How to Password Protect Mac Mail Easily and Effectively

Rosa Reyes
August 14, 2023 Preview 31.7K Preview 2
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This article mainly talks about how to password protect Mac Mail. It also offers Mail privacy protection tips.

I want to use Mail on my Mac for my Gmail account, but I don’t want everyone who uses the Mac to have access to my inbox, and I don’t want to set up multiple user accounts for the computer because the Mac is constantly running iTunes so my Apple TV can access its library and it would be annoying to have to log in and out each time I leave the computer idle. Is there a way to prompt for a password when Mail is launched? - A question from a MacRumors forum

Apple Mail, officially called Mail, is an email client included with macOS, iOS, iPadOS and watchOS. It’s designed with users’ privacy in mind. For example, Mail on Mac allows you to send encrypted emails. But it provides no way to protect itself. If Mac Mail is your only or primary email client, then it’s important to keep it away from prying eyes. This article shows you how to put a password on Apple Mail on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc.


How to password protect Mac Mail app

You can easily put a password on Apple Mail on Mac using Cisdem AppCrypt, the best app locker and website blocker for Mac.

1. Download and install AppCrypt.

Free Download

2. When you open it for the first time, set a password. (It is recommended to select the Launch at System Startup checkbox.)

a dialog box asking users to set a password

3. Click the lock icon in the top menu bar and choose Open Main Window.

clicking the icon brings the Open Main Window option

4. Enter the password to access the main window.

5. Under the App Lock tab, click the plus icon.

the main window with the Lock App tab located in the top left corner

6. To lock Mail on Mac, select the Mail app and click Open.

select the Mail app to password protect

Alternatively, you can use drag and drop in steps 5 and 6.

Now the Mail app on your Mac is protected with password. When one tries to open it, the app won’t open, and a screen will show up asking for password. You can go for a coffee break without worrying that someone may be reading your emails.

a dialog box asking for password

If the password entered is correct, Mail will be unlocked. If the password entered is wrong, Mail will remain protected, and AppCrypt will record the failed attempt, providing information like the time and date and a photo of the intruder.

the screenshot of the record of a failed attempt

How to remove the password protection? Just go to the main window (which requires the password), select Mail, and press the Delete key.

Tip: There is an Auto Lock feature. You can go to Preferences to turn it on. Once turned on, this feature will automatically lock your unlocked Mail app after it is not active for a while, making the protection more effective.

the Preferences window displaying the Auto Lock feature and other options

How to password protect Mac Mail folder

Some users on a MacRumors forum mentioned the possibility to password protect Mail on Mac with the help of Disk Utility, a pre-installed app to perform disk related tasks. Does it help? Let’s find out.

There are two facts.

  • It’s possible to use Disk Utility to put a password on a third-part app on Mac. However, Mac Mail is a built-in app.
  • You can use Disk Utility to encrypt the Mail folder on your computer.

Below is how.

  1. On your Mac, open Disk Utility.
  2. From the menu bar, choose File > New Image > Image from Folder.clicking the File menu brings the Image from Folder option
  3. Select the Mail folder in the Library folder. Click Choose.a screenshot of the Mail folder being selected
  4. Click the Encryption dropdown menu and choose 128-bit AES encryption (recommended).the Encryption dropdown menu
  5. Set a password.
  6. Click the Image Format dropdown menu and choose read/write.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Wait for Disk Utility to create a DMG file.
  9. Go to the Library folder and delete the Mail folder.

Now the Mail folder is an encrypted DMG file.

Someone thought that encrypting the Mail folder would prevent Mac Mail app from being opened. It’s not true. You can still launch the app as usual. And opening the Mac Mail app will automatically create a new Mail folder in the Library folder. If your email account is logged in, one can easily view your emails in the opened Mail app.

If your purpose is to back up and encrypt your Mac Mail database, then the steps above can help. Just use Disk Utility to password protect the Mail folder.

Tips to restrict access to Mac Mail, password protect emails, and more

In addition to the methods to password protect Mac Mail, there are also tips that may be helpful.

Sign out of your email account(s)

  1. In the Mail app on your Mac, from the top menu bar, select Mail > Accounts.
  2. In the Internet Accounts window, select your email account and click the minus icon in the bottom left corner.
  3. In the dialog box that appears, click OK to sign out of your email account. This will also wipe out all its data from Mail.sign out

If there are multiple accounts, just repeat the last two steps. One has to sign out each time one leaves the computer idle. It’s not efficient at all.

Create a guest account for other users

To prevent other people from accessing your Mail and its data, you can password protect Apple Mail. You can also create a guest account for other users of your Mac.

If someone wants to use your computer, you can let him or her log in as a guest user. This way, other users can user your Mac with no access at all to your stuff including your Mail app data. In scenarios where other people need to access your files, the best solution is to password protect Mac Mail (and other important apps).

  1. Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon in the bottom left corner, which will bring up a new window. Enter your password.
  3. Click Login Options. Select the checkbox before Show fast user switching menu, which will allow you to easily switch accounts.
  4. Click Guest User in the left panel. Select the checkbox next to Allow guests to log in to this computer.a screenshot of the left panel

Password protect an email on Mac

To help protect privacy, you can encrypt an email before sending it. This way, only you and the recipient can read the email. Luckily, you can easily password protect an email in Mail on Mac with the help of PGP software GPG Suite.

1. Download and install GPG Suite.

2. Generate a key.

3. Create a new message in the Mail app.

4. Enter the recipient’s email address, the subject, and the content.

5. Click the black lock icon next to the subject to encrypt the email.

6. Click the Send button.

Here’s the more detailed instruction.

Turn on Mail Privacy Protection on Mac

macOS Monterey introduced a new privacy feature Mail Privacy Protection. The purpose is to prevent email senders from knowing your information such as IP address. To get it to work, you need to turn in on.

1. In Mail on Mac, go to the Mail menu.

2. Choose Preferences.

3. Under the Privacy tab, select the Protect Mail Activity checkbox.


Apple Mail has done a good job of protecting users privacy. But when it comes to preventing the Mail app from being accessed by other people, there isn’t a built-in solution. Luckily, there are third party tools to password lock Mail on Mac with utmost safety and reliability. Once protected, other people can’t view access your Mailboxes and read your emails.

Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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Comments (2) Leave a Reply

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  • Suresh

    great app! amazing and prominent! hats off to developers! keep it up. I wish you guys to develop more functions of appcrypt.

    7 years ago commonReply

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  • Marlon

    The software works just perfect as described...Thank you.. :-)

    7 years ago commonReply

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