Make Mail App in Lion look like it did in Snow Leopard

One of the biggest changes that Apple has implemented in Mac OS X Lion is Mail version 5.0. The new version of Mail has a whole new look and feel to it that I’ve heard a few of you complain about. Well good news this tip will show you how to reverse the new modern look that Mail is sporting these days into something a bit more classical.

  1. If you haven’t already launch Mail on your Mac running OS X Lion.
  2. Open the preferences pane for Mail by selecting Preferences from the Mail menu or by pressing the Command key plus the comma key at the same time.
  3. Select the Viewing tab in the preferences window that opens.
  4. Click Use classic layout.

Mail will now change how its window is configured from the new modern look introduced in Mail 5.0 to one that looks a bit more classical like it did in Mail 4.0.

If you like you can tweak the classical look by selecting several sub-options under the Use classic layout. You can decide whether or not you want to show To/Cc labels, contact photos in the message list, or how many lines of a message you want to show in preview (the default is 2).

If you decide to change these sub-options you’ll have to do so without having the Use classic layout box checked, because if that option is checked these sub-options are grayed out. Personally I think that is a bug in the Mail application, but for now this work around will get you past that.