I’ve come up with a work around to the disappearing Mac Mail signatures many have been experiencing. For the last two months I’ve been copying and pasting signatures from a draft email into new emails and finally had enough. After a good hour of research and 30 minutes on the phone I manged to solve my own problem. Apple tech support wasn’t able to offer any fixes but their efforts to help me isolate the problem helped me come up with this work around.
— The Problem —
Every time I created a signature in Mail 6 (Mountain Lion) it would disappear after quitting the application.
— The Attempted Fixes —
-deleting the ‘signatures’ folder | Finder > Menu Bar > Go > Hold Option Key > Library > Mail > V2 > MailData > Signatures
-locking the ‘signatures’ folder | Finder > Menu Bar > Go > Hold Option Key > Library > Mail > V2 > MailData > Signatures
— The Solution/Work Around —
1. Create a new user profile named “TEST” | System Preferences > Users & Groups > Unlock Icon > +/add new user icon > administrator
2. Log into your new “TEST” account (no need to setup iCloud, skip it)
3. Launch Mail, setup one existing account when prompted (I used my gmail because it’s the simplest)
4. Create your signature(s) | Mail > Preferences > Signatures > All Signatures > +/add new signature
IMPORTANT: Create all the signatures you need NOW and few extras for good measure. You can always modify them later, what seems to be vital is that you create the place holder for the signature because any new signatures you create outside of this TEST account will vanish. I created 6, GSP, ProfessorG, CGW and three extras z-1, z-2, z-3 for future use. Signatures don’t need to be applied to any accounts at this point, just make sure you have created as many as you need.
5. Copy the TEST account SIGNATURES folder to an external storage device or compress the folder and mail it to your self via Safari | Finder > Menu Bar > Go > Hold Option Key > Library > Mail > V2 > MailData > Signatures
6. Log out of TEST and into your usual account (make sure Mail is closed)
7. Navigate to the SIGNATURES folder on your hard drive (you should be getting good at this by now) | Finder > Menu Bar > Go > Hold Option Key > Library > Mail > V2 > MailData > Signatures
8. Overwrite/Replace the existing SIGNATURES folder with the one you copied from TEST
9. Open Mail, check your signatures | Mail > Preferences > Signatures
10. You SHOULD see all the signatures you created!!! Now you can modify and assign them to your existing accounts as you please. I suggest testing one modification first to see if it sticks. All my changes have stuck thus far. Remember, no NEW signatures will be saved.
So there you have it, a workaround. It’s ridiculous that something so seemingly simple is such a task but it’s better than copying and pasting signatures every time 🙂
If you have suggestions or a better fixes please leave them in the comments below.