Use Gmail with Mavericks Mail

Like many users, I have had problems using my Gmail account with Mavericks Mail. Today I decided to test Mavericks Mail with a new Gmail account without using any of the known workarounds we have used in the past to get Gmail to work correctly with our email clients, I selected default settings in Mail and the following settings in Gmail > Settings in my browser. Surprise! It all just worked as expected.


  • No root folder required.
  • No prefix [Gmail]/ for custom folders.
  • I no longer had to assign folders under Mailbox >  “Use this folder for Drafts, Sent, Junk, Trash”.
  • When I deleted a message it actually went to Trash not to All Mail.

Gmail Browser Settings



It’s important that you select the All Mail folder. I know for many users this is an issue, but Mavericks Mail seems to require this setting. You might want to clean up the Label in the lower section. Many will be duplicates and/or empty. I would delete or remove.


Mail creates the All Mail folder under Archive


Tip: When setting up Gmail account in Mail, be sure to put your full email address as User in both the account window and in SMTP settings under the Advanced tab.

If you use Outlook for Mac, see Connect Outlook for Mac 2011 to Gmail’s IMAP service



31 thoughts on “Use Gmail with Mavericks Mail

  1. I have had these settings for a while now. I just noticed, that after archiving mails from my inbox to the All Mail folder (default “archive” button) the selected mails go to the All Mail Folder for a minute or two, then reappear in my inbox. Is there a fix for it, too?

    • Messages in the Inbox are by design also in the Gmail All Mail folder. To remove from the Inbox, you can log into your Gmail account in your browser and select to Archive the Inbox messages you wish to archive. This will remove the “Inbox” label so they only show up in All Mail.

  2. MANY THANKS. A few annoying weeks of constant password reminders, and a few hours of online searching and you had the simple answer. Thank you!


  3. Hi –
    Thanks so much for your help! I used your suggestion (Select “Show” for the All Mail folder through Gmail’s web interface), and I am now RECEIVING email from my Gmail account in Mail, but I cannot SEND from Mail (using my Gmail account). I can SEND from other accounts I have set up. When I try to send from the Gmail account I get the same “Mail cannot connect to the Google account Gmail.” Obviously the password is correct since I’m receiving mail, so I don’t know what to try now. Thanks very much.

    • Go the the Outgoing Mail Server SMTP, click on the popup and select Edit SMTP server list...
      Select the Gmail account in the list.
      In the bottom of the window, click on Advanced tab.

      • Is the password blank? If yes, enter again
      • Set Port to 465 (Gmail prefers 465)
      • Make sure SSL is checked.

      I’m not sure why this happens but it’s very common.

      • Hi There, I am having some great difficulty and I’m afraid I am not a computer whiz.. I am unable to receive email messages on my mac since yesterday although they seem to still be going to my phone. I have the messages:Mail was unable to log in to the IMAP server “” using “Password” authentication.Too many simultaneous connections.
        So.. I tried to fix this by taking your suggestion to change the port to 465 but I did it on the Google IMAP and now its worse and won’t send anything as I guess the server has been disabled!! And I don’t remember the # the port was before. I think it began with 9.. help!

        • Ok. Disregard my last message. I found out what the port # should be and I have a green light on the google IMAP but still red on the gmail SMTP.


            In Accounts window > Outgoing Mail Server SMTP:  select to Edit SMTP Server list… from popup.

            Select account in the list.(It’s not uncommon to find extra SMTP servers listed. When you remove account, Mail does not delete the smtp info. You might need to do some clean up in the list to remove the extras.)

            Under Advanced Tab:

            Apple defaults to the default ports (25,465, 587) but some servers prefer a custom port. Check to see what port they recommend. Gmail for example likes 465, 587.

            Verify if your server require SSL. (yes for Gmail)

            User Name. Enter full email address  eg.
            Add password if it is blank.(If you have two step authentication setup, you’ll need to get an app specific password  more info)


            Now check in Connection Doctor for Gmail SMTP.

        • When you see this error “too many simultaneous connections” it usually means you have too many devices trying to connect to your Gmail account at the same time. Try putting the other email apps into work offline mode to see if this helps.

          In addition, Apple released OS X 10.10.3 that has improved Mail support. I suggest you download and run the combo updater instead of using software updater. If you have already updated via Software Updater you can run the combo updater to refresh your OS X files.

          OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 Combo Update

          Ports starting with 9 are for incoming messages.

          By default Apple now uses Port 587 for SMTP where it used to default to 25, 465 and 587. Gmail specifies 465 as SMTP port. However, I find that my Gmail is working perfectly find with 587 in OS X 10.10.3. Rather than trying to tweak your setting, remove the Gmail account and add it back after updating to OS X 10.10.3

          See this link for Google help: Problems sending mail with POP or IMAP

    • When you say Mavericks Mail account, do you mean your account?

      It’s possible you are seeing an issue where an email shows up twice in Mail, but it’s actually only one message. Do you see the duplicate when you log into Gmail with your browser?

      I see every message from Apple discussions as a duplicate and I see duplicate archive folders. However when I check in the User’s Library/Mail folder I don’t see the duplicates.

      If you want to send me a screen shot, I’ll send you an email so you can send to me privately.

