How to Delete an Outgoing Mail Server in macOS Mail

Delete button

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Apple's macOS Mail lets you set up several outgoing email servers. This flexibility can come in handy sometimes but it's useful to know how to delete SMTP server settings in the event that you don't need them anymore. For example, maybe the server settings are no longer relevant to your email accounts, were mistyped, or maybe they're old and broken.

Regardless of the reason, you can remove SMTP settings in macOS Mail using these easy to follow steps.

How to Remove SMTP Server Settings in macOS Mail

  1. With Mail open, navigate to the Mail > Preferences... menu item.

  2. Go into the Accounts tab.

  3. From there, open the Server Settings tab.

    If you're using an old version of Mail, you will not see this option. Just skip to the next step.

  4. Next to "Outgoing Mail Account:", click/tap the drop-down menu and choose the Edit SMTP Server List... option.

    Some versions of Mail might call this the Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP), and the option Edit Server List...

  5. Select an entry and choose the minus button toward the bottom of the screen, or pick an option called Remove Server if you see it.

  6. Depending on your version of Mail, hit the OK or Done button to return to the previous screen.

  7. You can now exit any open windows and return to Mail.

How to Delete SMTP Server Settings in Older Versions of Mac Mail

In versions of Mail prior to 1.3, things look a bit different. While there seems to be no obvious way to remove an SMTP server as you can in newer versions, there is an XML file that stores these settings, which we're free to open and edit.

  1. Make sure Mail is closed down.

  2. Open Finder and access the Go menu and then the Go to Folder... menu option.

  3. Copy/paste ~/Library/Preferences/ in that text field.

  4. Search for and open it with TextEdit.

  5. Within that file, search for DeliveryAccounts. You can do this in TextEdit through the Edit > Find > Find... option.

  6. Delete any SMTP servers you want to remove.

    The hostname is in the string following Hostname. Make sure you delete the whole account, starting with the <dict> tag and ending with </dict>.

  7. Save the PLIST file before exiting TextEdit.

  8. Open Mail to confirm that the SMTP servers are gone.