the empty set

Getting GrowlMail to work

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


Ø permalink:

Reponses to “Getting GrowlMail to work”

#1 by John Markov

09:28 on 22 January 2007

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?

#2 by David Roessli

14:48 on 22 January 2007

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

#3 by hairball

16:37 on 2 October 2007

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

#4 by PhotosyntheticApplePi

00:14 on 8 October 2007

Thanks! Mine works now.

#5 by Lips2000

21:02 on 8 October 2007

Thanks a bunch!

This worked for me!


#6 by Fedja

15:25 on 10 October 2007


#7 by firebirdc5

19:21 on 16 October 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?

#8 by smanny

00:10 on 17 October 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 ;-)

#9 by David Roessli

09:07 on 17 October 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.

#10 by Truls Larsen

15:18 on 19 October 2007

Works like a dream and thanks for sharing :-)

#11 by Krysia

03:10 on 21 October 2007

It worked! Thank you. :-D

#12 by Bryce

20:28 on 23 October 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.

#13 by Elo

14:57 on 26 October 2007

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


#14 by David Roessli

16:14 on 26 October 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.

#15 by Julie

18:26 on 27 October 2007

Thanks! Worked like a charm. :D

#16 by ampers&

14:48 on 31 October 2007

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

#17 by chris

14:51 on 7 November 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.

#18 by bLb

21:14 on 9 November 2007

Same problem as Chris!

#19 by David Roessli

16:22 on 11 January 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.

#20 by Derrick

02:54 on 12 February 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

#21 by none

18:36 on 12 February 2008

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

#22 by Christian

18:55 on 18 February 2008 is down. would anybody upload growl beta 1.1.3?

#23 by Nick Ravo

05:02 on 20 February 2008

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?)

#24 by Simon

22:58 on 10 March 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!

#25 by Dev Gupta

18:33 on 29 March 2008

Can anyone tell me what are the default settings. I would like to un-do this:

defaults write EnableBundles 1
defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion 2

#26 by David Roessli

00:00 on 30 March 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).

#28 by MacManiac

11:11 on 26 April 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.


Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Previous: @media 2007 London

Next: Stopdesign is back. Just write.


Hello, my name is David Roessli. I am a freelance web designer and developer based in Geneva, Switzerland.

This weblog is an nth attempt to solve my multiple online personalities and weblog/rss feeds burnout issues. (more)


I have been contemplating the idea of upgrading my desktop Mac since this spring. The latest 27" iMac (Quad-Core) seemed the perfect candidate, but the release of Apple's 27" Monitor last September made me stick with the Mac Pro...


The autopsy of an iconic album cover picked up on A stacked graph of successive radio signals from pulsar CP 1919, in a 1977 astronomy encyclopedia that originated in a 1970 Ph.D. thesis. Fascinating <3...


Check out my latest Flickr ramblings. Mostly day to day cameraphone pictures stolen here and there.

© 2000-2018 David Roessli | v4.1 | as valid xhtml and css as possible | hosted by Infomaniak | RSS feeds. Looking for my Privacy Policy ?