Fix Mail crashing after upgrading to Yosemite

MailIconYosemiteXAfter upgrading to OS X Yosemite, you might find Apple’s Mail application may crash or hang when you open it, preventing you from accessing any new messages. This can be exceptionally frustrating to manage, especially when it persists after restarting your system. If mail is constantly quitting after upgrading, and especially if it quits immediately when you open it, then there are several approaches you can take to fix this situation.

Launch Mail in Safe Mode

When you open Mail, the program will show the last Mail message that you had selected, and if this message contains errors or corruption that is causing the crash, then this may trigger Mail to always crash when opened. To bypass this and have Mail not select any mailbox or message to show when launched, open the program and immediately hold down the Shift key until Mail is opened. If this causes the program to launch successfully, then you can investigate which messages or mailboxes are causing the issue.

Boot your Mac into Safe Mode to launch Mail

Another approach is to boot OS X itself into Safe Mode by restarting and holding the Shift key down immediately when you hear the boot chimes. This will only load essential features of the operating system, and while you should expect it to run noticeably slower in this mode, it may allow Mail to load properly when launched. If this occurs, then reboot normally and try Mail again.

Remove Mail saved state

OS X will save window locations and the open documents for most open programs, so if you quit the program these items will be restored when it is next launched. If after upgrading OS X there is some problem with how the prior saved state of Mail is being handled, then this could be the reason for Mail crashing. Therefore, try removing Mail’s saved state, and then re-launching Mail:

  1. Go to the Finder
  2. Hold the Option key and then select Library from the Go menu
  3. Go to the Containers > > Data > Library > Saved Application State folder
  4. Locate and remove the folder called “
  5. Re-launch Mail

Temporarily disable Mail accounts

Go to the Internet Accounts system preferences, and then uncheck the Mail option for each account you have listed there. When all are unchecked, open Mail to see if it will launch correctly. Then quit Mail, re-enable your Mail accounts in the System Preferences, and try opening the program again.

Uninstall or disable any third-party Mail add-ons

If you have any third-party programs that interface with Mail, then uninstall them. These can be password managers, or junk mail filters, content managers that will handle attachments, or security software for encrypting messages and connections. Sometimes these programs may simply not be updated to work with the new version of Mail, or may just be experiencing a temporary hiccup that will benefit from a reinstallation.

If you are uncertain if you have any such programs installed, then try going to the Library > Mail > Bundles folder and remove any items in it. There are libraries in OS X that have instances of this folder. The first is the global one at the root of your hard drive (Macintosh HD > Library), and the second one is the one in your user account, accessed by holding the Option key and choosing Library from the Go menu in the Finder.

Remove and rebuild Mail’s container

Mail is a sandboxed application in OS X, meaning that like many other applications it and its resources are isolated from other processes for security and stability reasons. As part of this setup, OS X will create a virtual container in which the program accesses the system resources it needs, and does so by accessing parts of the OS X filesystem through a special directory tree in your account’s library. This directory tree primarily contains aliases, but also contains files specifically for Mail, such as its preference and cache files.

If you remove the container for Mail, OS X will simply rebuild it and have Mail re-create the files it needs; however, doing so will clear out settings contained in these files, requiring you to set these up in Mail again. These can include mail accounts, signatures, smart mailboxes, and mail filters, so if you remove and rebuilt Mail’s container, expect to set these up again.

With this in mind, before clearing Mail’s container, be sure you have a full backup of your Mac. Then access the Go menu in the Finder with the Option key held down, and choose the menu item called “Library” that appears. In the Library folder, go to the Containers directory and move the folder called “” to your Desktop (so you can restore it easily, if needed). After this, re-launch Mail, configure your e-mail accounts and other settings, and you should be up and running again.

Again, because of potential complications with setting up Mail, use this option after you have tried all others, after you have created a full backup, and only do so if you cannot get Mail to launch properly by any other means.

UPDATE (10/20/2014): Added information about removing Mail’s container as an option.

141 thoughts on “Fix Mail crashing after upgrading to Yosemite

    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      I have updated the article to include an option for clearing Mail’s sandbox container. This is a deeper approach to troubleshooting; however, it may clear the problem by removing caches and configuration files that Mail uses. You can set these up again when you re-launch Mail, but it is a bit of a pain to do.

      1. Jeff Sirianni

        Topher, Thanks. I can open Mail in safe mode and everything works but when I click on my “DRAFT” folder, where there are three emails, it crashes.

        Is there a way to get rid of those emails?

      2. Andrew

        i’ve tried all in the above post, and NOTHING works. Same problem on loading Mail, never shows me my window.

      3. Lori

        Topher, The Remove Mail saved state procedure worked for me after trying many other things. Thank you soooo much.

      4. Ron Mac

        My problem with Mail on Yosemite has been the same on three different Macs; new iMac with Retina display, new MacBook Pro with Retina display, and older iMac. Same issue. Half the time or more Mail freezes up upon launch, which required a Force Quit. Upon restarting, most of the time Mail would function OK, but occasionally hang again, always with the same error– Application Not Responding. I’ve tried every fix on this thread and other website threads to get it fixed with nothing working.

        Here’s what I did to fix it.

        I left the Mail Preferences window open to Accounts. That’s it. Now, when I restart the Mac or it starts up automatically in the AM, Mail launches as per normal, but with the Preferences window open to Accounts. No problems since. None. Zero.

        I have over a dozen email accounts, all IMAP, ranging from Apple’s iCloud to Gmail to standard IMAP accounts, personal and business. Obviously, there’s a bug somewhere. I came upon the fix by disabling all email accounts, re-enabling each, one-by-one, then doing a shutdown and startup. About five re-boots in I inadvertently left the Preferences window open to Accounts. No freeze on the next reboot. When I close Preferences, the freeze begins again.

