HTML email signature in Apple Mail

For some reason Apple do not make this a straightforward process. After I’ve created a new signature for my client I often spend a while on Skype guiding them through the process of getting it into Apple Mail. So, here’s a short guide. This guide is intended for people that do not use iCloud Storage.

1. The HTML

If you’re not sure about how to create a snazzy email signature then hire somebody to create it for you. They will know the limitations for creating a signature that looks great on all platforms. Ask them to provide you with the HTML with opening <body> and closing </body> tags as a .txt file (if they provide it as a .html file, then simply change the .html to .txt).

Update: To stop links being underlined in Outlook add the following before the opening <body> tag:

2. Create a signature in Apple Mail

You need to do this so that your Mac creates a file, where you’ll then paste the HTML. Go to Apple Mail > Preferences… > Signatures and click the + button at the bottom of the second column (your signatures list).

Give your new signature a title and leave it at that (you don’t need to enter any text in the third (content) column, as you’ll be replacing this content later). Drag the signature (from the second column) on top of the email account you would like it to be associated with.

Quit Mail (Make sure you quit Mail and don’t just close the window)

3. Open the Signatures folder

The quickest way of doing this is go to go your Finder and in the top menu bar click Go > Go to Folder… and enter “~/Library/Mail/” (excluding the quote marks). Now, you might see a few folders here. Select the latest “V” folder. For example if you various folder starting with “V” then open the latest one e.g. Apple Catalina is now V7. Now open MailData > Signatures.

4. Paste the HTML Signature

In the Signatures folder (if you’ve got a lot of files in this folder, view the folder as a list and order by the Date Modified column) locate the newest file that ends .mailsignature and will have a load of letters and numbers as the file name. Right-Click or CTRL-Click on the signature and choose Open With > TextEdit.

Delete all text starting from <body

Open your new HTML Signature file (that your designer/developer provided) in TextEdit and copy the text and paste into position in the .mailsignature file you’ve just opened.

If when pasting you get prompted with “The file is locked”, simply click the “Unlock” button.

Save the file (Command-S)

5. Lock the file

Click the file title in the top document bar and check the “Locked” checkbox.

6. Look at your lovely new signature!

Open Apple Mail and create a new email (File > New Message). Select your new email signature from the Signatures dropdown and there you have it!

Anything else…

Default Signature: If you would like this to be your default signature go to File > Preferences… > Signatures. Select your email account in the first column from the Choose Signature dropdown, select your new signature.

Images: Make sure your images are on a server and not accessed on you local drive.

My new signature doesn’t show: Make sure you checked the Locked checkbox in Step 5, otherwise Apple will overwrite that file.

Need my help?

If you’re still having issues then please get in touch via the Contact page and I’ll see what I can do to help.

190 Responses to HTML email signature in Apple Mail

  1. Tee says:

    I tried doing it for my mom’s computer and changde the code like you said but it didnt get connected to the email account, and wouldnt show in the list of signatures i could use. and also the image was still not visble.

    • Alan Green says:

      I’ve replied via email asking for your code. It’s usually something that you’ve not quite followed e.g. the images not showing, are these stored locally or on a server that can be accessed via a URL (that’s how they need to be accessed). Not really sure what you mean by it “didn’t get connected to the email account”

  2. Rick says:

    Thank you for the instructions but I can’t find the folder with signatures.

  3. Cara Wolf says:

    Hello, can you pleas help me trouble shoot my email signature code. It has a question mark on the logo and icons once replied too and the spacing expands all over the return email. There is also too much white space between the logo and social media icons.

  4. Mukesh Mewara says:

    Thank you so much for the instructions, It’s really helped me.

  5. Deb says:

    Thanks heaps for this! My issue may be similar to one of the comments above in that the text appears but my logo image is blank and has a ? inside the outline box. It only happens on Mac mail/iphone but when I did a test email to my gmail account, the logo image appears. I’m wondering if there is a workaround or if something is wrong with my html code that Mac Mail/iphone doesn’t like. I know I can skip the whole html and type out text and add a regular image as an email signature via Mac Mail, but the benefits of html is adding a hyperlink to my image and having a high resolution image as my logo. I’d appreciate any help thanks!

  6. Shannelle says:

    Hello! Thank you SO much, this saved to much of my time. Really, you’re a star for this.

    In the code, I was able to change the font size myself, but not the font because it seems to be in a font-family of some type (since font-family appears in the code every time before the font name is written). Is there a quick way around this or no? E.g. replacing everything in the code from with the font I want to replace it with?

    I’m sorry if this is a BIG question to answer, I’m very new at this!

    • Shannelle says:

      EDIT:

      Hello! Thank you SO much, this saved so much of my time. Really, you’re a star for this.

      In the code, I was able to change the font size myself, but not the font because it seems to be in a “font-family” of some type (since font-family appears in the code every time before the font name is written). Is there a quick way around this or no? E.g. replacing everything in the code from -“font-family” to the font I want to replace- with the font I want to replace it with?

      I’m sorry if this is a BIG question to answer, I’m very new at this!

    • Alan Green says:

      I’ve sent you an email asking for more details

  7. I followed the steps above on my imac and it worked no problem and when I click on the html document it opens in google chrome and it looks perfect. When I add it to my new macbook running Monterey 12.0.1 it makes the text look like its overlaping one another. Is there a step I am missing?

  8. Hans says:

    Hello… and thank you. I’m getting a blank sig. I have read elsewhere that my steps are much more involved using the terminal app if my mail is linked to iCloud, which it is – but the “elsewhere” info failed me as well. I am hoping you have further insight as this is driving me to madness!

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