  4. 07/31/2014
    I have several GMAIL accounts that I use with Mac Mail. For the last several months each time I clicked on GET MAIL, in”Mail Activity” at the bottom, numerous “Incoming Messages” appears and the number of messages continues to climb. I did make some changes based on your article about Gmail/Mac Mail, and the numbers have slowed down but continue to climb. Is this normal? I don’t remember this happening before. I am running 10.9.4. Any help will be appreciated.

    • It’s not “normal” but it is an issue for many users. It’s unclear exactly why some users are experiencing this when others do not. Check your Inbox for the total number of messages. You might want to archive most messages to the All Mail folder while you are logged into Gmail account in Safari. After you make this change, remove Gmail in Mail then add it back. Let me know if this helps.

        • Diane…one last question before I “delete” my accounts in Mail. I assume that I do this in “Preferences” in Mail, correct? Thanks again!

          • If you select to delete in Mail > Preferences > Accounts, it usually takes you to System Preferences > Internet Accounts to delete. You can uncheck Mail only to remove from Mail. No need to remove from contacts, calendars etc.

  5. HI Diane….well, I “unchecked Mail” for all of my accounts, quit Mail/System Preferences, opened Mail and “Enabled the account” in Mail. The number of emails loading seems to be less but will need to watch it for a few days. The end of June, before we were gone for a month without Mail access, the numbers were in the thousand on a daily basis. The number of emails loading seems to be less but still there. Will watch it and get back to you in a few days. I really appreciate your taking the time with me on this item. Have a great week-end!

    • It’s a strange problem so there is no obvious fix. I had one user that switched back to POP and that fixed the thousands downloading issue but then they lost the benefits of using IMAP.

      Gmail works best in a browser. All email clients try to work around it’s oddities with mixed results.

      • 08/04
        Diane….the count of emails continues to come in, but at a possibly slower pace after I changed to POP. What actually is happening with these emails coming in? Are they going directly to my hard drive?

        • It’s downloading all your messages. There was an option where you could select to only download new messages.

          Messages go to the Inbox unless you have a rule that is moving the messages.

          • HI…one more series of questions to try and correct this: you mentioned an “option to where you could select to only download new messages”; where and how is this done? And, you mentioned that “messages go to the inbox unless you have a rule that is moving the messages”. Could these “incoming” ones be moved to the trash? And, if so, how is this done. Again, I do appreciate your time on this.

          • Open Gmail Settings in your browser. Under Forwarding and POP/IMAP, there is an option for POP accounts to Enable POP for mail that arrives from now on. There is no option like this for IMAP.

            You can “filter” messages by setting up a filter in Gmail > Settings > Filters or you can setup Rules in Mail to move the messages. I find that using Gmail’s filters works best since it does it at the server level. If you open a message in Gmail in your browser, select filter messages like this. This will open the filter setup window. Filter Messages like this

  6. Hello Diane,
    We just migrated from Microsoft office 365 to google for our mail services. When I added the Mail account on my Mac, It synced the inbox but all the folders were empty even though they are visible. On the server though, all the emails are there in their respective folders.

    I followed all the steps you listed on the apple support page and on here including removing and adding the account. The ‘All mail’ can be found with thousands of emails in there but as it is not within the folder, I have now way of finding emails by folders ( I have tons of them as it is completed to work through the thousands of emails I have without the folders). ON the gmail server the folders are all ticked to ‘show’ and show in IMAP but nothing is happening in the Mail.

    Your insight/help will be much appreciated.


    • In your browser under Settings > Labels, try this on one folder as a test. Put [Gmail]/ in front of the folder name.
      In Mail, select Gmail account (Inbox) and select Synchronize. You might need to quit and restart Gmail to make the new folder be recognized. If this works, do this for all your folders.

      Mail should have recognized the folders without the prefix, so not sure if this will work. If it fails, eliminate Mail by testing in Postbox and/or MailMate. Both have demos.
      Setup in MailMate is super easy since it imports your account info from Mail. MailMate supports IMAP only.

  7. Woah, you knew the problem and solution better than any google or apple support page. Honestly, just spent an hour trying just about everything and was ready to schedule an appointment. Finally tried one last trick you mentioned again and it worked! Definitely will bookmark this in case I need to schedule an appointment in the future. May I suggest a simple donate button at the bottom of the page? Give credit where credit is due…Thanks so much!

  8. Running 10.9.5
    Using Gmail Pop server (actually imap)

    Mail stopped receiving and sending, possibly after setting up new router. I was connected to the internet and iPhone was receiving mails. Tried similar solutions to your recommendations, such as re-filling the smtp details, but this didn’t work. Then I decided to delete the account in ‘Internet Accounts’ in order to repace it with new password details. All mails, except the one selected in Mail, instantly disappeared. Very few problems over the past two years. Help!

    (I process e-mail exclusively off-line, but retain all mail on gmail.)

    • It sounds like Gmail was setup as POP in Mail. When you delete a POP account it also deletes all the messages in the Inbox, Drafts, Sent and Trash folders.
      Log into Gmail in your web browser and see if your messages are still in the Inbox or if they are in All Mail folder.

      If you need personal help, let me know.

      FWIW, 10.9.5 no longer receives security updates. You should update the operating system. Current version if 10.12.1. Unless you previously downloaded the installers for Yosemite and/or El Capitan you will not be able to download those installers.

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