How to Reset Mail on Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide


Ted Stinson

Resetting your mail on a Mac can be a simple process if you follow the right steps. Sometimes, your email app may not be working correctly, and a reset is necessary to get things back on track. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to reset mail on your Mac, so you can get back to sending and receiving emails without any hiccups.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Reset Mail on Mac

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that resetting your mail will remove all of your current mail settings and accounts. You’ll have to re-add your accounts afterward, so make sure you have your account details handy.

Step 1: Open the Mail app

Launch the Mail app on your Mac. You can find it on the dock, in the Applications folder, or by using Spotlight search.

Opening the Mail app is your starting point. Make sure you quit any other applications that might be using your mail, like calendar or contacts apps.

Step 2: Go to Mail Preferences

Click on "Mail" in the top menu bar, and then select "Preferences" from the dropdown menu.

This will open up the preferences pane where you can see all your mail accounts and settings.

Step 3: Remove your mail accounts

Click on the "Accounts" tab, then select each mail account and click the "-" button at the bottom of the list to remove them.

Remember that this will delete all the mail associated with these accounts from your Mac. You will need to re-add them later to regain access to your emails.

Step 4: Close Mail and open Finder

Quit the Mail app and open a Finder window. You can do this by clicking on the Finder icon in the dock.

Finder is the file management app on your Mac where you can access all your files and folders.

Step 5: Go to the Library folder

In Finder, click on "Go" in the top menu bar, hold down the Option key on your keyboard, and then click on "Library" when it appears.

The Library folder is hidden by default, but holding down the Option key makes it visible in the "Go" menu.

Step 6: Delete Mail’s container folder

Inside the Library folder, navigate to ‘Containers’ and then delete the folder named ‘’.

This step is crucial as it removes the data that the Mail app uses. Be cautious and make sure you’re deleting the correct folder.

Step 7: Restart your Mac

Finally, restart your Mac to ensure all changes take effect.

A restart will refresh your system and apply the changes you’ve made by deleting the mail container folder.

After you complete these steps, you’ll need to reopen the Mail app and re-add your mail accounts. All your previous emails will be downloaded again from the server, and you should be able to send and receive emails without any issues.

Tips for Resetting Mail on Mac

  • Before resetting, backup any important emails that you can’t afford to lose.
  • Make sure you have all your email account details handy before you remove them.
  • If you’re unsure about any step, don’t hesitate to look up additional resources or ask for help.
  • After resetting, double-check your mail settings to ensure everything is configured correctly.
  • Keep your Mac updated to reduce the likelihood of mail app issues in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will resetting mail delete my emails?

Yes, it will delete the emails from your Mac, but they will still be on the email server and can be downloaded again.

Do I have to reset mail for all accounts?

Yes, the reset process removes all accounts and settings associated with the Mail app.

Can I back up my emails before resetting?

Yes, you can manually save important emails to a folder on your Mac before resetting.

What if my emails don’t re-download after resetting?

Check your internet connection and mail server settings to ensure everything is correct.

Can I reset mail without restarting my Mac?

While it’s possible, a restart ensures that all changes take effect properly, so it’s recommended.


  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. Go to Mail Preferences.
  3. Remove your mail accounts.
  4. Close Mail and open Finder.
  5. Go to the Library folder.
  6. Delete Mail’s container folder.
  7. Restart your Mac.


Resetting mail on your Mac might sound like a daunting task, but it’s really quite straightforward when you know the steps. Whether you’re troubleshooting an issue or simply want to start fresh, a reset can often do the trick. Remember, a reset should be the last resort after you’ve tried other troubleshooting steps. Always back up important emails and keep your account details handy, as you’ll need to set up your mail accounts again once the reset is complete. With this guide, resetting your mail should be a breeze, so you can focus on the more important thing – staying connected.