Apple Mail Outgoing Mail Server Issues

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2020

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A bug in Apple Mail causes affected mail accounts to lose the outgoing mail server (SMTP) information. You can trigger the problem by making changes to the outgoing mail server configuration in Mail –> Preferences. Fortunately, there is usually no need to make changes to the outgoing mail server configuration after setting up an email account. But it’s annoying that Apple has not fixed a bug that I reported in OS X 10.7 Lion. The current macOS version is 10.12 Sierra, and the bug is still present.

How to reproduce the issue

I have four accounts configured in Apple Mail:

  • iCloud account
  • Exchange 2010 account
  • Exchange 2013 (Office 365) account
  • IMAP account

Interestingly only two accounts show up in the “Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)” drop-down list. The outgoing server related to the IMAP account always shows, plus the outgoing server of the selected account.

Bug in Apple Mail causes accounts to lose outgoing mail server information
Only the selected account and IMAP are visible but not the Exchange accounts
Bug in Apple Mail causes accounts to lose outgoing mail server information
Similar phenomenon here – only the selected (Exchange) and IMAP accounts are visible.
Bug in Apple Mail causes accounts to lose outgoing mail server information
If the IMAP account is selected, it’s the only one visible in the drop-down list

Clicking on “Edit SMTP Server List…” the following screen appears, showing the IMAP account. If I make any modification, such as changing the description, something interesting happens…

Bug in Apple Mail causes accounts to lose outgoing mail server information

The selected outgoing mail server from each account, except the IMAP, disappears and instead “None” is selected.

Bug in Apple Mail causes accounts to lose outgoing mail server information

The workaround is to go through each account and re-select the appropriate outgoing mail server. But as soon as you make another change in the “Edit SMTP Server List…” dialog everything gets reset to “None” again.

Apple Mail: Accounts lose outgoing mail server information

I had reported this issue to Apple a few years ago when OS X 10.7 Lion was the latest OS. Four years later, and the issue still is not resolved. I understand that this is a low priority, but it shouldn’t be a difficult bug to fix. Let’s see if macOS 10.13 will provide a fix. I also posted the issue in the Apple Developer Forum.

114 thoughts on “Apple Mail Outgoing Mail Server Issues”

  1. I responded previously but it has yet to post.
    My problem was with the Firewall.
    Outgoing mail on Exchange must be using either different ports or different different IP addresses because when I altered my firewall to allow all IP addresses, exchange was then able to send outgoing email.
    Moral of my story – be aware that your software firewall may interfere with email client links to the email servers.

  2. I am still on High Sierra and recently had to change over to an exchange server with one of my many email accounts.
    I am running into this issue with Apple mail as well.
    I somehow fixed it on my desktop computer wired by ethernet to the internet but am unable to do so on my laptop via wifi. For a while, my firewall was getting in the way because of the new ports/ip addresses with the exchange server.

  3. Hi!

    I had this problem forever. Today I found a workaround by accident and could reproduce it.

    1. Edit the existing account to “SMTP account: none”
    2. Create a new account with the same mail address and exactly the same data
    3. Make sure to fill out every field
    4. It won’t let you save because the “account already exists”
    5. Cancel window
    6. It created the new SMTP with a generic name anyway
    7. Choose SMTP in your existing account
    8. Edit as needed in SMTP list

    Have fun!

  4. Hi Michael

    Do you ever discover a fix for this issue, its driving me up the wall! I also cannot get Spark to recognise my iCloud account but that’s for another day!

    Any guidance would be massively appreciated, I’ve tried all the common fix suggestions and Etre report suggests nothing is wrong with my mac

    Mojave 10.14.6
    Mac Pro 2010 12-core
    32GB ram
    8GB radeon graphics

    • Hi Kev,

      the issue went away with one of the macOS updates. I’m currently on the Public Beta of Big Sur but haven’t seen the mail server problem in forever. However, I should say that I don’t have any more plain IMAP servers. I use iCloud and several Exchange (Office 365) accounts and haven’t had any issues in over a year.

