Master Mail in macOS, iOS, and iPadOS!

Take Control of
Apple Mail

Sixth Edition
Joe Kissell

Use Apple Mail more effectively! Email expert Joe Kissell explains what’s new with Mail for macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, and how to best set up your Gmail, iCloud, IMAP, and Exchange accounts. He then shows you how to take Mail to the next level with plugins and automation, manage your incoming email, customize Mail, and solve common problems.

All Take Control books are delivered in two ebook formats—PDF and EPUB—and can be read on nearly any device.


Take Control of Apple Mail is your complete guide to Apple’s Mail app. In this book, Joe explains core concepts like special IMAP mailboxes and email archiving, reveals Mail’s hidden interface elements and gestures, and helps with common tasks like addressing and adding attachments. He also offers tips on customizing Mail, including a nifty chapter on how simple plugins and special automation can dramatically improve the way you use Mail. Joe also covers finding that message in the haystack with Mail’s natural-language search, improving the messages you send, how digital signatures and encryption work in Mail, and—perhaps most important—an award-winning strategy for avoiding email overload.

You’ll quickly find the information that’s most important to you, including:

  • Key changes in Mail for Ventura and iOS 16/iPadOS 16, such as unsending messages, scheduling messages to send later, following up on messages awaiting replies, reminding yourself about important messages in your Inbox, getting notifications for missing attachments and recipients, and more
  • How to take advantage of the new Mail privacy features Mail Privacy Protection and Hide My Email
  • Getting through your email faster with gestures
  • Using advanced search techniques to find filed messages
  • Using plugins to significantly enhance how you use Mail
  • The whys and hows of sending attachments
  • Using markup features to embellish, and even sign, outgoing attachments
  • Defeating spam with the Junk Mail filter—and what to do if you need more firepower
  • Understanding special mailboxes like Sent, Drafts, and Junk
  • Using notifications to stay apprised of incoming messages
  • Taking charge of email organization with rules and other measures
  • Backing up and restoring email
  • Importing email from other apps, older versions of Mail, or another Mac
  • Deciding whether you should encrypt your email, along with detailed, real-world steps for signing and encrypting messages
  • Taking Mail to the next level with AppleScript and Automator
  • Key skills for using Mail in iOS and iPadOS, such as working with incoming and outgoing messages, using attachments, and configuring accounts
  • Fixing problems: receiving, sending, logging in, bad mailboxes, and more

Although this book primarily covers Mail in Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, iOS 16/iPadOS 16, and iOS 15/iPadOS 15, the majority of it is also applicable to earlier versions.

Joe Kissell

About Joe Kissell

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He formerly wrote for publications such as Macworld, Wirecutter, and TidBITS. He lives in Saskatoon with his wife and their two sons.

What’s New in Version 6.0.1

This tiny “bug fix” release adds a clarification about which versions of Mail support Time Machine for restoring individual messages; see “Mail’s Disappearing Features” and “Use Time Machine.” It also adds a small correction regarding the creation of rich links; see “Composing Messages with Rich Links.”

What’s New in the Sixth Edition

Version 6.0 updates the book to cover macOS 13 Ventura, iOS 16, and iPadOS 16:

