How to Fix Mac Mail Repeatedly Asking for Password Issue

Are you having trouble with Mac Mail and accessing your e-mail? A common problem you could run into is one where the Mail app repeatedly prompts you for your password when you're opening your inbox or attempting to send a message.

It can be quite annoying to deal with it, but it's fixable. Here are a few tips:

Turn your internet off and on

Sometimes the reason Mac Mail keeps asking for your password is that it cannot properly connect to your network. Sometimes this happens in the middle of browsing your inbox or writing a message, so try resetting your internet. There's a good chance it could help.

Wait a few minutes

Sometimes the problem with Mac Mail is an outside one. It could be a server issue or something else outside of your control. In those cases, the best course of action may be to simply wait it out. I know it's terribly boring to sit around 15 minutes doing nothing, but it could be the solution to your problem.

Exit and enter Mac Mail

While you're waiting you may as well quit the mail service and open it again to see if the issue is just a temporary one with how Mail loaded.

Make sure you're using the right password

Usually, passwords are saved in your Mac's keychain app, but if you have entered the password again for some reason and then saved it in your keychain, then you may have entered it incorrectly, which could be the cause of your Mail issue. So, re-enter the password again and make sure you have entered the correct password.

Make sure your Keychain is up to date and clean

Enter the Keychain Access app, and look for your e-mail account to find the keychain entries used for accessing your Mail. Choose the relevant ones and erase them. Afterward, go back to Mail and enter your password when asked, and select the option to save the password.

Aside from using the Mail password prompts, you can manually put in passwords in Mail's settings. This could be appropriate if the password prompt happens only when you try to send a message, or when you try to receive mail:

SMTP server passwords in OS X Mail

Manually put in your passwords in Mail's preferences for the SMTP server along with your inbound servers.

  1. To do so, go to Mail's preferences and press "Accounts".
  2. Choose the affected account(s) from the list.
  3. Update your password in the "Password" field from Account Information tab.
  4. Within the Outgoing Mail Server (SMTL) menu, select "Edit SMTP Server List…"
  5. Choose the SMTP server you use with your account
  6. Press the Advanced tab.
  7. Re-enter your password when prompted.

Also, check if your outgoing server's port number and SSL options are set correctly, according to the configuration needs of your mail service. You might have to check the Web or with your ISP to see what these settings are. Finally, toggle the box to automatically detect and keep account settings.

Verify Keychain in OS X

If you spot any errors when verifying your keychain you must run the repair routine to correct them.

September 25, 2019

One Comment

  • cd1:

    What is the repair routine for keychain? I have Mojave -- OS hasn't provided the repair keychain option for many years now AFAIK.

    Mine goes through this and starts asking for password via safari far too often now. What is wrong? Another apple BUG?

    So how do I repair my keychain to make it stop? Thanks.

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