Adding internet accounts

Your Mac comes with specialized Apple apps: Safari web browser, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Reminders, Messages, FaceTime, Photos & iMovie. You’ll want to use them whenever possible to get the full Mac experience. And if you’ve used an iPhone or iPad, they’ll immediately look familiar… but with even more features.

It’s easy to add email accounts, sync contacts and calendars, set up Facebook, Twitter, photo sharing, and instant message services on your Mac. It’s all done in one place: Internet Accounts in System Preferences.

  1. Click System Preferences in the dock or select it from the Apple menu. Then click Internet Accounts.
  2. To change settings on an existing account, select it in the list and skip to step 5.
  3. To add an account, click + button under the list and choose your service on the right. To delete an account, select it and click the – button.
  4. Enter the information requested, matching what you use to log into the service’s web page. Contact them for details.
  5. Check the services you need. See more information below.
  6. Click Details to change the description that shows on the left side. For example, if you have two Google accounts you might label one Personal and another Work.

Now you’re ready to learn how to use Mail, Contacts, Calendar and other apps.

Which checkboxes do you need to turn on? You don’t have to enable everything. For example, you might not enable Google contacts if you’re already syncing them through iCloud. But if you have a personal account and a company account, you might check the boxes next to Mail and Calendars in each account. The Mail app will then show both inboxes, and Calendar app both calendar systems. Even so, your home mail & calendars will be stored in your personal account, and your employer has no access to them on their system. That’s the beauty of the Apple apps: they can show information from multiple sources, while storing them separately and securely.

Having trouble? Your account and passwords on the Mac and the account’s web page must match. If you reset your account password on the web, you must change settings in Internet Accounts. Sometimes the easiest way to do this is to remove the account and add it again (step 3). Your data will be downloaded again. If you have trouble with email after adding an account, see solving email errors.

Learn more Mac basics.

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