Configuring Apple's E-mail Client

The following instructions are a guide for configuring Apple's e-mail client for use within the School. There is no one "correct" way to configure your e-mail but the instructions below should work for most users.

Note: Although mistakes made when configuring e-mail do not usually result in messages being deleted, your mail may be moved to unwanted folders. Please don't hesitate to ask for advice if you are unsure about any aspect of using your e-mail account.

Creating a new IMAP account

We recommend that users configure an IMAP account for use within the School. IMAP is more flexible than POP and allows you to access the same mail folders both within the School or from home (even if you decide to swap between different mail programs).

To create a new IMAP account:

  1. Start Apple's Mail program.
  2. If this is the first time you have run mail, you will be prompted to provide details for your account (see below).
  3. If you have already configured a mail account, you will need to add a new account.
    • Select Preferences... from the Mail menu
    • Create a new account by clicking the '+' button at the bottom of the Accounts list
    • Enter the details for the account in the text fields to the right (see below)

Adding mail account information if this is the first time the Mail program has been run (left) or if adding a new account (right).

Enter the following information for your e-mail account:

Account Type IMAP
Description A description of the account e.g. SoCS Mail Account
Full Name Your full name as you would like it displayed in your messages.
E-mail Address Your Computer Science e-mail address e.g. A.User@cs.bham.ac.uk
Incoming Mail Server mailhost.cs.bham.ac.uk
User Name Your Computer Science username
Password Your password on the UNIX systems
Outgoing Mail Server mail-relay.cs.bham.ac.uk
Important Note: If your machine is not connected to the School's network, then you should either use your ISP's SMTP server or the University's authenticate SMTP server auth-smtp.bham.ac.uk

Additional Settings

IMAP Path Prefix

Whilst we normally advise people to set the IMAP Path Prefix, we have found that the Mac Mail client can have problems when this is set - we suggest you leave the value blank to ensure that you can access any IMAP mail folders.

When left blank, it is normal to see your folders twice - both as "top-level" folders and as subfolders of your Inbox.

SSL

You mush configure Mail to use SSL to collect your email from the School's IMAP server.

  1. Select Preferences... from the Mail menu
  2. Select the account from the Accounts list and click the Advanced tab
  3. Check the SSL box next to the IMAP port number (the port should change to 993)
  4. You may need to restart Mail to apply the changes

Note: Mail will report that there is a problem with the server's certificate (itis self-signed) when you connect. Click continue to proceed with your connection. If you don't want these warnings appearing, you can import the School's site certificate into the System's X509 Anchors Keychain. Instructions for installing the certificate ca be found here.

Mapping Folders

By default, Mail will use its own Drafts, Sent and Trash folders which are stored loacally on your machine. However, if you already used other IMAP clients e.g. mozilla, Outlook or the webmail service, you may already have these folders on the IMAP server. If you would like to use these folders with Mail, you can map the destination of Drafts, Sent and Trash mail to folders on the IMAP server.

For example, to map your Sent folder to be the same folder mozilla uses (Sent on the IMAP server):

  1. Click the Mailboxes icon to display your IMAP folders
  2. Highlight the folder you wish to use for sent mail i.e. Sent
  3. Select the Use this Mailbox For item ftom the Mailbox menu in the tool bar
  4. Select Sent in the pop-up menu

This procedure can be repeated for other folders such as Drafts or Trash

Note: It isn't essential to map your folders as you can still access the mail in the Sent, Drafts, etc... folders on the server in the same way as for any other IMAP folder. However, you may find this feature useful if you regularly switch between IMAP clients.

Note: If you don't aleady have Sent, Drafts, etc... IMAP folders but would like to store these messages on the server, you can configure Mail to do this for you.

  1. Select Preferences... from the Mail menu
  2. Select the account from the Accounts list and click the Special Mailboxes tab
  3. Check the store on server box for each folder you would like stored on the IMAP server

Sending Plain Text Messages

The School has a policy of only sending e-mail in plain text format. To configure Mail to only send messages in plain text:

  1. Select Preferences... from the Mail menu
  2. Click the Composing icon
  3. Set Format to Plain Text