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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back Apps
Newer versions of Mail, by default, don't show your Outbox in your folder list. Even if you go offline and then compose a new email and hit Send, you will still not see an Outbox (some users note that their Outbox will show up temporarily, but will be gone after restarting Mail). Many of us are very particular about email delivery and want to know if we have messages waiting to go out.

Searching around reveals a few articles and such, but most are very old (circa 2007) and not relevant to the newer version(s) of Mail in OS X Lion. The trick to getting the Outbox to stay permanently is to add it to your Favorites bar. But before you do that, you have to be able to see it. Here's how:
  • Go to Mail Preferences and to Accounts.
  • Pick an account and under 'Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP),' click what's currently selected and choose 'Edit SMTP Server List...'
  • Create a bogus SMTP server by clicking the +
    Description: Bogus SMTP
    Server Name: smtp.bogus.blah
  • Save the changes if prompted.
  • Now compose a new test email from this account and send it.
  • You should see a message indicating the server is offline.
  • Click the Try Later button.
  • And now you will see an Outbox in your folder list.
  • Simply click it and drag it up to your Favorites bar.
  • It will now stay there forever including after restarting Mail or your Mac.
To clean up afterwards, first go your Outbox and delete the test email sitting in your Outbox
  • Go back to Mail » Preferences » Accounts
  • Highlight your account, and change the 'Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP)' to what it was originally.
  • Next go back into 'Edit SMTP Server List,' highlight the bogus SMTP server and click the - to remove it.

[crarko adds: I tested this (in 10.7.2), and it works as described.]
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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back | 12 comments | Create New Account
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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: benwiggy on Nov 18, '11 08:05:28AM
Surely the Outbox is a vestige from days when people weren't connected to the Internet all the time. Messages would sit there until you connected to the internet, and then they would be sent.
These days, messages are sent as soon as you ... err... send them, so there's no longer a need for this limbo.

"Many of us are very particular about email delivery and want to know if we have messages waiting to go out."
Isn't it more likely that many people assume their message has been sent, unless the Outbox appears?

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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: arcticmac on Nov 18, '11 08:39:22AM

Some people travel a lot, and find that the internet is actually not always available everywhere. In fact, it turns out that there are quite a lot of places where it's not. Furthermore, some people have things like corporate email servers which require them to be connected to a VPN to send email when offsite, which they are often not, whether because of lack of an internet connection or other issues. The problem is compounded by the fact that when you are frequently offline, Mail seems to do a somewhat bad job at actually sending things when you do come back online. Or so one might suspect, but it's hard to verify and even harder to report bugs when the outbox isn't visible to _show_ that you've got waiting outbound messages.



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: Supp0rtLinux on Nov 18, '11 12:40:23PM

There's also the case where you're using Mac Mail to access an Exchange server and your Exchange presence is down (this is the problem I had yesterday which left me looking for an Outbox to verify delivery... or the lack thereof... and is what prompted my solution... yes, I'm the author of the hint). In this case, I had full internet connectivity, but the mail server was having problems and I needed to see the contents of the Outbox to know when things were working again, etc.



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: macnixer on Nov 20, '11 01:38:02PM

I have a corporate account that used to be like this in the old days. No VPN, no mail going out or coming. With time the corp IT changed and now we do not suffer the 'Outbox' issue.

The only times I really want to check my Outbox is when the mail does not go and that happens when there are problems and Mail shows me the box.

It is a nice to have option to show the outbox. I believe that Mail should have a setting to enable or disable it.



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: CMcP on Nov 18, '11 08:27:02AM

Rather than creating the bogus SMTP server couldn't I just take my Mac offline (turn off Airport and/or ethernet) and try to send an email using an existing server in order to get the Outbox to show? (I would try this myself but I already tried your hint and haven't figured how to remove the Outbox icon yet.)



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: festiva on Nov 18, '11 08:33:01AM

I was able to do this more simply by: disconnect from broadband, send e-mail to self, Outbox appears and can be dragged into Favourites bar.
Remember to reconnect!



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: skeeks on Nov 18, '11 09:13:12AM

I didn't have to set a bogus smtp server, just turn of Airport (WiFi) on your computer or disconnect any ethernet cable or turn off any other way that you use to connect to internet. Send an email and automatically it will be sent to the Outbox that will appear, then just move it to the favorites bar.
It's a lot easier this way.
Thank you for the tip.



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: derekJAB on Nov 19, '11 03:15:31AM

No, thank you.



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: David Allen on Nov 22, '11 12:29:38AM

This is not working for me. I get the message that the server is offline, but no offer to send it later and no appearance of an Out mailbox.

---
Dah•veed |David Allen|
Monterrey, NL, Mexico



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: David Allen on Nov 22, '11 06:08:55AM

I am returning to report that this morning the Outbox appeared when I opened the mail app. So I too now have one permanently!

---
Dah•veed |David Allen|
Monterrey, NL, Mexico



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: sv1cec on Nov 26, '11 12:34:30PM

Nice tip, thanks!



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10.7: Mac Mail - Get the Outbox back
Authored by: Carragold on Dec 12, '12 10:01:05AM

Great tip, extremely helpful.

Outbound mail seems to be a bit unreliable, so it's great to be easily able to see if there is anything stuck in the outbox.



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