Create Mail accounts manually in Snow Leopard

When setting up new accounts in Mail, OS X 10.5 included a feature that would, if enabled via a checkbox, attempt to automatically set up the new account based on the preliminary information you provide. In the Snow Leopard version of Mail, however, the automatic setup checkbox option is gone, and automatic setup is now the default.

While this works well most of the time, there may be times when you’d rather set up an account by hand. Gmail accounts, for instance, will always be created as IMAP accounts when using automatic setup, and perhaps you’d prefer to use POP for your Gmail account. Also, in automatic mode, the setup wizard always tests the connections to the mail servers you enter. If you’re setting up accounts while offline, or while on a costly and/or slow connection, you might not want these tests to be run.

The solution, thanks to Mac OS X Hints reader V.K., turns out to be simple: On the first Add Account screen, which appears after you click the plus sign on the Accounts tab of Mail’s preferences, enter your name and e-mail address. Then hold down the Option key, and notice that the Create buttons changes to read Continue. Click the newly-existent Continue button, and you can set up your e-mail account manually, just as you could in OS X 10.5.

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