Apple Mail changed with the introduction of OSX 10.7 Lion, taking on a more “iPad like” appearance.

Apple Mail - New Look

It works well on iMac and Macbook Pro’s wide screen… but some people hate it. They want things back the way they used to be 🙁

Apple Mail - Classic Look

The good news is… it can be done. And pretty easily too

How to Travel Back in Time

  • Open Mail
  • Click on Mail in the Menu Bar and select Preferences…
  • Choose the Viewing tab.

Apple Mail Preferences

  • Check the box Classic Layout.
  • In the section below check the box Display unread messages with bold font.
  • Close Mail Preferences,

The Preview Pane

Once the classic view is chosen, you may still need to adjust the position of the Preview bar to change the size of the message preview pane.

Apple Mail - Classic Look - Preview Pane

Simply hover the mouse over the Preview bar until the cursor turns into a line with an arrow facing up, or a line with an arrow facing up and down.

Now, drag the Preview bar up or down to change the preview pane to the size you like.

If you don’t want a message preview, drag the preview pane to the bottom of the screen.


After you’ve changed Mail back to classic view, you can decide which columns you want to see.

  • Click on View in the Menu Bar.
  • Select Columns and choose from Attachments, Author, Date Received, Date Sent, Flags, From, Mailbox, Number, Size and To.

Apple Mail - Column Options

Clicking the top of any column sorts mail alpha-numericaly according to the contents of that column in either ascending or descending order. The the name of the sorting column is shown in blue.

Apple Mail - Classic - Sort Options

You can also drag and drop columns back and forth until they’re in the order you want.

That’s It. You may now proceed forward as you cling to the past 🙂

Have a good week 🙂

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