If you can’t send or receive email on your Mac

Follow these steps if the Mail app on your Mac suddenly doesn't send or receive email.

If your Mac is connected to the Internet, but Mail no longer sends or receives email messages, the issue could be with the provider of your email service. Or you could have missing or outdated settings in the Accounts section of Mail preferences (Mail > Preferences).

If Mail refers to a problem with the mail server or network

Mail might say that it’s unable to connect because of a problem with the mail server or network. For example, the message might refer to a connection that timed out, or too many simultaneous connections:

 Unable to connect alert

If you're connected to the Internet but the connection timed out, your email provider could be experiencing a service outage. Contact them for help, or check their website for a system status page. Apple's system status page shows the status of iCloud Mail and other services. Status pages are also available for Gmail and Outlook, for example.

If the message refers to the number of simultaneous connections, too many of your devices are checking your email account at the same time. Quit Mail on one or more of your other devices.

If Mail keeps asking for your email password

If Mail says that your account appears to be offline

Mail might say that your account appears to be offline due to a network problem.

 Online Status alert

If you're connected to the Internet but your account appears to be offline, your email settings might no longer be correct. To view your current settings in Mail, choose Preferences from the Mail menu, click Accounts, then select your email account.

Your Mac automatically uses the correct account settings for many email providers. You can use Mail Settings Lookup to view those settings, or get the settings directly from your email provider. Then compare them to the settings you see in Mail preferences. 

If email doesn't arrive as soon as you expect

Incoming or outgoing email might take longer to arrive than you expect, or it might arrive on one device before arriving on another device.

Email delivery is scheduled by your email provider, and delivery time could also be affected by your Internet provider. If you often experience significant email delays, contact your email provider or Internet provider. If the delays occur only when communicating with a particular person, that person may need to contact their email provider or Internet provider.

If you still can’t send or receive email

  1. Make sure that you installed the latest Mac software updates, especially if the issue occured immediately after installing a previous update.
  2. In OS X El Capitan or later, you might see a status icon and brief error message in the upper-right corner of the Mail window, beneath the Search field. The message might say “Network Offline” or “Login Failed,” for example. Click the message to see more details about the issue.
  3. Check your connection in Mail Connection Doctor. It might be able to tell you more about the issue.

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