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Mac mail: I've forgotten my password and can't log in

(25 Posts)
stubbyfingers Mon 14-Sep-09 10:55:20

I set up my mac email ages ago and then never used it. Now I need to use it (for reasons too boring to go into) and can't for the life of me remember my password - I've tried everything I can think of several times now grrrrr.

I have that many passwords now that I know usually there is a "forgotten password?" button but this does not appear to exist in this application.

Anyone v clever with Macs out there?


alibubbles Mon 14-Sep-09 13:12:16

Does this help?
reset apple ID

stubbyfingers Mon 14-Sep-09 16:31:21

Ali thank you! that looks great. Why didn't I think to check the apple site <der>

I'll have a proper look once kids are in bed.

stubbyfingers Mon 14-Sep-09 21:06:34

So, I successfully changed my password and excitedly went back to Mail. But, of course life isn't that simple is it?

As far as I can make out, it's not actually Mail that wants my password, it is the SMTP server. Having done a bit of googling apparently this stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. So what the hell is my SMTP password?

Apple support pages say I need to contact my ISP which 'settings' has as blah blah...
then I had a distant memory of a free trial of mac something - "MobileMe?" or was it just - anyway, there was no way I was paying for mail when yahoo do it for free so this would explain why no passwords are working wouldn't it?

blimey. I HATE not being able to figure things out!

Thanks Ali for your help, looks like my mac emails are permanently trapped in the ether!

alibubbles Tue 15-Sep-09 09:14:29

Mmmm, I have been having problems with that too, it was something to do with Safari update, I wasn't able to send emails from .mac/.me without that message coming up.

What I did was go to mail delete my account and set up a new account, with the same details and that worked. I did have to fiddle about. My smtp password was the one for my BT account where my mail is forwarded to. If you do this, it prompts for the details and finds the server details for you. I think that's the correct terminology, don't quote me!

I am not an Apple techie, but just as frustrated as you, so searched deep, I won't be beaten!!

stubbyfingers Tue 15-Sep-09 13:41:54

So, my smtp password would be from Talk Talk as they are our ISP? I suppose I'll have to ring them as I can only think of the password fro our wireless network and that didn't work. hmmmmmmm....

Can I ask, do you have to pay for a .me account?

alibubbles Tue 15-Sep-09 13:58:32

Yes and yes! There is an annual charge of £59 for a single user, I use it so I can have lots of aliases. all forwarded to the one account!

Stubbyfingers Tue 15-Sep-09 19:45:10

Thanks for your help Ali smile

singleWhiteMale Tue 15-Sep-09 23:45:02

Is your problem that you can't send emails because the smtp server says you're not authenticated?

If so, try this -- go into the advanced settings screen for your smtp server and set "Use custom port:" to 25.

Don't bother with a password, just set Authentication to "none".

Stubbyfingers Wed 16-Sep-09 10:20:05

Thanks SWM, I can't find that screen. I'm looking in ^System Preferences^ then Network. I can't see any other internet related places to look. Do you know where it is?

Mind you, I think the problem might be that you can't use the Mac Mail application without a subscription to MobileMe. Anybody know if that's the case?

WebDude Wed 16-Sep-09 10:36:42

It would be within the Mail application. The Network settings are a sort of "umbrella" for how applications get access to the internet, but individual applications do different things and use different ports.

Web browsing mostly uses port 80 {http} and 443 {https} but can use others - some alternative ports for browsing are 8080, 8008, 81, 82, but 80 and 443 most common.

Mail generally uses ports 25 (outbound) {SMTP} and 110 (inbound) {POP} and can use other ports for IMAP, or if a connection must be 'secure'.

Stubbyfingers Wed 16-Sep-09 10:56:56

Thanks Dude, I'll go and have a mess...

Stubbyfingers Wed 16-Sep-09 11:08:56


On the Advanced Mail settings it says "Port 993" but the 993 is not in bold IYSWIM and there is a box saying "SSL" which is ticked. If I untick it the Port changes to 143 but I can't change the port myself.

I'm just wondering if I need to pay to use Mac Mail and that's what my problem is. I'm really frustrated because I can't access my account on another forum because I gave the mac email address. grrrrrr

WebDude Wed 16-Sep-09 11:27:22

alibubbles - just curious as to who is charging 59 pounds - you can get web/mail hosting for a year for anything down to free (depending on how much traffic there is) and your own domain name for fairly low amounts - under a tenner for many types of domain, if you look around.

Obviously there may be differences in the control panel as to how easy it is to set up, but I think you're probably paying at least double (if not treble) the amount you could be paying. {not wanting to 'diss' the service you use, just wanted to point it out, in case you / Stubbyfingers would prefer to pay less!}

Also, while there have been a few ISPs (Freeserve / Wanadoo now Orange) that 'grab' anything sent on port 25, there are some firms such as or that offer POP/IMAP/SMTP for a fee.