      • Still there. Big Sure 11.2 – everything was fine on Catalina. Big Sur F’d up my outgoing SMTP servers in a big way. I have been working on this a week, deleted and reinstalled all my emails on all my devises, I have eliminated every possibility except Big Sur.

  5. I’m a longtime loyal Mac supporter, and a longtime very frustrated user of Apple Mail. I just installed MacOS Catalina, then removed it and installed Mojave instead, because Catalina dumps thousands and thousands of dollars worth of my software apps that are perfectly usable. I’m ASTOUNDED that Mail bugs I pulled my hair out to fix in previous OS versions are still here and 20x worse in Mojave. Above, someone suggested using Spark. Never heard of it, but I’m seriously considering making the switch because I am THAT frustrated with Apple Mail.

    My question is: do I keep using Apple’s iOS mail client on my iPhone? Spark on my laptop but Apple on the phone?

  6. This Apple Mail app is so unbelievable unstable, its hard to think its made in apple factory. I have 15+ mail addresses to manage, sync with tablets, iphones, imacs macbooks. It just can’t seem to hold changes manually made to SMTP outgoing server fields, then suddenly combines mail addresses to use one single server, and ultimately when viewing the SMTP list from several different entry points it does not show the same list. Servers that I removed long ago seem to mystically show up again. When removing them they seem to temporarily vanish. restarting mail, just shows them again. Changing validation to password won’t hold and the app resets to None. Unbelievable. And I have this on both iMac and Macbook.
    I have been trying to configure my mail app for so many times it never seems to fully work as supposed. I’m giving up and go looking for another option, although I prefer native applications made with the OS I can’t take it any longer. Sincerely an Apple fan!

  7. Mike,

    Thanks for this article. My mail provider imposed a longer password so was required to change my SMTP password on OsxMail and IPad. Provider required u/p and ssl for both IMAP and SMTP. Nothing I tried worked. Was unable to validate credentials and continuously received incorrect user password error. Was finally able to sort it on my iMac (Catalina 10.15.2) by navigating to ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/ Then backing up file Accounts.plist I reviewed the file and there seemed to be a number of SMTP entries that I had previously deleted.

    I deleted the file and then flashed up MacMail. I was immediately prompted to add an account in the accounts dialogue. I selected other email account and entered the info. I was not presented with advanced fields and did not choose server settings under mail/preferences menu in the mail app. Somehow it worked!

    Others may want to try this if they are at their wits end.

    Thanks for enabling this discussion!

    • Rick, I have same problem, but only understand 50% of your text ;-) … any description what to do for blonde users?


  8. Still a major problem, and Mail will even change the outgoing server on an account without any user interaction. This server-setup dialog has huge validation defects, but changing the server without authorization is even worse and should be a top-priority defect.

    This is still happening in Mojave. Bug report filed.

    No excuse, Apple.

  9. This is what I did:
    1) Removed the faulty server from the SMTP Server List.
    2) In the popup menu “Outgoing Mail Account” I selected the menu item with the exact same name as the email address of the account I was trying to configure.
    Worked like a charm.

    • Thank you! I see the discrepancy now: I thought I needed to set up separate SMTPs on that “special” list. But it was already done for me (which is why the account names appeared on the drop-down list) when I created each Mail account. I’d describe that as really unhelpful design/layout, w/ really poor Apple Help files :-(

    • Thank YOU !!! I spent hours on this, drove me mad… — why didn’t I think of this ! —

      It did work like a charm !!!

      Thanks again

      • Francis, which OS are you using? I just upgraded to a new iMac running Big Sur. I can get mail, but I can’t send it. Driving me nuts. Can you or Rulle give me any suggestions? Thanks!

  10. Spent hours trawling forums to solve the same issue myself. Tried various suggestions to no avail. I was cautious to start deleting files in the library folders. Anyway, I jumped on to Apple Online Chat and solved the issue in 15 minutes. He advised me to close down Mail and then reopen holding down option (apparently “its akin to lunching mail in safe mode, and bypassing internet accounts”). Once I was back in, I re-input the SMTP details and all worked fine! Either way, if that doesn’t work for you, definitely try Apple Online support. I was connected with a few minutes.

