On your Mac, you can receive an error saying ‘The Account Already Exists’ when you try and add an email to your Apple mail.

This problem can be really frustrating especially when you’re trying to use your Apple mail.

The Reason for this Error

You’re seeing ‘The Account Already Exists’ error because there’s a problem with iCloud Keychain. iCloud Keychain syncs a lot of data across all of your Apple device – the email you’re trying to add is amongst your iCloud data trying to sync but’s it’s stuck.

When you sign out of iCloud, the email in Keychain stops syncing, therefore, you’re able to add the email to your Apple Mail.

Sign in and Out of iCloud on Mac

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top left and go to System Preferences
  2. Click on iCloud in the third row
  3. Click Sign out to sign out of iCloud
  4. Add the mail account to Apple mail
  5. Sign back into iCloud
  6. The Account Already Exists should no longer pop up

The error usually affects all versions of Mac OS X EL Capitan.

Sign in and Out of iCloud iPhone

  1. Go to Settings > click your name
  2. Scroll down and tap Sign Out
  3. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off
  4. Turn on the data that you want to keep a copy of on your device
  5. Tap Sign Out
  6. Add the mail account to Apple mail
  7. Go to Settings > iCloud and sign in with the Apple ID

After you’ve done this, the error message should no longer pop up on your Mac or your iPhone.