Today I'm going to look at the settings for sending emails in Mail. This is something to do in the following case:

  1. You are connected to the internet.
  2. Your hosting company doesn't have any problems and there are no iCloud or Gmail outages.
  3. You can receive but not send emails with an account or a single computer.

I wasn't able to send emails with one of my Gmail test accounts. A couple of months ago I already had a look at what the Connection Doctor window could do. So I'm going to check connections first.

Here is my Connection Doctor window:

Connection Doctor in Mail

Can you spot the problem? The row with SMTP info for the account starting with bwillius is missing.

Receiving and sending emails are 2 different activities. They are "governed" by 2 different protocols. IMAP is for receiving emails and SMTP is for sending emails. You have only one user name, one server name and one password. In each new versions Mail tries to simplify setting up IMAP accounts. But it still makes a very odd interface with the SMTP setting.

Opening the misbehaving IMAP account I can immediately see why the account doesn't want to send emails:

Gmail account server settings

"Outgoing Mail Account" is set to "None". After setting up a Gmail account the account should have something else than "None" here.

Opening the dropdown menu for "Outgoing Mail Account" I get a list of all available SMTP servers:

Available SMTP servers in Mail

For my problem I only need to select the correct account for Gmail. But why can I still select an account here? I mean I could but I can't use another account for security reasons. I would get an error message.

Clicking on "Edit SMTP Server List" I get the following information:

SMTP server list in Mail

I can see all accounts in "Outgoing Mail Account". But here I can only see the "real" SMTP servers without iCloud or Gmail.

But the list may be problematic because it will contain all SMTP servers I ever used. The not used anymore servers aren't removed from the list. This isn't a problem on new computers. But if you migrate you data then the list may contain outdated information. The values can also become corrupt.

Therefore, do 3 things here:

  1. Make sure that the values for user name, password and host name are okay.
  2. If you still can't send emails then delete a server and add it back. Write down or copy the settings. Click on the minus button to delete the server. Then click on the plus button and add the information back.
  3. And finally clean up old servers by clicking on the minus button to remove the servers.

That's it for today. In the next blog entry I'm going to look at a really nasty problem when sending emails.