Assuming you have followed the last three sections, are connected to the internet and have opened the e-mail application called Mail; I will now show you how to Receive E-Mail.
The e-mail application called Mail, by default (normal behaviour), is set up to automatically check for new e-mail every 5 Minutes from all the e-mail accounts listed in its Accounts settings (preferences) unless the settings (preferences) within each of those listed e-mail accounts and/or Mail itself have since been modified. One way to make sure Mail is automatically checking for new e-mail, and to make sure each listed e-mail account is set up to be checked for e-mail automatically, is to go through their settings (preferences).
Begin by clicking on the MAIL menu to bring up its menu-items and then click on the PREFERENCES menu. Doing so will then open the GENERAL Tab (window) of the Mail Preferences. On this Tab (window) you need to check two settings (preferences) to make sure that 1) Mail is the default e-mail client (application) and 2) that e-mail is being checked for automatically for each active/online e-mail account. I will explain 'active/online e-mail accounts' later.
Fig 1.0 Click on the MAIL menu to bring up its menu-items
Fig 1.1 Click on the menu-item called PREFERENCES to modify e-mail account settings
Fig 1.2 The GENERAL Tab (window) of the Mail Preferences
With the GENERAL Tab (window) of the Mail Preferences now open (above) you must ensure that the DEFAULT EMAIL READER setting (preference) is set to Mail.app (6.2) for example. If it's set to something like Thunderbird.app (17.0.2) instead, for whatever reason(s), click on the DEFAULT EMAIL READER drop-down menu and select Mail.app (6.2) to make Mail the default e-mail application again.
Fig 1.3 Make Mail the default e-mail application by selecting it from the DEFAULT EMAIL READER drop-down menu
The DEFAULT EMAIL READER setting is not only used for receiving e-mail, it also tells the Safari web browser application for example which e-mail application to use/open when someone clicks on an e-mail link within a website.
The second setting on the GENERAL Tab (window) ensures that a check for new e-mail is performed for each 'active/online e-mail account', but only if that setting is NOT set to MANUALLY. If it is set to MANUALLY it means you want to manually check each 'active/online e-mail account' for new e-mail yourself. So click on the CHECK FOR NEW MESSAGES drop-down menu, if need be, and change the current time frame to EVERY 5 MINUTES for example.
Fig 1.4 Click on the CHECK FOR NEW MESSAGES drop-down menu, if need be, to change the current time frame.
Now that you are sure Mail is the default e-mail application that is set to check for new e-mail every 5 Minutes for example, for 'active/online e-mail accounts' only, the next step is to check whether or not each e-mail account is 'active' and 'online'. This is done by checking two settings on the ACCOUNTS Tab (window). So click on the ACCOUNTS Tab (window) to continue.
Fig 1.5 Click on the ACCOUNTS Tab (window) to open the Accounts window
Fig 1.6 Click on the ENABLE THIS ACCOUNT setting to make this e-mail account 'active'
With the ACCOUNTS Tab (window) of the Mail Preferences now open (above) click on the listed e-mail account whose settings (preferences) you wish to modify. In the above example I have already clicked on the ClickWiseCS e-mail account. If you now look to the centre of the GENERAL Tab (window) you will notice three sub-tabs called ACCOUNT INFORMATION, MAILBOX BEHAVIORS and ADVANCED whereby the main ACCOUNTS Tab (window) should be viewing the settings on the ACCOUNT INFORMATION sub-tab. If not, click on the word (sub-tab) called ACCOUNT INFORMATION.
With the ACCOUNT INFORMATION sub-tab settings now in front of you, make sure the first setting called ENABLE THIS ACCOUNT is ticked (switched on). This will ensure the selected e-mail account (i.e. ClickWiseCS) is 'online' and that its mailboxes (folders) are visible within the main Mail application window. In the example below I have purposely unticked the ENABLE THIS ACCOUNT setting for both the ClickWiseCS and iCloud e-mail accounts to take them both 'offline', just to show you what the main Mail application looks like with both e-mail accounts 'offline'. To take the iCloud e-mail account 'offline' I simply selected and then unticked its ENABLE THIS ACCOUNT setting, exactly as I did with the ClickWiseCS e-mail account.
Fig 1.7 The main Mail application window shows no activity for the ClickWiseCS or iCloud e-mail accounts
Fig 1.8 Both the ClickWiseCS and iCloud e-mail accounts are 'offline' (inactive) at the moment
So now you know that if an e-mail account has its ENABLE THIS ACCOUNT setting unticked it means that e-mail account is 'offline' and therefore 'inactive' (invisible to the main Mail application window). Obviously for these examples you want all e-mail accounts to have their ENABLE THIS ACCOUNT setting ticked, therefore making them 'online' and 'active' (visible in the main Mail application window).
The last setting to check is on the ADVANCED sub-tab, so you need to click on the word (sub-tab) ADVANCED to continue. From there you need to make sure the setting called INCLUDE WHEN AUTOMATICALLY CHECKING FOR NEW MESSAGES is switched on (ticked). This ensures that Mail will include the selected e-mail account (i.e. ClickWiseCS) when it checks for new e-mail.
