My Mail Can't Be Retrieved

When I check my mail, I get a "Fetch Error," saying that Mail couldn't connect to my mail server.

This can happen for various reasons, such as a problem with your Internet connection, a misconfigured email account, and so on. Use the following information to correct the problem.

Open and use another Internet application, such as a Web browser.

If it works properly, there is a problem with Mail or your mail account configuration.

If it doesn't work properly, you are having trouble with your Internet access, which is why your mail account can't be accessed. You need to troubleshoot your Net connection.

For help troubleshooting your Net connection, see "Troubleshooting," p. 294.

If you have more than one email account, try all your accounts. If you have problems with all your accounts, something might have happened to the Mail application.

For help with troubleshooting applications, see Chapter 29, "Solving Mac Problems," p. 915.

If your other accounts work, the problem is related to the specific account. If you have successfully retrieved email under this account before, the problem is likely a temporary one with the server from which you retrieve email or a temporary interruption in your communication with that server. In this case, wait awhile and try again later. If you continue to have problems or you have never been able to retrieve email from this account, try the following:

  1. In Mail, select Mail, Preferences.

  2. Click the Accounts button.

  3. Select the account with which you are having trouble.

  4. Click Edit. Check the account information for that account?especially the Host Name, User Name, and Password fields?and correct any errors you find. If no errors exist in these fields, the account is configured properly.

  5. Allow some time to pass and try the account again. If you are still unable to retrieve your mail, the problem might reside with the provider of the mail account.

  6. Contact the technical support for the organization providing your mail service for further help.

My Mail Can't Be Sent

When I try to send mail, I get an error message stating that my mail can't be sent.

Troubleshooting this problem is similar to troubleshooting a problem retrieving mail. The only difference is in step 4. You should carefully check the SMTP Host, SMTP User, and SMTP password boxes. If authentication is used for your SMTP account, make sure the Authentication check box is checked.


For help troubleshooting a problem with sending mail, refer to "My Mail Can't Be Retrieved," earlier in this section.

Recipients of My Attachments Are Seeing Odd Things

People to whom I send attachments see duplicate files, missing file attachment messages, and other odd things.

This happens when the recipient's email application does not fully support the encoding scheme Mail uses to encode files you attach to your messages. Most email applications decode files well enough for the files to be used, although some strange things can happen on the recipient's end. A few email applications can't decode the Mail file attachments at all. Problems with can be experienced with very old Mac email applications, some Windows email applications, and some Unix email applications.

In some cases, Windows recipients receive two files for each file you attach. Mail sends two files; one contains the file data and other contains the resource information. Most of the time, the recipient can use one of the duplicate files normally, safely ignore the resource file, and work with the data file. Tell the recipients who are having problems to try opening the files to determine which one is the correct file. The recipients can discard the unused resource files.

The missing file attachment message can usually be ignored, or you can try to resend the attachments using the Windows-friendly setting.

If the recipient's email application is incapable of decoding the files at all, you must find another means to transmit the files to her, such as an email application that enables you to select a different encoding scheme. Or, you can create a .Mac Web site to share the files.

To learn how to use .Mac to share files, see "Using a .Mac iDisk and HomePage to Create and Serve Your Web Pages," p. 426.

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Life