Apple Mail randomly sending email from unknown account

PAMurillo used Ask the Experts™
Hi Everyone,
I usually encounter the most unusual and typically the hardest to solve issues.  This one is no different.

>I migrated a client from an old to a new Mac using the Migration Assistant.  The old Mac had 3 user accounts.  I only migrated one account to the new Mac for the mom.
>Everything migrated over (+/-250GB), programs, email settings, etc
>She is using Apple Mail.  Only two accounts are setup which were part of the migration: the Mom and Dad.  Both are setup as POP.

>Randomly, when composing and sending an email, the email appears to come from the son's email address.  Furthermore, because of this when the recipient replies it goes to the Son's account.

Let me re-iterate:
>The only email accounts on Apple Mail are the Mom and Dad's
>This is a new Mac

*I verified the Mom and Dad's account are the only accounts in System Preferences > Internet Accounts
*I verified the SMTP Outbound server settings were the correct settings for which is the Mom's email

Any suggestions?
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bbaoIT Consultant

is the son's email address from the same provider? it looks for me like something wrong on the server side. better double check there to see if any special settings for sending and/or replying emails on the email server.
can you delete the accounts and set them again?; just in case something when wrong with the migration.
Did you check the details of the account settings, especially the SMTP entries for the account authentication?  I can easily see the son trying to fix a sending problem and choosing to try his account which might then have been remembered.
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Everyone, thank you for your input.  The mom's email is The son's is  
I double checked the SMTP settings and found no Gmail SMTP or Gmail anything listed anywhere.

Removing/re-creating the email accounts is what I was thinking.  Perhaps its some old setting from long ago that got transferred in the migration.
David AndersTechnician
Deleting all SMTP settings and resetting would be my first inclination.
Is there forwarding set up on the accounts.
Is the Gmail account set to pull email from
This is done in the Gmail Webmail settings.


I checked both forward for the and Gmail Web settings for checking the accounts.  Both were negative.  The latter was my first inclination.
bbaoIT Consultant

I know it's unlikely to happen but just in case of ANY settings overlooked at the providers' side, can you test the same accounts using any third-part my email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird?

it is not necessary to test this on the same Mac, use another Mac or even a PC. this will help seperate the issue and locate where the problem is.
DO NOT DELETE the accounts in Apple Mail unless you have everything backed up!!!!

The Apple Mail accounts are tied to the mail folders and deleting the accounts immediately deletes all the Mail folders too.   It doesn't just put them in the Trash, it immediately deletes them so recovery is a pain in the neck.

Deleting the SMTP settings is safe enough .. and causes no harm.


Thanks for the reminder eoinosullivan.  I was thinking about that.

I may test the account on a separate computer.  In addition perhaps there is another computer, phone, etch that the account is setup on that my client hasn't told me about.
@sbcglobal outsourced to yahoo for Mail accounts back around 2003 ~ 2005.  Log in to yahoo with the sbcglobal account and check the settings there.  You may be able check on the server and see if there's a reply-to set on the server.

If the pop accounts were set to store messages on the server, you may be able to delete the account and add it back.  It all depends on how much is actually left behind.

You don't really need another computer to test the mail, just create another account on the same Mac, and create a new pop account, but make sure you set it to leave mail on the server.

Check the Apple Mail Preferences --> Comosing to see if another mailbox was selected for outgoing mail.  The Send new messages from:  should have Account of Selected Mailbox.
Everyone, here was the solution:

As a process of elimination, I deleted the Mom's email account from the iMac, restarted, re-created it as a Yahoo account. But, this still didn't work.

Ultimately, we changed the Mom's email account password and that fixed the problem.

Totally weird.
bbaoIT Consultant

changing mum's password worked but ultimately it is not the solution as the reason of this "totally weird" symptom is still not found.

it could be still an issue or risk for future use if the root reason is not to be investigated.


Change the email account password worked.

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