  • As described in “Settings vs. Preferences,” updated the book to account for the fact that Ventura replaced System Preferences with System Settings and replaced Mail’s Preferences window with a Settings window
  • Added lists of Mail changes in Ventura and in iOS 16 & iPadOS 16
  • Added topics describing numerous new features in Ventura and iOS 16/iPadOS 16:
    • Undoing Sending a Message
    • Scheduling a Message
    • Following Up on Messages Awaiting Replies
    • Reminding Yourself About Important Messages
    • Getting Notifications for Missing Attachments and Recipients
    • Composing Messages with Rich Links
    • Checking for Authenticity of Branded Messages
    • Use Smart Search
  • Added advice about opening incoming attachments
  • Included significantly more detail about using Mail Privacy Protection and its component features; see “Use Mail Privacy Protection,” as well as the note in “Train Your Junk Mail Filter”
  • Updated certain details about changes to Mail plug-ins, especially Mailbutler
  • Added Mail Archiver X to the list of options in “Archive and Search Messages”
  • Updated the instructions for macOS in “Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists”
  • Added yet another tip about how to quote effectively
  • Updated the chapter “Use Mail in iOS & iPadOS” to cover the new features mentioned above, as well as significantly expanding and improving the Manage Notifications topic
  • Explained in “Address a Message to a Group” how to create or edit a group (list) in iOS/iPadOS
  • Dropped explicit coverage of iOS 14, while continuing to cover iOS 15 and iPadOS 15
  • Read Me First
    • Updates and More
    • Settings vs. Preferences
    • What’s New in Version 6.0.1
    • What Was New in the Sixth Edition
  • Introduction
  • Apple Mail Quick Start
  • Learn What’s New in Mail
    • Mail Changes in Ventura
    • Mail Changes in Monterey
    • Mail Changes in Big Sur
    • Mail Changes in Catalina
    • Mail Changes in Mojave
    • Mail Changes in iOS 16 & iPadOS 16
    • Mail Changes in iOS 15 & iPadOS 15
  • Learn About Email Protocols
    • POP
    • IMAP
    • SMTP
    • IMAP and POP Misconceptions
    • Switch from POP to IMAP
    • iCloud
    • Exchange
    • Gmail
    • Fetch, Push, and IMAP IDLE
  • Master Mail Concepts
    • Account Setup
    • Decoding the Mail Sidebar
    • Special Mailboxes
    • Controlling Mail Formatting
    • Hidden Interface Elements
    • Gestures
    • Full-Screen Mode
    • Addressing
    • Undoing Sending a Message
    • Scheduling a Message
    • Following Up on Messages Awaiting Replies
    • Reminding Yourself About Important Messages
    • Getting Notifications for Missing Attachments and Recipients
    • Composing Messages with Rich Links
    • Checking for Authenticity of Branded Messages
    • Filing
    • Archiving
    • Notifications
    • Data Detectors
    • Attachments
    • Handoff
  • Customize Mail
    • Sidebar
    • Favorites
    • Tabbed Windows
    • Toolbars
    • Message Header
    • Views
    • Message List
    • Message Filters
    • VIPs
    • Signatures
    • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Improve Your Privacy
    • Use Mail Privacy Protection
    • Hide Your Email Address
  • Extend and Automate Mail
    • Understand Plugins vs. Extensions
    • Use Third-Party Plugins
    • Noteworthy Plugins
    • Use Extensions (Monterey and Later)
    • Archive and Search Messages
    • Use AppleScript and Automator
  • Use Gmail with Mail
    • Understand How Mail Works (or Not) with Gmail
    • Set Up Mail to Use Gmail
    • Avoid Gmail Problems
  • Find Your Messages
    • Perform a Natural Language Search
    • Perform a Conventional Search
    • Search for a Phrase
    • Use Boolean Expressions
    • Search by Date Range
    • Search Within the Current Message
    • Work Smarter with Smart Mailboxes
  • Take Control of Your Inbox
    • Take Responsibility
    • Consolidate Your Accounts
    • Mute Conversations
    • Optimize Your Mailboxes
    • Use Rules
    • Control Spam
    • Develop an Email Strategy
    • Back Up and Restore Your Email
    • Import Email
  • Become a Better Correspondent
    • Don’t Be Part of the Problem
    • Choose Formatting Wisely
    • Use Attachments Judiciously
    • Quote Effectively
  • Sign and Encrypt Messages
    • Learn When and Why to Sign or Encrypt Messages
    • Use S/MIME Encryption
    • Use GnuPG for Mail
    • Sign and Encrypt Messages in iOS & iPadOS
  • Fix Mail Problems
    • Fix Incoming Mail Problems
    • Fix Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Problems
    • Untangle Special Mailboxes
    • Fix Mailbox Problems
    • Fix Searching Errors
    • Deal with Recovered Messages
    • Solve Other Problems
  • Use Mail in iOS & iPadOS
    • Mail in iOS & iPadOS vs. Mail in macOS
    • Configure Mail in iOS & iPadOS
    • Work with Incoming Email
    • Work with Outgoing Email
    • Use Drag and Drop
    • Troubleshoot iOS & iPadOS Mail Problems
  • About This Book
    • Ebook Extras
    • About the Author and Publisher
    • Credits
  • Also by Joe Kissell
  • Copyright and Fine Print

MacVoices gets an earful about Apple Mail from Joe Kissell

Posted by Joe Kissell on June 12, 2020

I joined Chuck Joiner on MacVoices in a two-part interview to discuss the fifth edition of my book Take Control of Apple Mail.

In Part 1, I talk about some of the bugs and design flaws in Mail for Catalina.

In Part 2, I stay hydrated while talking about plugins, security issues, and the challenges of email for ordinary users.


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