How to Log Out of Mail on a Mac

Don’t want or need to receive emails in the macOS Mail app anymore? If so, you can log out of an email account, like Gmail and Outlook, on your Mac and that will stop syncing your emails with your Mail app.

Depending on how long you want to remain logged out, you can either sign out of Mail temporarily, or you can remove your email account entirely from your computer.

We’ll show you how to do both.

How Is Logging Out of the Mail App Different From Logging Out of Webmail Services?

Apple Mail, or simply Mail, is Apple’s default email client that allows you to add multiple email accounts to your devices so you can get all your emails in one place.

When you log out of an email from the Mail app, you’re basically not looking to use that email account again anytime soon on your computer. That’s because logging out from an email client like Mail means you don’t want to send and receive emails with this account in the Mail app, and you don’t want to keep the emails that have been downloaded to your Mac.

Logging out of webmail, on the other hand, is different. When you sign out from an email service, like Gmail, you’re basically just clearing a cookie in the browser that keeps your session data. Since your browser doesn’t download or keep your emails, logging out of webmail doesn’t mean much.

The bottom line is that while you may want to log out of the Gmail website every time you finish using it, you only need to log out of Mail if you don’t ever want to use that email account anymore.

How to Log Out of Mail on a Mac

You can log out of Mail using the Mail app itself on your Mac. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Mail app.
  2. Click the Mail > Accounts option at the top of the screen.
  3. Select the email account you want to log out from on the left.
  4. Untick the Mail option on the right.

That specific mail account is now disabled and the Mail app won’t be able to use it any further. Doing this also removes the email account’s messages on your Mac. You’ll still be able to access copies of the email messages on the account’s mail server.

For example, if you log out of Outlook on your Mac, you’ll lose all your Outlook emails in Mail, but can retain them on Outlook once you sign in to its web-based server.

If or when you re-enable the account, the Mail app will download any messages on the server that haven’t already been synced to your computer.

How to Permanently Delete an Email Account in Mail on a Mac

You can remove your email account permanently if you don’t intend to use it anymore on your Mac.

You can do that as follows in the Mail app:

  1. Launch the Mail app.
  2. Click the Mail menu at the top and select Accounts.
  3. Choose the account you want to remove on the left.
  4. Click the Remove (–) sign at the bottom to remove the account.

Mail will fully remove your selected account, as well as all the downloaded emails associated with it, from your Mac.

Note that if the account is being used by another app on your Mac, you’ll be redirected to remove the account in Internet Accounts in System Preferences instead. Click on the popup window to be redirected to Internet Accounts, then deselect the Mail checkbox for that account.

If you want to stop using the account on all apps on your Mac, click the Apple logo, select System Preferences > Internet Accounts, select the internet account you want to remove, then hit the Remove (–) button.

How to Copy or Move Important Emails Before Deleting an Email Account in Mail

If you have important emails from a specific email account that you don’t want to be deleted along with the entire email account, you can copy or move the email to any of your active email accounts on Mail.

Do this before permanently deleting and signing out of the email account on your Mac. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Select an email you want to retain.
  2. Control-click to show the contextual menu, select either Move to or Copy to, then select your desired destination. Alternatively, directly drag the email to the destination you want.

Related: The Best Email Apps for Mac

How to Log In to Mail on a Mac Again

If you want to sign back in to your email account with Mail, you can do so using the following methods.

Logging In to Mail When You Haven’t Removed Your Account

If you’ve only logged out of your email account and you haven’t fully removed the account yet, you can sign back in to your account as follows:

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top and select System Preferences.
  2. Click Internet Accounts.
  3. Select the email account you want to enable emails for, and tick Mail on the right.

Your email messages from this account should start to appear in the Mail app.

Logging In to Mail When You Have Removed Your Account

If you’ve removed your email account from your Mac, just add the email account to Mail again to be able to receive emails for that email account on your Mail app.

However, if you wish to explore an email client other than Apple Mail, there are many good email app alternatives available for Mac.

Removing Unused Email Accounts From the Mail App

There may be various reasons why you’d want to log out of an email account in Mail. Regardless, the guide above should teach you how to do that in a few easy steps.

Mail is indeed a great email client for macOS, and the more you learn about it, the better you can manage your incoming and outgoing emails.

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