How often do you need to delete an email account? If you’re like me, probably not very often. I have had my main personal account since the mid-90s – but I have intentionally deleted it from Mail several times. Why? Because sometimes strange things occur. Messages don’t sync properly, new mail doesn’t come in, or it can no longer connect to a server no matter what I try—things like that. Deleting and re-adding the account fixes lots of freaky things, and I’m too lazy to troubleshoot.
Why else would someone delete an email account? Maybe it was a shared account with an ex-spouse, or you simply don’t need it anymore because you set it up and kind of forgot about it. Like that old sbcglobal.net account that you never used, they gave it to you because you signed up for dial-up service.
So, how do you delete an email account on a Mac? It really is quite simple. But before we go into that, please read the very important callout box below!
IMPORTANT CALLOUT BOX!
This probably isn’t much of an issue these days, but make sure that the email account you are deleting is IMAP, not POP3. I won’t go into all the details, save to say that all your messages are stored and managed on a remote server with the IMAP protocol. With POP3, they are all downloaded locally to your computer and no longer exist anywhere else. You see where this is going, right? Good.
How to Delete an Email Account on a Mac
1. Open the Mail app by clicking its icon in the dock, or from the Applications folder.
2. From the toolbar menu, choose “File > Preferences…”
3. Select the “Accounts” tab.
4. In the accounts list on the left. Select the name of the email account you’d like to delete.
5. Click the minus “–” sign and the bottom of the accounts list and confirm that you want it to be deleted from your computer.
That’s it! Or, maybe not. If you have the email account active on multiple computers, it will be in your iCloud Keychain. Because of that, you need to tell it whether or not to delete it from your other devices. You will be alerted and asked to open “Internet Accounts.”
Once the Internet Account System Preference pane opens, go through the same routine as before. Select the name of the email account you’d like to delete from the list on the left and click the minus “–” sign.
You will be asked if you want the account removed from all of your computers, or just removed from the one you are currently using. That I can’t help you with as it’s totally up to you.