Forcing the default mailbox in Mail

Apr 15, '02 09:36:34AM

Contributed by: geohar

Here's one for those of you who have a number of accounts set up in Mail.app. I recently got really frustrated with Mail, because I could find no way of setting the default mailbox to show when the app launched or a new viewer was shown. It used to be set up right for my needs, but somehow the default mailbox got set to my UNIX mail account, and I wanted it to show my IMAP account by default. Could I do this with the GUI - no! I think the preferences got corrupted at some point, but I'm not sure.

You can set the default mailbox by editing:

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist

Near the top of that file is an array called 'ActiveUniViewers'. On my system it has one item; change that item to point to the required default mailbox. Mailboxes are listed in ~/Library/Mail/, and you should be able to figure out the right mailbox from the directory name. If you have an IMAP account with user foo, at host blah.com, the box will be IMAP:foo@blah.com/ in the ~/Library/Mail/ directory. Set the array item to be:

~/Library/Mail/IMAP:foo@blah.com/INBOX.imapbox

The exact mailbox name can be found by examining the account's directory. Save (remember to back up first) and hey-presto! My mailbox preferences are back!.

It used to be the case that Mail remembered the last mailbox looked at, but I can't get that to work - ideas welcome, but for the moment, here's a way to get Mail to display your mailbox of choice when you click it's icon.

[Editor's note: On my machine, switching accounts still works as expected; Mail remembers the last active setting on quit. I would think that trashing the prefs file might also fix the problem, and I'm curious why Mail would be able to update other prefs in the file but not the ActiveUniViewers setting. Hopefully this may help others with the same problem...any comments on the cause or the solution?]

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