Fig 1.9 Make sure the setting called INCLUDE WHEN AUTOMATICALLY CHECKING FOR NEW MESSAGES is ticked
Only when all of the above mentioned/exampled settings have been switched on (enabled/ticked/set) will you then receive new e-mail automatically, every 5 Minutes for example; assuming you have some new e-mail of course! When I say "new e-mail"; If this is your first time using a certain e-mail account Mail will download (retrieve) any e-mail that is currently on your e-mail server. So if your e-mail account is with BT Yahoo for example Mail will download (retrieve) all your e-mail from the BT Yahoo e-mail server (BT Yahoo e-mail computer) from the time when you first set up that BT Yahoo e-mail account (i.e. in 2008) to the present day, which means Mail could download 2,000 e-mails for example back-dating to 2008. This depends though on whether or not you have been keeping a copy of your e-mail on the BT Yahoo e-mail server over the years.
Regardless of the above said; In cases where Mail is set up to automatically check for new e-mail every 5 Minutes for example whereby you need to check for new e-mail NOW! you can click on the GET MAIL button, located in the top-left corner of the main Mail application window, to manually download (retrieve) new e-mail.....if any new e-mail exists of course. As said; this is the manual way of receiving new e-mail.
Fig 1.10 Click on GET MAIL to manually check for any new e-mail that may be on your ISP's e-mail computer
When new e-mail starts arriving in Mail look immediately towards the bottom-left side of the main Mail application window, inside its Mail Activity window pane (status/progress bar), and you will see the status (activity / progress) of the Incoming Message; which is the equivalent of the Windows Live Mail / MS Outlook status bar. It indicates how many e-mails are being downloaded (retrieved) from your ISP's (Internet Service Provider's) e-mail server (computer). So if you have a BT Yahoo e-mail account Mail will retrieve your e-mail from the mail.btinternet.com e-mail server for example whereas if you have a private website Mail will retrieve your e-mail from its e-mail server. In the case of my ClickWiseCS e-mail account Mail gets my e-mail from the mail.clickwisecomputerservices.co.uk e-mail server which belongs to my web hosting company.
Ignore these technicals if you wish!! but sometimes it's good to know where your e-mail is coming from. From which web hosting company, from which broadband provider (isp) and/or from which e-mail server they use simply because if someone says "The BT Yahoo Server is down (not working)" for example you will then know why you are not receiving e-mail from BY Yahoo and that it is not the fault of Mail.
Fig 1.11 One e-mail is being downloaded from the e-mail server associated with the ClickWiseCS e-mail account
Once the blue progress bar has disappeared and therefore all new e-mail has been downloaded (received) you can then view an e-mail by clicking on its heading, in the middle column (window pane) of Mail. An e-mail heading is a summary of the e-mail's Title, Message and Time Sent. In this case I only have one e-mail heading I can click on - Denise Cedar - 13:51 - Hello John, Excuse the delay......
Fig 1.12 Click on an e-mail's heading to view the original e-mail message sent by you plus recipient replies
Clicking on an e-mail's heading allows you to view the original e-mail message sent by you plus the reply sent from the recipient. This is known as a Conversation. Years ago each e-mail message would be listed as a separate e-mail, but these days if the e-mail message is between the same two people whereby they have both been replying to the same e-mail message (i.e. returning the same e-mail with their newer e-mail message inside) those e-mail messages are wrapped into one continuous e-mail, now known as a Conversation. To clarify:
Years Ago - I send a message to Denise (original e-mail). Denise replies. The e-mail I now receive from Denise is sent to me as a second, separate, e-mail that contains my original e-mail message plus her reply e-mail message.
Today's Age (A Conversation) - I send a message to Denise (original e-mail). Denise replies. The e-mail I now receive from Denise is sent to me as a second, separate, e-mail (just like: Years Ago) but instead of containing my original e-mail message plus her reply e-mail message, it only contains her reply e-mail message. This is because Mail has stripped out my original e-mail message from her reply e-mail message. Why? Because it knows I have a copy of the original e-mail message. So years ago you used to receive long winded e-mails whereby they were filled with original e-mail messages, including original replies. Nowadays those original e-mail messages and original reply e-mail messages are stripped out so that you are left with only one copy of the original e-mail message and only one copy of original reply e-mail messages. So if you look at Fig 1.12 above you will notice one e-mail with two e-mail messages inside it (original and reply, NOT original plus original and reply).
To take this one step further; In the example below Denise Cedar has now replied to my second e-mail - the one I sent her with an attachment. As you can see, this means I now have two separate e-mails. The reason why the second e-mail was not merged with the first e-mail in this case was because I composed (wrote) the two e-mails at separate times as separate e-mails. In other words, I did not reply to Denise's reply with an attachment e-mail. I wrote the attachment e-mail later on. Hence two separate e-mails.
Fig 1.13 I have now received another e-mail - a reply from Denise about my Attachment e-mail.
When you receive e-mail, either automatically or manually, Mail notifies you by displaying a Notification window in the top-right corner of the desktop screen and by placing the number of unread e-mails on its docked Mail Stamp application icon. It also places a blue dot to the left of each e-mail heading (Fig 1.13 above) if it contains at least one unread e-mail within its conversation. To expand/view conversations within its heading simply click on the number in the heading, just beneath the time sent (Fig 1.13 above).
Fig 1.14 Mail notifies you of new e-mail by displaying a Notification window on the desktop screen
Fig 1.15 Mail notifies you of new e-mail by placing the number of unread e-mails on its docked icon