  11. Is there any way around this yet? I am suspecting that the problem has to do with setting up both IMAP and POP accounts.

  12. I have Mojave 10.14.2 and recently upgraded to fiber with AT&T which caused a password change on my email accounts. That caused my smtp servers to go in ghost-mode like many commenters have described. They were visible in the drop down list, but offline and not usable. Further, they could not be seen in the smtp editor. New smtp’s I created would disappear mysteriously or also go offline. After reading everyone’s posts I tried deleting two YAHOO accounts connected to the same email addresses, but not actually in use for anything. Shazam! the ghost smtp’s went away and new smtp’s worked properly. Hope this helps someone else. I don’t even know where the YAHOO accounts came from, but I suspect iCloud (which I don’t use) created them on a past install.

  13. OMG… You thought High Sierra mail had issues. You ain’t seen nothing if you don’t have the newest update installed. Mojave is blowing my mind. I had same email issue as you and when I installed Mojave, the issues multiplied in magnitude. If you have the ear of Apple then please scream “HELP” for me. This is affecting my desktop and laptop. Oddly enough, not an issue on my iPhone.

  14. I too was having this issue as well as other SMTP server list issues:
    – server settings not saving; not just the password disappearing, but the user name changing as well.
    – the server entry I’m editing randomly changes to another server
    –SMTP servers that I deleted years ago returning to the Edit list and, like zombies, I could not kill them. (I think these were all gmail servers)

    I solved my SMTP issues by purging all SMTP servers from Keychain, deleting .plist file, and rebuilding the SMTP servers in Mail.
    Unfortunately this alone did not solve my problems.
    When entering the settings I UNchecked _Automatically manage connection settings_. This are stable for now.

    Someone online suggests keeping the SMTP server setting name (Description) to eight or fewer characters. I applied this as well along the way.

  15. I wouldn’t speak too soon about the iCloud sync being the culprit (thought it certainly may contribute). I have never set up iCloud on my Macbook Pro (late 2012) with High Sierra and it keeps losing the GMail SMTP server. I recently migrated to a 2016 MBP with the same problem (still no iCloud set up).

    • Yes I do. I was just informed by my doctor that I have Cancer, the second problem is I don’t own a cell phone as I hate Phones period people do not know how stressful they are. My phone has been ringing off the bloody hook? Telling me to be in 3 places at the same time Prince Gorge. Williams Lake and Kamloops BC and please fill out these reports and e-mail them back to us. I can safely say I am not going to die of Cancer but from Stress brought on by this FN Mac Mail can not send e-mail to my family to tell them I will be dead before I find a fix for this mail.

      • Hello Michael, I am John Hughes and I live in central British Columbia
        Canada right in the middle of nowhere where there is supposed to be no Stress! at least that has been the way for the past 25 years. I am 77 years old now and my doctor just gave me the good news I have cancer! Something no one is ready for. My son my only family left is working in the North! Wolverine BC w/ Satelight phone only, and when he called me last night I could hardly make out what he was saying. Needless to say I have an I Mac 28 desk top won’t let me send e-mail. I have had this same problem for the past two years? and I have found a fix 3 times on the Internet, but some how with all this extra Stress I am having with the health people wanting me in 3 different places at the same time,,, doctor up north 350 miles away MRI down south 325 miles the other way. My head feels like scrambled Eggs and I cannot think straight. It would be really nice to let my son know what is happening. I live on Horsefly Lake BC. One major problem is I have this little girl! a Malty Tea Cup Tini dog with her big brother Maui the Cat. They need me and I need them. I have tried most of your how to fix? but to no avail. You are the only person I can send mail too.

