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Ask Max: Moving away from ISP provided email

Asked on 12/05/2007:

Now I have my "Mail" account on my Mac set up through my i.s.p., Charter, which works just fine. BUT I feel a bit locked in, so if I want to switch my provider, my address is history. Can I set up a "Mail" account on my Mac (just ordered a new 24" one from PowerMax) in say Google or Yahoo mail?

I can't live without the function when I want to e-mail pictures from iPhoto I highlight a picture, or pictures, hit the e-mail button, and my "Mail" program opens. Could that work in Google or Yahoo mail? I know there is .mac, but $100 a year for an e-mail address.....


I understand the trepidation in using that free email account from your ISP. I have changed ISPs dozens of times over the last decade and would have hated to change my email address each time. I have friends that I hear from only every other year and they should always be able to find me, regardless of what ISP I have. So yes a Yahoo or Google account would be a great choice for a permanent email address. I prefer a Google GMail account because they allow you free POP mail access. The POP mail feature lets you use the Apple Mail program to check and send email, so all the iLife applications should work well with Gmail. Go to and get a Gmail account. Once you are logged into your gmail account click on Settings in the upper right corner. Then go to the Forwarding and POP tab and enable the POP mail for all your email. After that, you change the "When messages are accessed with POP" to "archive Gmail's copy." After that you never need to log into Gmail through a web browser. You will use Apple Mail to access your gmail account.

Google has a very helpful web page that can walk you through setting up Apple Mail to connect to Gmail.

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