If you use Gmail as your email and Apple Mail (on the iMac or a Mac laptop or whatever) you may notice that Apple Mail does not work well with Gmail. Exactly what goes wrong may vary. For me, Apple Mail does not check for new Gmail reliably. Also, if I search for a message on Gmail it often can’t find a message I KNOW is there. Or, just as bad, it will find one message (which may be one of several it should find) and show me dozens and dozens of copies of it. And so on.
If you search the web, or Apple support, for solutions you will find many. Delete certain files. Reinstall certain things. Change certain settings.
I think these suggestions as a collection are wonderful and someone should study them. The thing is, Apple Mail will work perfectly well with Gmail. When it wants to. Now and then. Therefore, if you do something to fix Apple Mail, sometimes it will appear to fix it. So you run off to the Apple Support Forum and tell everybody about your fix. Then they try it. And for most of them it does not work.
Apple, or various Apple experts, claim that the reason that Apple Mail does not work with Gmail is because Gmail is unusual in its configuration. There are three things you should consider when evaluating that claim.
1) Almost a half a billion people use Gmail. It is, therefor, not unusual. It is the de facto standard.
2) Apple’s other mail client, “Mail” on iOS, works almost flawlessly with Gmail (though there is a quirk or two). So, it isn’t like Apple couldn’t find the Help Page at Google for how to configure something to work with it.
3) Apple and Google are rivals. What is the most dysfunctional software on an Apple Desktop, in terms of overall impact on users? Mail. Why? Because it does not work with Gmail. Who owns Gmail? Google. What is the most dysfunctional Apple-based software on iOS, that works the least well of any software of the modern era? The YouTube client. Who owns YouTube? Google. And so on.
So you see, it clearly is a conspiracy, and an obnoxious one at that. Apple should embrace Google and make working with google products seamless. Hell, Apple should interface it’s system and software with Android, even though iPhone is Android’s rival. Imagine if Apple did that. It would be catch-up time for Google!
So, you came to this post to find out …
How to make Apple Mail work with Gmail.
I hope you didn’t seriously expect an answer to this question. If you’ve searched around for an answer and tried several alternatives, you already know there is no answer. If you just started looking and this post is one of the first things you found, let me save you the time; if it is before November 2014, forget it, there is no answer.
Apple has a new operating system coming out in November 2014, maybe that will fix it. But we thought Mavericks would fix it, and Apple said it would and even claimed it would, but it did not. So don’t hold your breath.
But there is an answer, though it is a cynical and annoying one many of you will not like. There are two ways to fix your problem.
1) Use Gmails’ web client. Have a nice day.
2) Install Postbox. It rocks. Have an even nicer day.
Post box costs 10 bucks and is worth it. It handles mail like Mail should but it works. You can customize the views and stuff more than Mail. There is a cool thing called the “Focus Pane” which has, essentially, short cuts to favorite users, favorite topics (with which you label your mail), and so on. You can show all the emails with attachments all at once, and you can even show a list of just the attachments, or just the graphics, in the emails. Postbox allows you to organize email better than any of the other Mac aps I’ve tried out, and I’ve tried most of them out over the last few months searching for alternatives to Mail.
I highly recommend it. Apple Mail, if fixed, will still not be better, and once you’ve used Postbox for a few weeks and gotten totally used to it you won’t change. Apple kinda screwed the pooch with Mail, letting it stay needlessly broken for so long. Indeed, if they do fix it soon, we can not assume it will stay fixed vis-a-vis Google Gmail. So just get out now.
Full disclosure: I don’t get anything for recommending this software. I just loved it so much I bought the company. Only instead of actually buying the company I installed the trial version. Later, I’ll buy the app. But not really the company, though.