  16. After hours (days) of backups, trials, OS reinstalls, I have come to the conclusion that iCloud is responsible for this bug.
    After a complete re-install of High Sierra (and doing nothing else on top of that), the “buggy” SMTP Server list automatically reappeared like before and any an all efforts to change the mail accounts were useless. There is no other explanation: something like this can only happen after automatic downloads/syncs performed by iCloud which interferes erratically.
    Now it seems that I can manipulate the settings of my accounts again… changing values does not revert them to “no server” after a second. WIll see if I got it right!

  17. Yes I have had this problem too and hoped an upgrade to High Sierra would fix it. What a piece of crap this application has turned into. I am moving to Outlook. Fuck you Apple – what the hell. This is fucking pathetic.

  18. Upgraded to high Sierra this week and got the outgoing mail problem. I just followed the suggestion here to delete the Internet account and re-enter details. Outgoing mail now works. Thanks a lot!

  19. success!

    … at least as far as sending mail is concerned on both old & new MacBook Pro – which is not too surprising “on both” as they are (largely) identical vàv High Sierra & all software!

    … NO success, however, what the option “Edit Server List” is concerned in settings, because deleting a server from the list by clicking the “-” at the bottom left of that d*** panel, does what it did before: freezing to absolute 0°K, which necessitates Force Quit of Mail and re-start it.

    I welcome any help or work around that “euvel” (flemish for “issue”)



  20. I have same problems on 2 MBP 15″ old one (2013) & young one (2017) running OS high sierra 10.13.5 update 2 june 2018 (they do not come any “fresher” …) but only with one mail account on telenet.be (our all-in-one- package) –

    edit SMTP server does not work: keeps prioposing smtp server uit.telenet.be, even after deleting it from my keychain …

    as suggested above – I have now deleted my telenet mail account and re-making it … will see how that works and report follow-up here soon (I hope)

  21. How can this be a low priority? I live in email, as I’m sure many others do, with 9 accounts active. I’m getting ready to go on a much needed vacation and every time I try to send an email I have to wrestle with the system to try to get the d*mned message to go out!! I can’t begin to express my level of frustration.

  22. OS 10.13.4 MAC has not fixed this problem. And if you do try to set up an outgoing mail server by selecting an account name, you find a different account name in the outgoing server setup so there’s no way you can correct the set up. I am very upset about APPLE’s lack of concern.

  23. You have to figure that this problem persists not because Apple won’t fix it, but because it -can’t-. I think they need to start over with a new email subsystem. God knows they’re sitting on enough cash, and have, or can get, great developers.

    I’ve just had it come back after magically fixing it by deleting Keychain entries previously last year. Nothing I have tried here works now, though.

    I tried using Thunderbird (Firefox email,) but had some problems, so I’m off in search of another email client.

  24. I have experienced the loss of a connection to the set SMTP accounts since moving to Mavericks, but “Edit Message” > Reselect SMTP usually worked. Since Migrating to Sierra I have had no end of problems. It appears that Sierra removed the SMTP server list from Mail and placed it elsewhere. I set all accounts to IMAP on the server, deleted all the Keychain entries for Mail and re-entered the server and user details. This worked, but only for a month!
    I have also turned off the OSX application security authentication in Gmail. The extra security just creates another nuisance when using a VPN.
    The Apple Internet Accounts and Keychain interference appears to have caused no end of trouble. Steve Jobs would be scalping people if something as basic as email did not work 100% reliably and smoothly.

  25. This is crazy!!!!!! I have worked for years on my Mac Mini and MBP and now, suddenly, after upgrading to latest security patch, I struggle to connect (file share or screen share) between the two, the Mac Mini is throwing my SMTP accounts away as described here but the MBP is fine. Not that fine though, after the security upgrade, I tried safe booting due to the file share problems, and the MPB would not safe boot – it hung doing a safe boot!!!! Seriously Apple, can you not fix such simple things.

