Turn Off Mail Animations in OS X Lion [How To]


Editor’s note: This code in this post has been updated from the original to reflect a more targeted animation-disabling conmand line defaults write string.  Thanks to reader Phillip Ridlin for the alert.

Are you running Lion on your desktop and finding the new window animation functionality in Mail.app annoying? You’re not alone, apparently.

Thanks to the torrent of tech chatter on Google+ these days, in many cases led by our colleague Mike Elgan, as well as the omnipresent Chris Pirillo from LockerGnome, we were pointed to this command line solution for turning Lion mail animations on and off:

To turn animations off (they are on by default, with no method for disabling them apparent in Preferences or the mail.app UI):

defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool YES

Turning them back on, should you miss them, is easy too:

defaults write com.apple.Mail DisableReplyAnimations -bool NO

If these instructions are foreign or too cryptic for you, you should heed the words of one savvy G+ commenter on Mr. Pirillo’s feed, who said “If Steve Jobs turned it on, you need it on.”

Via [Mac OS X Daily]

  • philtr

    FYI, this disables these types of animations for all applications, not just Mail.app.

  • Lonnie Lazar

    Thanks Phillip, I updated the code strings to narrow the effect down to just mail.app.  Let us know if you get a different result.

  • ?NLiNR

    how to disable “zoom” effect animations for all applications, especially safari?
    upd: already found it))

  • King John V

    You keep spelling his name wrong, numbnuts. Two ells.

  • ?NLiNR

    How to make option “reopen windows when logging back in” disabled by default?

  • Lonnie Lazar

    What are you king of J V – Copy Editors of the realm?

  • arya

    Is this article a quote from OSXDaily? (This one: http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/25… 
    If yes, the quoted URL to the original article is incorrect 

  • arya

    Is this article a quote from OSXDaily? (This one: http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/25… 
    If yes, the quoted URL to the original article is incorrect 

  • yoyogipark

    The animation I’d really like to turn off is iCal’s new page flipping when you change to a different month or week. It’s overdone and unnecessary. I’m not sure how you can flip back to past months anyway, since they’ve clearly been ripped out as evidenced by the torn paper decoration near the top binding.

  • Cemile Bora

    I can’t seem to find how to disable it. Can you share please?

  • sasq

    Is there any way to disable the animation that happens when you drag a file from one folder to another? The windows move before and after you drop the file. It’s even more annoying when moving multiple files because while hovering over the new folder window, the icons restyle themselves to the settings of that one folder.

About the author

Lonnie Lazar

Lonnie Lazar is a writer-musician-web designer-attorney. He writes about Apple for Cult of Mac and Mac|Life, and about VoIP and telecommunications for Voxilla. Follow Lonnie on Twitter @LonnieLazar, join the Cult of Mac on Facebook, and find Lonnie's photos on Flickr.

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