Customize the Apple Mail Toolbar

Tweak the Mail toolbar until it's just right

Mail Toolbar
Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

Apple Mail's default toolbar has all of the most often used mail commands already present. It can also do more with a bit of customization. You can add functions such as Redirect, Add to Contacts, Print, as well as Show and Hide Related Messages.

Customizing the Apple Mail toolbar buttons just takes is a little clicking and dragging.

Instructions in this article apply to Mac OS X Tiger (10.4) and later.

How to Customize the Mail Toolbar

Follow these steps to get the Mail toolbar how you want it.

  1. To customize the Mail toolbar, right-click in a blank area of the toolbar and select Customize Toolbar from the pop-up menu.

    Customize Toolbar command in Apple Mail
  2. The toolbar menu will open, containing both individual buttons and groups (e.g., Reply, Reply All, and Forward are available separately or together).

    Drag the buttons you want to add to the location you want them. You can either choose an empty spot or a space between existing commands.

    Dragging an item to the toolbar in Mail
  3. To remove a button, drag it off of the toolbar. It will disappear when you release the mouse button.

    Removing item
  4. To rearrange buttons in the toolbar, drag them to where you'd like them to be.

    Moving an icon
  5. When you've finished adding icons, click Done.

You can also rearrange items in the toolbar without having to enter the Customize Toolbar mode by holding Command while clicking and dragging the button you want to move.

You can move and delete buttons from the toolbar using this method, but you can't add ones that aren't already there.

Change the Mail Toolbar View

By default, the Mail Toolbar displays icons and text, but you can change to just icons or just text if you prefer by right-clicking on the toolbar and selecting an option. Your choices are Icon and Text, Icon Only, and Text Only.

You can also change the view in the Customize Toolbar menu from the pull-down labelled Show.

Return the Mail Toolbar to the Default Arrangement

To return the Mail toolbar to its original arrangement, open the Customize Toolbar menu and drag the default set (near the bottom) to the toolbar. It will replace the existing setup.