What is accountsd and what Does it Have to Do with the Mail App on macOS Catalina?

Are you a Mac user who has recently upgraded to macOS Catalina and noticed that your mail app isn’t functioning as it used to? Do you understand the role of accountsd in the Mail app and its importance? In this article, we’ll discuss what accountsd is, why it’s essential to the Mail app on macOS Catalina, and how it works.

What is accountsd?

accountsd is a system process responsible for managing and maintaining user accounts on macOS Catalina. It is a daemon that runs behind the scenes and communicates with various apps and services, including the Mail app. When a user logs in to their Mac, accountsd authenticates the user’s credentials with the authentication server and provides access to their stored data and profiles.

What does accountsd have to do with the Mail app on macOS Catalina?

The Mail app on macOS Catalina depends heavily on accountsd to function correctly. It uses accountsd to retrieve and store information about email accounts, including account settings, passwords, and encrypted data. accountsd stores this information securely in the keychain, ensuring that only the user has access to it.

The Mail app on Mac has always used the keychain to store passwords securely. However, before macOS Catalina, each email account had its password, which the Mail app could access and store separately. With the introduction of macOS Catalina, the Mail app now relies on accountsd to access the keychain, retrieve passwords, and perform other actions, including syncing email accounts, setting up accounts, and managing rules.

How Does accountsd Work?

accountsd is a part of Apple’s Authentication and Profile management architecture (APM). It uses various accounts frameworks, such as the Apple ID, LDAP, and Active Directory, to securely manage user accounts and passwords. accountsd also ensures that user account data is always up-to-date across all apps and services, including the Mail app.

In the event that accountsd encounters an issue, the user may experience significant problems with the Mail app or other apps. For instance, if the accountsd daemon stops running or crashes, Catalina’s security architecture prevents it from starting automatically because it requires access to protected apps and data. This can result in email accounts becoming inaccessible, and the user having to manually restart the daemon.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, accountsd is a critical component of macOS Catalina that ensures that user accounts are securely managed and accessible by apps such as the Mail app. It plays a vital role in managing and keeping email accounts synchronized, setting up rules, and storing passwords. Therefore, understanding accountsd and its role in the Mail app on macOS Catalina is essential to maintain the functionality of your Mail app.


Q. What is the purpose of accountsd on macOS Catalina?
A. accountsd is a system process that manages and maintains user accounts, passwords, and information on macOS Catalina.

Q. Why is accountsd important in the Mail app?
A. The Mail app on macOS Catalina relies heavily on accountsd to retrieve and store information about email accounts, including account settings, passwords, and encrypted data.

Q. How can I fix issues with the Mail app related to accountsd?
A. If you encounter problems with the Mail app, restart your Mac to restart accountsd or try deleting and adding email accounts to reload them from accountsd. You may also contact Apple support for further assistance.



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Peter Graham
Peter Graham
Hi there! I'm Peter, a software engineer and tech enthusiast with over 10 years of experience in the field. I have a passion for sharing my knowledge and helping others understand the latest developments in the tech world. When I'm not coding, you can find me hiking or trying out the latest gadgets.


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