How to stop the Mail app from opening randomly on Mac

How to stop the Mail app from opening randomly on Mac

Are you having trouble with the Mail app randomly opening on your Mac? You are not alone. This can appear while you are working to view new email. Or it could bother you for no apparent reason. Disturb. So, can you do something to stop that from happening?

Connectivity issues with certain email accounts (such as Gmail) can trigger the Mac Mail app to open randomly. So far, Apple hasn’t released a permanent fix for this issue. But fortunately, there are a few fixes you can implement to make things better. Without further ado, let’s get started.

Minimize, not Close

If the Mail app opens without warning while running in the background, try minimizing the app instead of closing it – click the orange icon at the top left of the window to do so. You can also use the Command + H keyboard shortcut to quickly minimize the Mail app.

It is not a permanent fix by any means and may take some getting used to. But it’s a really quick way to stop the strange behavior of the Mail app.

Use a Gmail App Password

Do you use Gmail on Mac? Sometimes, the Mail app may fail to connect to your Google Account, especially if it’s secured with two-factor authentication. That can result in the app opening automatically every time it re-establishes the connection.

Luckily, you can fix this problem with an App Password.

Step 1: Use a web browser to sign in to your Google Account. Click the Security side tab, and click App Password (located under ‘Signing in to Google’).


Step 2: Create an App Password for the Mail app on Mac. Copy it to your clipboard.


Step 3: Open the Mail app. Next, click on Mail in the menu bar, then click on Preferences. Switch to the Accounts tab, then delete your Gmail account.

Step 4: Re-add the Gmail account.


Step 5: When prompted for a password, add an App Password, not your Google Account password.


That looks like it will stop the Mail app from having connectivity issues with Gmail going forward.

Use a separate room

Give the Mail app a separate desktop space. Open Mission Control, create a new room (click the Add icon at the top right), then drag the Mail app onto it. That should prevent the Mail app from opening randomly and annoying you.

Click the Mail app on the dock whenever you want to check email. Alternatively, you can manually visit the desktop room via Mission Control.

Manually Check for New Messages

Are you still having problems with the Mail app randomly opening on your Mac? Try checking for new messages manually. To do that, head to the Mail app’s Preferences screen (Mail> Preferences), then set ‘Check for New Messages’ to Manually.


Click the Get Email icon – located in the upper left corner of the Mail app window – whenever you want to manually retrieve new messages.

Disable Messages in Split-View

Does the Mail app open new emails automatically in Split-View while using other apps in full-screen mode?

To stop that from happening, go to the Mail app’s Preferences screen (Mail> Preferences), then turn off ‘Prefer to open messages in split view when in full screen.’


Delete Non-Important Email Accounts

Try deleting nonessential email accounts from the Mail app. That will further alleviate weird connectivity issues as it causes the Mail app to appear on your screen randomly. To do that, head to Mail> Preferences.

Turn off Open on Sign In

Does the Mail app only open automatically when booting your Mac? That’s not a problem, but occurs when an application is configured to open at startup.


To stop the Mail app from doing that again, just right-click the Mail icon in the dock, hover over Options, then uncheck Open on Sign in.

Or, go to Apple menu> System Preferences> Users & Groups> Login Items, then remove Mail from the list of startup items.

The bottom line

Most of the fixes that stop the Mail app from opening randomly aren’t very practical, but should help you until Apple fixes this problem for good. Hence, make sure to install the latest updates for your Mac whenever they become available – to do so, head to Apple menu> System Preferences> Software Update.

So, do you know of another fix that can stop the Mail app from appearing on the screen all the time? Leave a comment and let us know.

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