    • Just an update – I have tried some of the suggestions here, shortening the name and deleting the account and creating it again and nothing works. Seems my iCloud account is also messed up after the upgrade. This is another one in a long serious of recent Apple issues and I am ready to go back to Linux by now …

  26. This has been very informative. I have used Mac Mail for as long as it has been around. I am currently on MacOS Sierra 10.12.5. I have had Comcast accounts, which I manage through Mail, for 15 years. Until a month ago, I never had any problems. Everything has been very stable. Over the few months, I added a few new Comcast accounts, and followed Comcast’s instructions to switch all outgoing from pop to smtp…and nothing has been stable since then. My incoming passwords disappear. My outgoing servers get scrambled. I am consistent, very routine in how I do everything, so other than adapt the new Comcast emails, I have not done anything to my settings. I am NOT a “computer” person. I am not a tech/IT person. I just sit down at my computer for X# of hours and plow through work. I am very productive – and this is causing me to lose hours, which means I am losing billable hours. Not to mention the other problems that domino when the email does not work. Comcast claims there is no problem. I don’t know that I believe them, but after my Google research landed me on this thread, maybe it is an Apple problem. Either which way, I am ready to throw everything out the window and return to carrier pigeons and inkwells.

  27. Filipe’s suggestion above worked for me. Closed Mail, then went to System Preferences > Internet Accounts and deleted my email account. It says your files or mail will be deleted but it’s not true.

    Reopened Mail and went to Mail > Add Account. Added back the email account and tested sending email. It worked fine. Restarted just to make sure. No more disappearing SMTP settings. Using High Sierra 10.13.4 on a MacBook Air.

  28. More: Setting up the SMTP Servers before setting up the Gmail Accounts did not work. The SMTP Servers on the same Account just disappeared.

    However I have tried setting up Apple Mail in a new User account, and the SMTP Server box is still empty. This implies that the problem is not in any of the code or prefs in the user folder—it’s in the main body of the software. So next: re-install High Sierra.

  29. I’ve tried the solutions in this comment stream, and all the solutions I’ve found on apple.com. Still I have the invisible SMTP server problem.

    This raises the question: where are the SMTP settings saved? There must be a file somewhere. I’ve tried searching for recent file changes after adding a new email address/IMAP/SMTP, but see no likely candidates.

    I’m think if I can find where the SMTP settings are stored, deleting that might solve the problem. Even if that’s not the case, the problem must be located in some file or another. I would have hoped that in the 6 years since 10.7 someone would have isolated that file.

    I thought I came close with this comment: “Just found in Keychain two hidden entries that corresponded to smtp servers (com.apple.account.SMTP.asynchost).” https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8124247

    But I have no such files in my keychain.

      • I reset my keychain, deleted my email accounts, and recreated them, and still no SMTP entries like yours appear in my keychain. At the same time, the Edit SMTP Server List remains blank. So there’s some break there, which is failing to create a Keychain entry when one creates email accounts.

        I tried creating a keychain entry, modelled on yours. Mail doesn’t recognise it. I tried a new SMTP account, based on another (unused) gmail account labelled “Outgoing”, and it stays, and doesn’t disappear, which is good. But the problems with my email accounts remain: sometimes sending works, other times not. Attempting to set the SMTP account for a mail account to my outgoing account and they revert after a second to “none”.

        Next step: delete a gmail account; establish an SMTP list item for that account, then re-establish it.

        In addition, Mail is suffering the dread “greyed out Quit” problem. I wish Apple would fix these things.

        • Hi David,

          Apple Mail may be handling Gmail account differently than “regular” IMAP/SMTP accounts. I don’t use Gmail, so I have no experience with it. My tests were limited to standard IMAP/SMTP accounts from one of my hosting providers.

          But either way, Apple needs to fix those issues which have been around for too long.

  30. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this thread. I’ve had problems ever since upgrading to High Sierra. The suggestion to go to Systems Preferences>Internet Accounts solved the problem for me. I deleted and then recreated my accounts. When I brought up my Mail app, the app took several minutes to retrieve my imap email and re-establish all the mailbox links. It seems to be working now. Apple needs to fix this problem. I’m not ready to switch to Windows, as I have had more than 20 years of disappointing problems with Windows at all release levels. I hope to switch to Linux over the next year or so. My experience with Linux is one of slow but steady improvement. It is getting easier and easier for non-experts to use.

