Sep 17


Today I discovered a whole pile of messages in my “On my Mac: Outbox”  and no matter what I tried I couldn’t get them to send.   I use gmail as my mail server.  The emails looked like they were sending – there was no error message – but they didn’t actually send. They were still in the outbox.  When people started to complain about my slow email replies, I looked and discovered all the emails over the past three days were just sitting there in my outbox!

I checked out the Apple help page here and tried what they suggested. According to the Apple mail connection doctor everything was working fine –   I got all green ticks!


I did a Google search and on different forums found all sorts of  ideas:

  • playing round with preference files
  • rebuilding the mailbox
  • typing in my Gmail SMTP server password again
  • changing the Gmail SMTP port settings
  • restarting mail
  • restarting my computer
  • repairing permissions
  • move mail sandbox folders
  • turn off SSL

None of these solutions worked!

Warning: Do not try moving them to ‘gmail outbox’. They will be permanently deleted. (I thought that if I move them to Gmail outbox then they might send –  unfortunately they just disappeared!)

In the end I found this forum from 2012 where someone was suggesting changing DNS settings. This is a very strange because Safari is working fine which means my DNS  is working fine.  I can even receive emails!  Even namebench was working fine.

But sure enough I changed my DNS settings and the problem fixed itself!  This problem has been round since 2012! And the solution still works!

Here’s how to do it:

Go to the advanced tab of the network control panel in system preferences and  click on DNS.  You will probably have the DNS settings for whichever Internet provider  you use.

I put in the google DNS numbers

Putting the Google DNS number into my network preferences.

Putting the Google DNS number into my network preferences.

I restarted mail and the problem was fixed.

I didn’t want to use the Google DNS, so I went back and put in my original DNS settings – the problem reappeared!

So for some reason, at the moment,  Apple mail is only sending messages through Gmail if I use the Google DNS server. I am seeing this as a temporary fix, not a solution. I don’t understand why this works at all.



6 Responses to “Gmail messages stuck in Outbox in Apple Mail in Yosemite”

  1. b says:

    Thanks, that actually helped!
    After a yosemite update I had to remove the google DNS (i was using before) and now i can send messages again through smtp.. It ist truly the opposite like in your case..

  2. RKruger says:

    I followed the instructions and now I can send my mail. Thanks!

  3. Viknes says:

    Excellent fix.

  4. stuck in outbox says:

    Thank you! I’ve searched high and low, spent a couple of hours at different times and no success. Now I’ve tried your DNS changing method and it seems to be working!

  5. tricia says:

    still didn’t work for me.
    not sure what to do

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