Getting GrowlMail to work 

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Growl icon

Leopard 10.5 update: Mac OS X 10.5's requires bundle version 3 or greater. See comment below.

I've been fiddling around to get GrowlMail to work with the latest version of Growl. Installing the GrowlMail bundle went fine, but the preference pane doesn't show up in Mail, and Mail doesn't show up as a registered application in Growl.

It turns out you need to run the following 2 commands in your favourite shell:

defaults write EnableBundles 1
defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion 2


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Comments and responses

  • 22 Jan 2007

    John Markov:

    Thanks! Couldn’t figure out why it worked on one Mac and not on the other.
    PS: were you the guy who wrote on Macinblog a few years ago?

  • 22 Jan 2007

    Yes, I was :)
    Actually, the archives are still available on

  • 02 Oct 2007


    Hey THANKS ! for the info got mine working now also..

  • 08 Oct 2007


    Thanks! Mine works now.

  • 08 Oct 2007


    Thanks a bunch!
    This worked for me!

  • 10 Oct 2007



  • 16 Oct 2007


    That seemed to fix growl but now when I launch as soon as a notification tries to go out crashes. The only way to get it to stop crashing is to disable the above changes. Anyone else have that?

  • 17 Oct 2007


    Hey, I’m really new at this stuff…
    what do you mean with I have to run those commands – where? who can help?
    thanx a lot in advance ;-)

  • 17 Oct 2007

    firebirdc5: are you running the latest version? Check for other Mail add-ons, font managers, or haxies you may have installed and deactivate them temporarily. Other users are having similar problems. Check this thread (you could try to downgrade to the previous version 0.76) smanny: you need to open the Terminal application which is located in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder and type in the two commands.

  • 19 Oct 2007

    Truls Larsen:

    Works like a dream and thanks for sharing :-)

  • 21 Oct 2007

    It worked! Thank you. :-D

  • 23 Oct 2007


    Took me quite a bit of digging, or at least more than it should have to find this tidbit. Thank you so much! Now if the Growl devs would include this information, I think a lot of people would be much less frustrated by “Growl/Mail/GrowlMail/etc” not working.

  • 26 Oct 2007


    and with Leopard? what command must be written? because Mail does not recognize growlmail under Leopard…

  • 26 Oct 2007

    @Elo: Mac OS X 10.5’s requires bundle version 3 or greater. You can try the following command to enable GrowlMail:
    defaults write /Library/Preferences/ EnableBundles -bool YES
    defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion -int 3
    Or, download the script from
    There is an interesting AppleScript alternative that is described in a blog post called “Growl, and AppleScript” by Kevin Way.

  • 27 Oct 2007


    Thanks! Worked like a charm. :D

  • 31 Oct 2007


    Ok, growl now presents in mail and mail presents in growl.
    What i have to do now to have those notifications working? :(

  • 07 Nov 2007


    This didn’t work for me. Whatever I did in Terminal did SOMETHING because the next time I opened Mail it told me that the GrowlMail app was incompatible and it would be deactivated… the same msg I got the first time I booted up Leopard.
    This is on a brand new Mac with a Clean Leopard Install.
    Any other suggestions? I miss my Growl notifications.

  • 09 Nov 2007


    Same problem as Chris!

  • 11 Jan 2008

    Try this recompiled version of GrowlMail:
    You’ll need to set to true the EnableBundles property of your Mail preferences (~/Library/Preferences/
    Please note that this is not an official version, and hence not supported, so don’t bother the developers. Nevertheless, it seems to do the job. You can’t select/deselect the accounts to monitor in the Preference pane. All accounts are active be default.
    Treat this as an interim solution until the official version becomes available (it is being completely rewritten to account for changes in Leopard). I’m currently running it with Growl 1.1.2 on Mac OS 10.5.2.

  • 12 Feb 2008

    This hack didn’t work for me. After I type the commands I open mail and get the message saying that GrowlMail has been disabled. What gives? I just installed GrowlMail also, about 1 hour ago just before I updates to 10.5.2

  • 12 Feb 2008


    Download Growl beta 1.1.3 and install the GrowlMail package in there to get GrowlMail to work under 10.5.2

  • 18 Feb 2008 is down. would anybody upload growl beta 1.1.3?

  • 20 Feb 2008

    Nick Ravo:

    How do I change the the EnableBundles property of your Mail preferences (~/Library/Preferences/ to true? I found the preference, clicked it and a bunch of code popped up in a text writer. Now what? (And do I really wanna mess with this code?)

  • 10 Mar 2008


    A nice way to change your plist files is with Pref Setter.
    Then you can see what your actually changing and easily re-change it you want.
    However, I did this
    defaults write EnableBundles 1
    defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion 2
    and my Growlmail still dosn’t work. Its not in the System Prefs > Growl > Application, but it does show up in the mail application. No notification, though. Any other ideas? Thanks!

  • 29 Mar 2008

    Dev Gupta:

    Can anyone tell me what are the default settings. I would like to un-do this:
    defaults write EnableBundles 1
    defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion 2

  • 30 Mar 2008

    @Dev Gupta: Err.. I’m not sure what the default values are.
    If you want to disable the use of Bundles within Mail, set the value of EnableBundles to 0 (zero) and I believe the second variable BundleCompatibilityVersion concerns the version of Mail (1, 2 or 3).

  • 21 Apr 2008


  • 26 Apr 2008


    Just found this thread and downloaded Growl Beta 1.1.3 onto my G4 PowerBook running OS X 10.5.2 and Growlmail now works perfectly. Just installing on my iMac (Intel Core 2 Duo) with OS X 10.5.2 running and no apparent inconsistencies with Mail.
    Will report back if things do not work to plan. Much obliged for the advice given here.

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