  31. I solved this annoying bug by creating a work-around for myself:
    1) create an alias in you email account.
    2) create a new account in apple mail.app (as described above).
    3) choose the outgoing mail server you just set up when creating the mailbox as the outgoing mailserver in the bogus account.
    4) let apple mail synchronize the lot. Then delete the just created account.
    5) the smtp server that you set up in the bogus account will stay there and all is working like a jiffy

  32. SOLVED – at least for me this worked ;-)

    After I turned of Key-Chain iCloud synchronization, I was able properly setup email accounts and the settings don’t get lost anymore!

    • All the above comments seem to assume you have some form of cloud solution in place.
      We do not use any cloud solutions in our domestic setup.
      Your solution seems to be the go Marcel.
      Where do I find the ‘Key-Chain iCloud Synchronisation’?
      TIA, Andy

  33. I just ran into this bug yesterday and now my outgoing servers list is empty. Starting to put in the information manually but they remain off line after I enter them. Will be a fix the email at work day.

  34. I have experienced this very irritating bug for years. I have a number of email accounts from Google, MS, and other servers. Frequently one or more of the accounts will loose its SMTP account link and resetting it from Mail Preferences fails with the “NONE” result.

    The above suggestion worked for me. I deleted one of my Google accounts and then re-added it (doing this in the Mac Systems Preferences->Internet Accounts window. After that I was able to correct all the Mail accounts that had missing or incorrect SMTP server settings. Thank You !

  35. followed all suggestions here and on other sites and nothing works. Always asks the smtp password and does not accept it.
    worked for 3 days on it, now giving up and buying a windows laptop.
    next step will be to sell iPhone and switch over to android. more fun and less money spent.

    • For what it is worth, this what worked for me. I am apple mail on MacBook Pro OS 10.12.6 (Afraid to upgrade to high sierra after what I have read here). So my comcast account got compromised and I changed my password. This meant I needed to change the password for IMAP and SMTP. everything worked fine…until it didn’t. Problem: the password for SMTP was not being saved. But nowhere on the server connection page was there a “SAVE” button. There was no way to get acknowledgement that the computer was indeed saving the changes. And the computer was not, as I had to manually go in an retype the password.
      SOLUTION: for me, what worked, I noticed the authentication menu (already preselected for password), had more choices. I opened that menu bar, selected another method then went back to the password choice. VOILA! A save button appeared. I was able to change PW to the new one, and SAVE it! So far, so good.

  36. When my macbook dies I will go back to a generic windows laptop. Apple is no longer fit for pro use. Can’t even email? My old windows laptop sent emails without a blink for 15 years. My £1000 macbook pro wets its pants when asked to do ANYTHING other than look good.
    Shame on you sunbaked *rse*oles that can’t design a machine properly. Its like having a ferrari with no engine! And all that greasy sh*t apple do in the name of “customer service” … bet they learned that from Trump…..”How to say you satisfied your customers whilst in fact, ripping them off”…. I feel like I have been conned by Apple….criminally conned. If I could afford I would have my attorney return this machine to Apple & get a full refund.

  37. incredible. High Sierra, years later, and the bug still present.
    nobody cares… apple only works on new iPhones, and hope people spend lot of money for expensive iMacs with a “root for everyone” backdoor and tons of bugs… i do not find the right words for what is going on here!

  38. Had the same problem since High Sierra. Solution for me:
    delete/rename the following folder: ~/Library/Keychains/[long UUID number] and reboot
    I read in another forum that the problem could be a corrupted keychain database. as the removal of the above mentioned folder resolved my problem it seems like it could really be a problem with the keychain instead of a mail problem.

  39. this is to show you how apple doesnt give an f about bugs for almost anything else except their money making ios sh*t.. so effin annoying

    • Bad language shows your social status and lack of breeding. Also it won’t get the problem fixed. Try feedback assistance with a comprehensive report

  40. I am also having this problem with my new iMac running High Sierra 10.13.1.

    I have 5 different email accounts and yet I can only choose one to be the outgoing server for all.


