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Stamp out e-mail annoyances

Christopher Breen, | May 6, 2011
Care to synchronize Mail's junk-mail settings between computers, fix an unaccepted password, and send messages from just about anywhere? We have answers to common e-mail problems here.

For many of us, the first application we open in the morning is our e-mail client. Hour after hour, day after day, we check our e-mail repeatedly. Given that we spend this kind of time with a single program, it’s important that it gives us as little trouble as possible. When it decides to act up, it’s just as important that we set it straight as quickly as possible. Here are some solutions to common problems.


Transfer junk-mail settings to another Mac

You’ve been diligent about training Apple's Mail on your iMac to identify junk mail. The result is that good mail is rarely identified as bad and junk mail doesn't clutter your Inbox. You’ve now aquired a MacBook and would like it to be just as discerning. Is there a way to transfer the junk-mail smarts from one Mac to another? There is.

On your iMac, go to youruserfolder/Library/Mail and locate the LSMMap2 file. This is the file that holds your junk-mail settings. Copy this file to your MacBook and put it in the same location (replacing the existing file). The MacBook will now be as savvy about junk mail as the iMac.


Make Mail accept your password

There’s nothing more frustrating that firing up your Mac in the morning and launching Mail only to have the program demand a password it already had just the day before. There are many reasons this can happen.

The first is that your Internet Service Provider's (ISP) mail server may be temporarily off-line. If you try again in a few minutes, Mail might work just fine. You might also be presented with this password request when a similar request was made just seconds before—your iPhone just accessed the account, for example, and now you’re trying to get to it from your Mac. Or, if this is a business account, it’s possible that the IT department changed the password for security purposes and you’ve failed to update. Worst of all, there’s a chance that your account has been hacked and the hacker changed your password.

You have a couple of ways to check if the issue is with your ISP rather than your Mac. One is to attempt to retrieve mail using a different device—your iPad, for instance. If you meet the same resistance, it’s likely one of these problems. The other is to retrieve your e-mail via your ISP’s Webmail service. If the password works there but not with your Mac, this is a Mac problem.


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