Background

If you have set up an iCloud account, or migrated your MobileMe account to iCloud at http://me.com/move, any pre-Lion Mac will not be able to access iCloud’s facilities. You may be able to set up calendar syncing on Snow Leopard by means of an unsupported hack, and there is a convoluted hack which has been reported as working for Address Book (and reported as not working by others – I’ve not tried it), but these will not work on Leopard; and neither can access any of iCloud’s other facilities.

However you can set up your email server settings manually in any email application – this tutorial shows you how to enter your iCloud account settings in Apple Mail on Snow Leopard – the method for Leopard is basically the same. (The method is different in Tiger and is detailed here.)

Steps

You can migrate using Snow Leopard: when asked to confirm that your Mac has Lion just lie and say ‘yes’. Or you can take Apple’s ‘Migrate Mail only’ option, presented when you log into the MobileMe website, in which case only your email will be migrated, and that not until the end of June when MobileMe terminates.

If you have MobileMe mail set up to collect mail from external POP accounts you should cancel this before migrating, or you may find it still working in iCloud (where it isn’t supposed to) and with no way of stopping it.

Once you have migrated a MobileMe account go to to Mail>Preferences>Accounts and select your MobileMe account. Click the ‘-’ button at bottom left to delete it.

Now click the ‘+’ button to create a new account. In the first pane enter your name, email address and password:

Hold the option (alt) key down to change the ‘Create’ button to ‘Continue’ (this is to prevent the ‘Wizard’ from setting up for MobileMe). You may not need to do this on Leopard if you uncheck ‘Automatically set up account’ (this checkbox does not appear on Snow Leopard). Click ‘Continue’.

Choose IMAP, enter a description (e.g. ‘iCloud’), and your User Name (this should be there automatically). Set the Incoming Mail Server to imap.mail.me.com Click ‘Create’ (don’t hold the option key down this time).

Enter the SMTP server address as shown and click ‘Use Authentication’. With both servers Mail will contact the server to check that it can connect, and this may take some time. Click ‘Create’.

This shows the summary of the details. Check ‘Take account online’ if necessary and click ‘Create’.

The next step is optional; go to the list of accounts in the sidebar of Preferences>Accounts and select your iCloud account. If you also have an @mac.com address with the same username, or you have aliases, you can add them to the ‘Email Address’ field, separated by commas. They will appear as an option in the drop-down menu when sending mail.

Make sure the Outgoing Mail Server is set to ‘iCloud’ or whatever you named the account.

You should now see your iCloud account in the sidebar of the main Mail pane.

There may be an extra step necessary on Leopard. If you can’t connect, go to Preferences>Accounts, select the account and click the ‘Advanced’ tab: set the port number to 993 if it isn’t than already and make sure that ‘Use SSL’ is checked:

It’s possible that after migration you may have ‘wrong password’ errors: if so you should go to http://appleid.apple.com and change your password, making sure that it complies with Apple’s requirements: at least eight characters, of which at least one must be a numeral and one a capital letter: the longer and more complex the better.

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Editorial Note: A colleague of mine shared these tips via Evernote and I could not help but see the value in this information and wanted to pass it on to the readership here on THE Tech Scoop. Hat Tip to Mr. Jay Raymond and source attribution to Mr. Roger Wilmut).