Mac OS X 10.1: How to Set up LDAP Address Services for Mail

You can set up the Mail application to find names and email addresses from your institution's LDAP server.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Many institutions store address information on LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) servers. You can set up the Mail application included with Mac OS X to use these servers to find email addresses when names are typed in the various address fields (To, Cc, and Bcc).

This document assumes you have already set up a POP or IMAP email account.

Follow these steps:

    1. Open the application Mail (from the Dock or Applications folder).
    2. Choose Preferences from the Mail menu.
    3. Click Composing in the toolbar.
    4. Be sure that the checkbox is selected for "Lookup addresses in network directories."
    5. Click Edit Server List.
    6. Click Add Server.
    7. Double-click the empty field in the "Host name" column, then type the DNS name of the LDAP host.
    Note: It might look like: exampleldap.apple.com. Check with your Internet service provider or network administrator to get the address of your LDAP server. There are also a number of public LDAP servers. To find one, use Sherlock to search the Internet for "public ldap servers".
    8. Press Return.
    9. Double-click the empty field in the Search Base column. Type the information that is correct for your host.
    Note: Check with your network administrator or Internet service provider. The information might look like: ou=People, o=Company Name
    10. Press Return.
    11. Click Close.
    12. Close the Mail Preferences window.


When you type a name or email address, "Searching..." should appear in the field as you type. If the server only finds one name, it will fill in the field automatically. If the server finds multiple names, Mail first suggests one you use frequently, and a second or two later a list of other matches will appear.

Published Date: Feb 19, 2012