Change General settings in Mail on Mac
Use General settings in Mail to change options for checking for new messages, downloading attachments, searching, and more.
To change these settings in the Mail app on your Mac, choose Mail > Settings, then click General.
Default email reader
Choose the email app you want to use on your Mac. Mail is set by default.
Check for new messages
Choose how often you want Mail to get new messages from the Mail server. By default, the option is set to Automatically (the frequency of checking for new messages varies based on whether your Mac is plugged into an electrical outlet).
If you change the option to Manually, click the Get Mail button in the Mail toolbar to check for messages. (Whenever you click an IMAP or Exchange Mailbox in the Mail sidebar, it syncs with the server, and shows new messages.)
New messages sound
Choose the sound you want to hear when messages arrive, or choose None if you don’t want to hear a sound. To sample a sound, choose it in the list.
To hear sounds for other events in Mail—for example, when you send a message—select the “Play sounds for other mail actions” checkbox.
Dock unread count
Choose which mailboxes to include in the count of unread messages (the red circle, called a badge, that’s shown on the Mail icon in the Dock).
The count appears only if “Badge app icon” is selected for Mail in Notifications settings. To open Notifications settings, choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Notifications in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
New message notifications
Choose the mailbox for which you want notifications to be displayed when messages arrive.
To be displayed, the alert style must be set to Banners or Alerts for Mail in Notifications settings. To open Notifications settings, choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Notifications in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
Choose the folder where you want to store attachments that you save.
Remove unedited downloads
Choose when you want attachments that are temporarily saved in the Mail Downloads folder (in the Library folder of your home folder) to be deleted. By default, an attachment that you haven’t edited or saved is deleted when you delete the message that contains it.
Enable message follow up suggestions
If you send a message and don’t receive a response for several days, the email automatically moves back to the top of your inbox to help you remember to follow up.
To disable this feature, deselect the checkbox.
Archive or delete muted messages
Move the messages in muted conversations to an archive or trash mailbox, depending on which mailboxes are available for the email account to which the message was sent.
If you don’t select this option, the messages in muted conversations remain in your Inbox.
Automatically try sending later if outgoing server is unavailable
When the SMTP server is unavailable, Mail stores your messages in the Outbox and tries sending them again later.
To have Mail show other servers that are available to send messages, deselect the checkbox.
Prefer opening messages in split view when in full screen
When Mail is full screen, open messages side-by-side with the message list. (If you’re working with Mail and another app in Split View, messages open by sliding up from the bottom of the screen.)
To always have messages slide up from the bottom of the screen, deselect the checkbox.
When searching all mailboxes, include results from
Include messages from the Trash or Junk mailboxes, or encrypted messages, in search results.
If you previously used Mail plug-ins, click Manage Plug-ins to enable them again.