When you first your Apple Mail email program on Mac OS X, you will have the opportunity to add an email account of your choice. During that process, Mac Mail will collect your account user name (email address, typically), and your email password - with the option of automatically remembering your password whenever you need to send or receive emails. But what happens if you change your email password? Generally, this is done from the website of the webmail provider in question (MobileMe, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail, AOL Mail, and many others). At that point, the password Mac Mail has on file for this particular email account will no longer work, and you will need to change the stored email password.
How do I change my Mac Mail password (Apple Mail on Mac OS X)?
This is how you change the stored email password in Mail for Mac OS X: (if you want to change the actual user account credentials for your Mac, see how to change password on Mac OS X).
- First, launch Mac Mail by clicking on its icon in the dock or typing "Mail" in Spotlight.
- Once you are inside the email program, click on the "Mail" menu in the top left corner of the screen, and choose "Preferences" from the dropdown (or press "Cmd+," on your keyboard).
- Once the Mail options dialog opens, select the "Accounts" tab: Mac Mail will display all email accounts currently setup inside the application. Click on the email account whose password you want to change (if you only have a single email account, it is already selected).
- Once you see your email account information loaded on the right part of the Preferences window, make sure that the "Account Information" tab is selected (should be by default).
- The middle section of that tab starts with your "Incoming Mail Server", and "User Name", and includes a single "Password" text field further below. Double-click inside the password field to select the current password, and start typing over it your new password. Since Mac Mail doesn't let you see what you type, and doesn't offer a second password field to confirm, pay particular attention to avoiding any typos (a wrong password will generate error messages when you try to check for new messages or try to send one.)
- Once you are done, click on the Close button or press "Esc" on your keyboard, and choose "Save" from the confirmation dialog Mac Mail shows when asking "Save changes to the "[your email account name]" POP/IMAP account?" (or simply click on the "Don't save" button to keep your current password and return to
- Apple Mail will exit the Preferences window, and return to your emails; from this point on, Mac OS X will store the new and updated email password in your keychain.
Mac Mail Tip: if you change your email password inside Mac Mail, it will only affect the application itself, not your email account. In other words, to change your actual email account password, you'll need to first go through the email provider to update your credentials, and then make the change in Mac OS X. For more information about this email program, please see our Apple / Mac Mail Tutorial.
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