  41. I’ve got the same problem.
    Everything was working fine in the Mail app until I upgraded to High Sierra.
    I can’t get the smtp to work because it gets reset.

      • Awesome, thanks Filipe. I did the same thing and it worked (I had disappearing SMTP servers, account & pw details removed for no reason and smtp outgoing server set to ‘offline’, the lot!). Others, please note: deleting your internet account (System Preferences>Internet Accounts) from your mac doesn’t actually ‘do’ anything as such. It will not remove any emails from your machine. Just delete the internet account, wait a few seconds, then recreate it. That did the trick for me. a new SMTP server was created and my log in details retained. Go figure.

      • Thanks too! Was hoping to avoid a hard reset (is that the right term?) but it only took 2 seconds to delete and readd my Google Apps email. I was worried I’d have to look up all the URLs and ports!

      • When I start to do that, I get a warning that this will delete my mail files for that account in Mail. Did you do anything to avoid losing your files?

        • No, it doesn’t actually delete anything by the looks of it. You just recreate it straight away and it seems to pick up all the saved server settings from somewhere and magically starts working again in Apple Mail.

          Thank you so much Filipe! This bug has been driving me nuts for years…

  42. I was able to fix this problem on 10.13.1 (High Sierra). The problem was that I did not have an iCloud mail account but the Mac Mail Preferences UI was using “[email protected]” (my AppleID) as the alias/email for the default iCloud account in Mail. I was trying to add a new POP account for this very email address.

    I fixed the disappearing SMTP server problem by creating and properly setting up (with a new @icloud email address) my iCloud account. I then had no difficulty in creating and saving a POP SMTP server as “smtp.xyz.com”.

    I think the disappearing SMTP server list can have many causes. Whenever some internal verification of a newly entered SMTP server fails it gets purged from the list, even if it is selected by an account. I believe there can be many reasons the verification could fail.

  43. I had exactly the same issue as many of you guys. After digging around a finally looked at the smtp server address in the connection doc. It was p30-smtp.mail.me.com. Then I looked at my routers firewall and found that especially this address was missing in my granted server list. Adding it – and mail flow was back again. Stunning!

    • I found a solution finalle , Firstly go to Internet Accounts and delete one of your previous account or add a new account. But be sure that you add a new account on internet accounts . Fill the required sections and type your email address as username . Write your income and outgoing email server and then sign in . You will recognized that new account’s out going server name is not going to be offline . When you pick it as default outgoing server for each email address you can send your emails. I HOPE IT WORKS FOR YOU , TOO

      • Thank you! Thank you! This has been driving me crazy ever since I upgraded to High Sierra 3 weeks ago. Deleted the Internet account and re entered details and bingo! Outgoing mail server now seems stable.

  44. Wow, this thing of the smtp server settings disappearing is so weird. I didn’t have this problem ever until just recently. Now it seems irreversible, impossible to fix, but only (crossed fingers) on my MacBook Air, not my iPhone or desktop.

  45. I can confirm that OS High Sierra 10.13 still has the problem. In fact it did not start for me until I installed 10.13. With Apple Support we thought the fix was to re-install OS 10.13. What we had noticed before re-install was that the outgoing server setting in mail account settings – even once you select a server to use in account – while watching the screen and not doing anything – within 10 seconds the setting would change on its own from the selected server to a setting of “none”. Thought the re-install had cured it as the server setting is now being kept but have been now finding that randomly approx every 1 in 10 emails will display the error window “could not connect to outgoing mail server and ask me to select another server. Even thought the server is still set in the preference.

  46. This has been happening in all versions of mail.app and is still happening in MacOS X SIerra, latest version… (not upgraded to High SIerra, but I have no reason to think this is fixed!).

    I don’t know why it happens, but various smtp (ie: outgoing) mail servers seem to go offline. This isn’t exactly the same problem as some others on this thread, although I have seen that too. It’s an intermittent issue with Yahoo and one of my two gmail accounts, a constant problem with my outlook.com account, and never happens to my iCloud account or the other gmail account. I really can’t explain what this “offline” issue is down to, and it seems unfixable.

