Getting iCloud Mail Working on Your Mac

Use Apple Mail to Access your iCloud Mail Account

iCloud Preferences screen

iCloud, Apple's solution to cloud-based storage and syncing, includes a free web-based email account that can be accessed from any Mac, Windows, or iOS device using the iCloud website through a browser or the Mail app.

Instructions in this article apply to Macs running OS X 10.8 and later, except as noted.

Enable iCloud Mail Service in macOS

To enable the iCloud Mail service, set up the iCloud services.

Before you can set up the iCloud services, set up an iCloud account on your Mac.

  1. Go to the Apple menu or the Dock, then select System Preferences.

    System Preferences in Apple Menu
  2. In the System Preferences window, select iCloud.

    If you haven't enabled your iCloud account yet, the iCloud preference pane prompts you for your Apple ID and password.

  3. Select the Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders, Notes, and Safari check boxes.

    Checkboxes in iCloud pane of System Preferences
  4. Select the Back arrow (located at the top of the screen) to exit the iCloud preference screen and save the changes.

  5. Verify that the iCloud Mail account was created. Open Apple Mail, go to the Mail menu, then select Preferences. In the Mail Preferences window, select Accounts to view the details for your iCloud Mail account.

    Accounts icon in System Preferences
  6. Confirm that Enable this account is checked and that the Status indicates the account is online. Additional optional settings for the account are in the Mailbox Behaviors and Server Settings tabs.

Enable iCloud Mail Service in Earlier Versions of OS X

There are slight variations with OS X versions earlier than 10.7.5. This process is typical:

  1. Select the Apple menu or the Dock icon, select System Preferences, then choose iCloud.

  2. To enable iCloud Mail, select the Mail & Notes check box.

  3. If this is your first time using iCloud Mail & Notes, create an email account. All iCloud email accounts end in @me or @icloud.com. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your iCloud email account.

  4. After you complete the email setup, exit the iCloud preferences pane. Click the Back button.

Add Your iCloud Mail Account to the Apple Mail App

Although you can access your iCloud Mail account from any browser, it's convenient to link it to the Apple Mail app. If your iCloud account isn't available in the Mac Mail app, add it manually.

  1. Close Apple Mail if it's open.

  2. Go to the Apple menu, select System Preferences, then click Internet Accounts.

    Internet Accounts icon in System Preferences
  3. In the Internet Accounts window, click the Plus sign (+) located at the bottom of the left panel, then select iCloud.

    iCloud icon in Internet Accounts pane of System Preferences
  4. Supply the Apple ID and password used to set up iCloud. The iCloud account is added to the list of accounts currently active on the Mac.

    Signing in to iCloud in preferences
  5. Click the iCloud account in the left pane and confirm that Mail, Contacts, and Notes have a check mark in front of them.

    iCloud pane in Internet Accounts
  6. Click the red circle located in the upper-left corner of the Internet Accounts screen to exit System Preferences.

  7. In Apple Mail, look for iCloud listed in Mail Inbox. If you don't see it, click the Inbox disclosure triangle to expand the Inbox list.

Test With iCloud Mail From the Web

Test the iCloud Mail account to ensure that everything works correctly. An easy way to do this is to access the iCloud mail system.

  1. Open a web browser and go to iCloud.com.

    Logging in to iCloud.com
  2. Enter your Apple ID and password.

  3. Click the Mail icon.

    Mail icon on icloud.com website
  4. Send a test message from iCloud.com to one of your other email accounts.

    Send button in Mail app
  5. Wait a few minutes. Then check Apple Mail to see if the test message came through. If it did, send a reply and check the results in the iCloud mail system.

That's all there is to setting up the Apple Mail application to access your iCloud email account.