Automatically manage connection settings in Mail on your Mac

Mail automatically adjusts certain connection settings to keep your email working.

In OS X Yosemite v10.10 or later, Mail takes the following actions whenever it can't connect to your email provider to send or receive email. This happens in the background, without changing the server settings in Mail preferences.

  • Tries different port numbers for each email protocol (IMAP, POP, SMTP)
  • Tries using or not using TLS or SSL encryption
  • Tries using a different authentication methods (Password, MD5, NTLM, Kerberos, None)
  • Tries using your email user name with and without your account's domain name

Mail doesn't adjust settings that are working, so it's best to leave this feature turned on.

How to control this feature in macOS Sierra

  1. In Mail, choose Mail > Preferences, then click Accounts.
  2. Select your email account from the list.
  3. Click the Server Settings tab.
  4. Use the “Automatically manage connection settings” checkboxes to enable or disable this feature.
    If you don't see the checkboxes, connection settings are always automatically managed for your email provider.

Mail accounts preferences: Server Settings tab

How to control this feature in OS X El Capitan or Yosemite

For incoming email:

  1. In Mail, choose Mail > Preferences, then click Accounts.
  2. Select your email account from the list.
  3. Click the Advanced tab. 
  4. Use the “Automatically detect and maintain account settings” checkbox to enable or disable this feature.
    If the checkbox is dimmed, connection settings are always automatically managed for your email provider.

Mail accounts preferences: Advanced tab

For outgoing email

  1. In Mail, choose Mail > Preferences, then click Accounts.
  2. Select your email account from the list.
  3. Click the Account Information tab.
  4. From the Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) pop-up menu, choose Edit SMTP Server List.
  5. Make sure that the account's SMTP server is selected in the list.
  6. Click the Advanced tab.
  7. Use the “Automatically detect and maintain account settings” checkbox to enable or disable this feature.
    If the checkbox is dimmed, connection settings are always automatically managed for your email provider.

 

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