Monthly Archives: February 2015

Setting up a Gmail POP3 account for Mail.app on 10.10.3 beta

The last beta of OS X has apparently removed the option to create POP3-type email accounts for Gmail in Mail.app. When you type in a Gmail account, IMAP is setup automatically. Presumably because OAuth doesn’t work all that well with it.

There (currently) is a workaround.

  • Turn off/unplug your Internet connection. This will force Mail to not verify the settings that you are giving it.
  • Open Mail.app -> File Menu -> Preferences -> Accounts tab
  • Hit the + button to Add Other Mail Account
  • In the email address field in the following box, enter something that IS NOT @gmail.com. Enter some random email.
  • Mail.app will now inform you that manual setup is required. That’s exactly what we wanted in the first place, thank you very much. In the next screen, you will get to pick IMAP vs POP. Pick the POP tab and enter the correct Gmail POP server information and Gmail outbound SMTP server in the following screens, for your account. Make sure to use SSL and port 995 if appropriate
  • Use the application-specific password in the password field if you have two-factor auth setup.
  • Once setup is complete and you are thrown back into the preference pane, change the “Email Address” field back to the correct email address @gmail.com
  • Under “Advanced”, untick “automatically detect and maintain account settings”
  • Quit Mail.app. Turn Internet connection back on
  • When you re-open mail.app, the POP account should be operational

Hooray for we remaining holdouts, still using obsolete and dubiously secure technology. Because when I want mail on my local machine, I mean I want mail on my local machine, The Cloud(tm) be damned.

Note they might still change this depending on feedback received. I would advise giving such feedback if you care at all.

Mail.app stuck at fetching mail on OS X 10.10.3

If Mail.app is stuck at “Fetching Mail….” with Gmail POP accounts after upgrading to OS X 10.10.3’s beta, be aware that Apple added OAuth support to Mail.app. Which is nice, except in the current beta, they don’t warn you to go set up OAuth permissions for every account. Mail.app will choke on fetching mail, without letting you know the actual problem. This is possibly POP3-specific, as I didn’t notice IMAP having this issue.

In the connection log:

[kCFStreamSocketSecurityLevelTLSv1_0] -- host:pop.gmail.com -- port:995 -- socket:0xxxxxx -- thread:0xxxxx
-ERR invalid SASL argument ......

The solution here is to simply set up Google OAuth via System Preferences -> Internet Accounts. It should automatically prompt you for OAuth permission to your Google Account when you click on the affected account in the prefpane. Once that is done, Mail.app will fetch Gmail via POP3 again.

I’ve also unticked “automatically detect and maintain account settings” under Advanced, in Mail.app’s accounts panel, though this might just be superstition rather than actual prevention of issues. I’m just old school and uncomfortable with the thought of “automagic” happening in my mail server settings.

If you’ve already given up and swapped to IMAP, but would like to come back to the Dark Side of email retrieval technology, see also:
How to setup a Gmail POP3 account from scratch on 10.10.3 beta

Selfsolved reference:
#127: Mail.app stuck at fetching mail on new OS X

I really need to rebuild Selfsolved. Someday, when I’m not trying to write.