Chapter 18. Mail & Contacts

Email is a fast, cheap, convenient communication medium. In fact, these days, anyone who doesn’t have an email address is considered some kind of freak.

If you do have an email address or two, you’ll be happy to discover that macOS includes Mail, a program that lets you get and send email messages without having to wade through a lot of spam (junk mail). Mail is a surprisingly complete program, filled with shortcuts and surprises around every turn.

(In macOS Sierra, the biggest surprise of all might be how efficient it can be to control Mail by voice, using Siri [Chapter 8]. You can both read and compose emails by voice; let the examples in Tip be your guide.)

Setting Up Mail

Mail can’t get your mail unless it knows the details of your email account. The first time you open Mail, then, it asks you for your account information. It’s kind of hoping you use a common email service like Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or Microsoft Exchange (Figure 18-1), or a common Internet provider like Verizon or Comcast. In those situations, all you have to do is type your email name and password. If Mail recognizes the suffix (for example,, then it does the heavy lifting for you. Mail is ready to go online.


You can perform exactly the same account setup in the Internet Accounts pane in System Preferences. There’s no advantage of one method or the other, except that the System Preferences pane lets you enter your account information for online calendars and address books, ...

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