  47. Hello everybody, I found a solution by simply making a ‘Description’ of the used SMTP mail servers no longer than 8 characters, and be sure that every description is really already distinctive within the first characters of the SMTP server description. I resolved this yesterday on my iMac with OS X 10.13.

  48. Hi, for whatever it’s worth, I think I found out how the problem started on my Mac at the first place. I had made the connection to the exchange server and had full and uninterrupted access to my emails, until the day I installed a vpn connection (Tunnelblick), allowing me to have Remote Desktop access to my work pc. The problem with the SMTP settings started as one day as I launched the vpn connection.
    Now my emails are received normally when I have the VPN connection through Tunnelblick ON. As soon as I interrupt it, the exchange account goes offline.

  49. I have the same problem on 11.0; My settings are fine in the UK, but abroad, my server is being blocked by the local ISP. So I reverted to a public server.

    Except I cant. Every time a change my SMTP settings they bounce back to the old ones.

    Only happens on my mac. I can reset the ones on my iPad with ease.

  50. Have had the same problem. It came up when I upgraded to MacOS Sierra, v. 10.12.6, Mail app version 10.3. I am able to get out by assigning my iCloud and Securenym outgoing mail to Comcast, which somehow, miraculously has kept its SMTP server information.

  51. Ugh, this bug drives me nuts. I have 4 email accounts in my mail.app config and it is constantly complaining about outgoing SMTP server paths. It was so bad that I stopped using it. Today for first time in 6 months I used mail.app again and was immediately impacted by this bug again.

    Apple engineers are great “starters” but lousy “finishers”.

  52. Same problem. USed my mac on the road in hotels. Came back home, attached to my WIFI and could not send eMail. Looked at server list and NONE were there! COME ON APPLE, seriously this is an AWFUL annoying and time consuming bug! PLEASE FIX IT ALREADY.

  53. I’ve got the same problem – I put in a new smtp account (tried various: gmail, private etc.), choose it for the mail account and about 6 seconds later it disappears for ever. I’ve tried adding full accounts to sneak in a new smtp account but they disappear as well.

  54. i have experienced the same issue SMTP mail servers are lost or go offline. 3 @att.net, 2 @gmail.com, 1 @me.com. Looking into the logs shows other problems with sandbox, security, and spindump. I believe Apple fixed the problem long ago and these new issues are a result of malware. If I remember to come back here I will report my findings.

  55. I’m currently offline as far as outgoing email is concerned on both my iMac and my MacBook Air. Outgoing mail account won’t hold a designation and keeps reverting to “none”. Last month it was just the iMac that had this problem and somehow I managed to get it back … entirely by accident. May be a coincidence but seemed to have started when I attempted to mail some photos where the .jpeg file went to “full size output”. On other occasions I’ve mailed many photos, newsletters, etc without a problem.

  56. Had the same happen to me twice within a week now on 10.10.2

    I’ve been using Apple Mail for years and never had that problem. ALL smtp servers are gone from the list as if it was a new computer setup. I have to enter all smtp server information again. Strange and annoying.

  57. I just had the same thing happen. After (in Outlook for Mac) moving LOTS of mail messages within Outlook to one of my IMAP accounts that are in the Outlook for Mac as swell as in Apple Mail, my SMTP list for ALL my email accounts completely disappeared!

  58. To add to this article. In Mail.app on Mavericks there seems to be a difference in mail -> accounts and mail -> preferences accounts. Via mail -> accounts, I get an overview where one Exchange account is listed (in my case Exchange 2010) and I end up in System Prefrences -> Internet acounts. Mail -> preferences -> accounts allow me to edit smtp server. Very confusing. Next to that, Mail.app seems to be having issues syncing a mailbox on Exchange 2010, even after deleting the acount and setting up a new one. Took me several hours to figure this out (even after trashing old account in /Users/username/Library/Mail etc etc etc. Mavericks is overall nice but needs some further enhancements.


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