would like to add your UW email account, click on the plus (+) button in the lower left corner to add a new account. This will launch the new account creation wizard mentioned above.
  4. Click on the up/down arrow to the right of "Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP):", then select "Edit Server List" to bring up a window like the picture below.
    mail3
  5. Confirm that your Outgoing Mail Server is set to smtp.washington.edu unless you are connecting via a non-UW network, in which case, enter the SMTP server name that is provided by the service provider you do use.
  6. Click the "Advanced" option.
  7. Confirm that your Server port is set to 587 and that Use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is checked.
  8. Authentication method should be Password.
  9. Enter your UW NetID for the User Name field and your UW NetID password for the Password field. You may also opt to not to enter your password here, in which case you'll be asked for it each time you send email.
  10. Click OK. This should bring you back to the accounts window.
  11. Click the Mailbox Behaviors tab to continue with the options panel pictured below.

    mail4

  12. None of the check boxes for Drafts, Notes, Sent or Junk should be checked (yet).
  13. Be sure the check box next to "Move deleted messages to Trash" is not checked.
  14. Click the "Advanced" tab to continue with the options panel pictured below.

    mail5

  15. Be sure the check box next to "Enable this account" is checked.
  16. Be sure the check box next to "Include this account when checking for new mail" is checked.
  17. Be sure the check box next to "Compact mailboxes when closing" is checked.
  18. The setting for "Keep copies" is somewhat controversial. Mail really WANTS to cache all messages and attachments, that lets it provide certain functions and services with good performance, but MAY impose a performance burden when checking for new messages. The setting shown, "All messages and their attachments" makes the maximum amount of data available to Mail on the Mac.
  19. Next to IMAP Path Prefix, you must enter "mail" to see the same folder collections that you see with Alpine, Web Alpine, etc.
  20. You must be sure the check box next to "Use SSL" is checked (this will automatically fill in the correct port number, 993).
  21. Select (from the pop-up list) an Authentication method of Password.
  22. Keep the option to "Use Idle" set to "on".
  23. Click the red button in the top left corner to close the Account configuration panels. You should be asked if you'd like to save your changes, please click Save.
  24. Finally, click the Get Mail button in the middle of the Mail toolbar at the top of the window to start downloading messages from your inbox and get a list of any folders you have on the UW email server.

    What you should see now is something like this:

    mail6

Configuring Mail and Alpine to Share Folders

By setting the "Account Prefix Path" to "mail" you've already got Mail app and Alpine (Web Alpine, etc.) looking at the same starting place for folders. You should probably also configure Mail app so that you can see deleted messages (until expunged), similar to what Alpine uses, and uses the same folders Alpine does for copies of sent mail.

Note: Perform this configuration only after getting the basic Mail app configuration above done and having seen a list of your UW email folders from within the Mail app.

  1. StepsActions
  2. If it isn't already running, run the Mail app (be sure you have an active Internet connection first...).
  3. Click on your "sent-mail" folder in the list of folders, this will select that folder for the next action. From the "Mailbox" menu select "Use Selected Mailbox for -> Sent". Note that when you do this your "sent-mail" folder will disappear from the list of folders! It is now represented by the "Sent" folder, but it is still really named "sent-mail" on the server, so you'll see the same sent messages from OS X Mail, Alpine, Web Alpine, etc.
  4. By default, Mail will have created a "Drafts" folder that is ON your Macintosh's disk. It is not possible to share a "Drafts" ("postponed") messages folder between Alpine and Mail, so this is probably fine. If you use OS X Mail on multiple computers you can choose to save the Drafts folder on server under Mail->Preferences->Account->(your account)->Edit->Special Mailboxes and there turn on the option to store Drafts on the server.
  5. Since this combination of settings will leave "deleted" messages in the folder until "compacted" (similar to Alpine's "expunge") you may want to set the option to view such deleted messages. From the View menu item, if you see an option to "Show Deleted Messages" then select it. When selected, this will toggle to become "Hide Deleted Messages". Also note that we previously set Mail, under advanced account options, to automatically compact folders on exit.

Configuring Message Composition Options

You will probably want to set the message composition option to send "plain text" by default, so that it can be read by the most people with the least trouble.

  1. StepsActions
  2. If it isn't already running, run Mail (be sure you have an active internet connection first...).
  3. From the Mail menu, select Preferences, then click the Composing item to bring up the composing preferences panel, pictured below.

    mail7

  4. Next to Format, use the pop-up list to select Plain Text.
  5. Click the red circle in the top left corner to close the preferences panel.

Configuring Mac OS X Mail to Use LDAP

  1. StepsActions
  2. If it isn't already running, run Mail (be sure you have an active Internet connection first...).
  3. From the Mail menu, select Preferences, then click the Composing item to bring up the composing preferences panel, pictured below.

    mail7

  4. Be sure the check box next to "Automatically complete addresses" is checked.
  5. Click the Configure LDAP button to bring up the server configuration panel, similar to the picture below.

    add-LDAP

  6. Click the plus (+) button in the lower left corner to add a new LDAP service, which brings up a panel similar to the picture below.

    config-LDAP

  7. Click next to Name and add a descriptive name as you prefer (e.g., "UW Directory")
  8. Click next to Server and enter "directory.washington.edu"
  9. Click next to Search Base and enter:
    o=University of Washington, c=US

    NOTE: Type this exactly as it appears. The first character is the letter "oh" (NOT the number zero). Be sure to include the comma and the space after Washington. Also note that you can change the behavior of the LDAP search by modifying this string. For example, to limit the search to ONLY UW faculty and staff use:
    ou=Faculty and Staff, ou=People, o=University of Washington, c=US

    Or, to limit to students only use:
    ou=Students, ou=People, o=University of Washington, c=US

  10. Leave the Port and Scope at the default (389, Subtree) settings.
  11. Click Save and then Close.
  12. Click the red circle in the top left corner to close the preferences panel.

    Note that Mail actually cooperates with the OS X Address Book program, and it is this program that actually was configured with the LDAP server information.

Converting Your Alpine Address Book

There is currently no single easy and reliable method to convert Alpine address books to OS X Mail.

Last modified: November 10, 2014