The FastMail service charges from $5 a year (they also do free account, but that doesn't offer POP or SMTP access to prevent spammers, and is aimed at showing potential customers the webmail and IMAP service).

Runbox is more costly, but offers a mailbox of 10 GB and other options like free web hosting of a domain. Runbox had a deal reducing the cost (and they do a 30 day free trial anyway) - because they recognised the credit crunch would affect people - I'll check if it is still on.

WebDude Wed 16-Sep-09 11:35:59

re 993 and 143 - I think the former is the 'secure' version of the latter.

The 143 port is used for IMAP.

IMAP is a method of accessing your mail where you can pull just the 'headers' (from/ date/ to/ subject) onto your mail application, and can choose to pull the 'body' later (ideal if you were being charged lots of cash to download and didn't want to download some photos, but wanted to see an important e-mail offering a lucrative contract).

With IMAP, you could have laptop and desktop and a PC at the office and all could see the mail messages... 'pulling' a message to your mail application doesn't wipe it off the mail server, just copies it onto your machine.

There are options to delete the mail off the mail server, of course, but IMAP is ideal if you are using a service with web access too, as you can view mail from an internet cafe (or just using a browser when away in a hotel or somewhere), and leaves the mail for download into as many computers as needed (second machine may be used to keep backup copies, for example)

POP is a different method, where your mail client (usually) downloads the items off the mail server. Once those are downloaded, they cannot be 'pulled' by another mail client on the same or another PC. It's possible to 'leave mail on server' but managing POP mail is a bit more awkward if you want multiple computers to have the mail.

(Apologies, not meaning "PC" above to mean Windows PC, just the proper meaning, personal computer, so MacBook Pro, iMac, etc, under same umbrella!)

MmeLindt Wed 16-Sep-09 11:37:31

I use mac mail as I wanted to synchronise calender, emails etc with Outlook and this was the easiest way of doing so.

I also have the option of doing a remote lock in case my iPhone is stolen, and a remote wipe to delete all data in this case.

If you only want to use it for an email address then I don't think it is worth paying the subscription.

Stubbyfingers Wed 16-Sep-09 12:36:39

Thanks Dude, I think I can understand some of that!

I've now signed up for a 60 day free trial of MobileMe just to see if I can get the Mail application working and I'm on the verge of throwing this fecking mac book through the window!

I've successfully sent and received an e-mail from the new .me account but I've just tried to send another e-mail and get another error message about not being able to connect to the smtp server. @£$%£!!£$%!$%!$%!!!!!!!!!

The reason I was doing all this was because my registration with another site is with my e-mail (which I think has expired) and I was having trouble logging on. Turns out other users of the site are having trouble logging on today so it's not just my problem!

I think I'll stick with yahoo. Thanks for all your help guys.

alibubbles Wed 16-Sep-09 14:48:33

Does any one get error 5 on BtYahoo mail I get it at least 10 times a day and couldn't get into my btyahoo mail for at least 3 hours this morning, but could read it from Mail, where I have my BT mail redirected to.

Webdude, i just use .mac for other things, I know that I can use mail2web etc for free, just an apple mac girl, sucked in !

singleWhiteMale Wed 16-Sep-09 19:26:45


You were looking at the IMAP settings on the Advanced tab - you need to click on "Account Information", over to the left.

At the bottom of that screen you should see "Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)". Click on the pull-down menu and select "Edit SMTP Server List...".

Select your SMTP server at the top (presumably

Click the "Advanced" tab.

Select "Use custom port" and type 25 in the box. Make sure "Authentication" is set to "None".


Test it. grin

Stubbyfingers Wed 16-Sep-09 19:56:57

Cheers SWM

I just had a look and there is only the mac server showing on the "Edit SMTP..." list there is no talktalk or anything else. I've changed the port and authentication.

Tried to send mail but it is saying it "cannot send message using the server" and suggests I select another server. There is no other server to select!

thanks for you help though


singleWhiteMale Wed 16-Sep-09 21:12:29

If you're using Talk Talk as your ISP you can just add their smtp server to the list.

Go back into "Edit SMTP.." and click the little + sign to add a new server.

Under Account Information put
Description: TalkTalk
Server name:

Under Advanced, click "Use custom port:" and put 25 in the box.

click OK

Select TalkTalk in the pull-down menu for SMTP server.

Try sending mail.

You can always remove that server if it doesn't work, so no harm in trying.

WebDude Wed 16-Sep-09 21:17:46

I think that SWM's "presumably" was of the 'probably in the list'

If you don't see it in the list, see what options ('Edit SMTP Server List...') you have to ADD it yourself. Then you will be able to choose it.

Stubbyfingers Wed 16-Sep-09 21:33:59

OMG I just added and I think it worked! smile well at least the email that was struggling to be sent has now gone with no more error messages.

Thanks guys!

singleWhiteMale Wed 16-Sep-09 21:36:07

WebDude Wed 16-Sep-09 21:52:32

credit to SWM, I only echoed as I've not got that s/w in front of me.

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