Troubleshooting Mac Mail


Mac Mail, or Apple Mail may sometimes trouble you by suddenly becoming unable to send email and / or receive email. This is often accompanied by a notification that the server is offline, that the message "could not be sent using the Brownrice mail server", etc.

This is a well documented issue that affects many Apple Mail users, with many different email providers. There are just as many suggestions out there on how to fix the problem if you start searching the web. This FAQ takes those which we have found to be most effective and presents them in order from easy to advanced.

Often, closing and restarting Mail, or restarting your computer are enough to correct the problem, but first, let's get any mail that's stuck in the outbox saved as a draft so you don't lose it.

Click on your outbox in the left column (where all your folders are), select a message, and go to Message > Move To > Drafts in the main menu.

 

Save outbox messages as drafts

 

Next, let's close out Mac Mail. After you close it down, try restarting it from your Applications folder.

 

Force Quit Mac Mail

 

Force Quit Mac Mail

If you restart the application and are still having the problem, save any ongoing work, and restart your computer.

 

Reboot your Mac

 

If you are still having trouble at this point, the next step is to remove SMTP server passwords from your keychain. 

 

  • Open your Applications, and locate the Utilities Folder.
  • Open Utilities, and find the "Keychain Access" utilitiy.
  • Keychain access has a search box in the top right corner
  • Enter "mail.brownrice.com" in the search box, and delete any passwords that appear in the list.
  • Enter "mail.yourdomain.com" (substituting your actual domain of course) in the search box, and delete any passwords that appear in the list
  • Enter "smtp.yourdomain.com" (substituting your actual domain of course) in the search box, and delete any passwords that appear in the list
  • Enter "imap.yourdomain.com" (substituting your actual domain of course) in the search box, and delete any passwords that appear in the list
This will require you to enter your passwords again. If you do not have your Brownrice email password, we can provide it for you. We can not provide passwords for other accounts / services not related to BRI, so don't detete a password that is not directly associated with your Brownrice email account.
If you are uncomfortable with the procedure at this point we highly recommend you contact Apple tech support, or a local I.T. specialist to assist you.

 

Now let's verify your settings to make sure Mac Mail is communicating with our servers properly:

 

Opening Preferences

 

Account Information

 

Account Advanced

 

Edit SMTP Server List

 

Basic Settings

 

Advanced Settings

Once you have verified the settings and corrected any inconsistencies, restart your Mac again.

 

Different Settings if you have a POP account:

 

POP Settings

 

POP Server Settings

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