        It’s a cheap fix but it took a long time to get to it.

        1. Jules

          Finally – This did it for me! also multiple accounts and when i opened pref pane it freezes and beachballs.. Fixed now. Thank you so much.

        2. Tom Who (@TommieWho)

          How odd! This also worked for me. I wonder what is causing this problem with Apple Mail, and why leaving the Account preferences pane open “fixes” the problem.

        3. tomo

          This fix worked for me, too. Thanks. Hopefully it continues. The other fixes here only work some of the time for me.

    2. DEK

      I found removing the old IMAP folders within the Library>Mail> etc. was the only solution that worked for me.

    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      Are you able to at least get Mail to stay open for a little while if you hold the Shift key immediately after launching it?

      The problem may be with some fault with mail’s sandbox container (the collection of data it uses, that OS X keeps separate for it). If so, then fixing it may not be easy and might result in the loss of at least some messages and mailbox organization. This is a drawn-out, and potentially frustrating effort, and because it might end in you losing some messages,is why I did not discuss it in the article; however, if you (or anyone else) are willing to give it a try we can take a look at it as an option.

  1. simongarrett

    For me the issue was with one account – Yahoo. Disabling this in the Internet Accounts pane fixed the crashing issue. Removing and readding Yahoo did not resolve the issue with Yahoo so for now it remains disabled. Not sure how to address the issue further but will poke around in the web version of Yahoo to see if I can see any obvious files/messages to delete.

    1. Lachin

      I have the same problem and again when I disabled Yahoo account, the problem was fixed. Did you find any solution for that?

  2. Normand Lefebvre

    My Mail opens quite correctly. But it’s when I send an email to many people that I have problems. My Mail will then freeze but send my email nevertheless although it will remain in the sending box and not go in the sent box. To get it started again, I have to quit Mail and open it again. It will then send my email a second time and then place it in the sent box. Immensely frustrating!

    1. Pat N

      Mail opens okay and stays open after some of the suggestions above but sending large mails makes it hang , also after every few message the preview hangs, I can see the header only nothing else, something I can see the mail when I open it completely, sometimes I only get a blank screen with again only the header showing..only solution from everything proposed is to quit mail and re-open it. This is very very very frustrating

  3. Christoff

    Thanks for your efforts Topher , after trying everything and still not working, I had an idea to create and log into a new user and try and run mail. To my surprise, it worked and loaded perfectly… I decided to return to my own user and moved the V2 folder located in my /library/mail/v2 to my desktop and restarted mail. All seems to work now..I guess one can just import your message back into mail from thereon.I mainly use Imap and hardly store any emails locally anyway and would recommend anyone doing so, you can also set rules on icloud itself. Good luck , other than that Yosemite look amazing!

    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      Yes this is another approach if the other options I outlined do not work, but by removing this directory you are removing all of your mailboxes, so as you say you will likely lose any messages not on your e-mail servers, and will need to locate and restore them manually. Hopefully troubleshooting for folks does not come to this, but if needed then this is another step you can take; however, it is essentially wiping out your e-mail to fix the problem.

      1. Rasmus Vedel

        I just removed the V2 folder, after doing all the other stuff to no avail, and now my app opens again! Brilliant” Now I just need to figure out what’s wrong with my finder 😉

        1. Rasmus Vedel

          Actually, nevermind that.. Mail now opens, but I still cannot add any accounts. After I enter the passwords it jumps back up and asks for the emailadress again.. sigh!

          1. Rudy Montes

            After having the logic board replaced I had to add all my email accounts manually. All my iCloud and gmail accounts added okay but I cannot add any Yahoo accounts. It just bounces back and wants me to add them again. I have to remove the Internet Account before I do this and it comes back as User name or password not correct. I tried to add my account on my wife’s laptop and same problem. I am not going to pay AT&T for tech support that should be free.

    2. Cynthia

      It worked for me when I moved the v2 folder to my desktop…I was able to launch the mail app finally, and it located my gmail acct automatically with the prev emails & I had to go into preferences Mail & manually re-enter my password & settings for my Hover mail acct…thank you Christoff!

    3. Peter Munch

      Removing the V2 folder helped for me – after trying almost everything. You do have to download ALL mails from ALL accounts again and some may be lost, but Mail is working again here sp THANX for this advice 😀

      Apple Support gave me fine chat and phone support for 48 hrs without getting Mail to open at all. Only with a brand new user, which seems to be the right way to check if it’s your user settings that’s causing the crash. If Mail works with a new user login, it IS your user settings. Still don’t know why!?

      Wonder why Apple hasn’t found and solved the Top 10 critical issues with Yosemite BEFORE launching the update…

  4. Simon

    Tried all these steps and still crashes whenever I try to open a mailbox. it will send and receive emails as long as I do not open a mailbox the second I look into a mailbox to attempt to read an email it crashes. THE CURE IS
    Remove Address book folder from Application Support and re-bu
    ild contacts in Address Book

    1. Lisa

      Can you tell me the steps you took to “Remove Address book folder from Application Support and re-build contacts in Address Book”? Seems when I load console, it’s getting stuck in a process with the address book

      1. Topher Kessler Post author

        The approach for this would be to open the Go menu in the Finder, and then hold the Option key where you will see a Library option appear. Select this, and then go to the Application Support folder, where you will see the “Address Book” directory mentioned above.

    2. drkoob

      Simon, you are my hero. After 5 hours on the phone over two days with Apple Tech support, you fixed my problem. YOU ROCK! If I had your address, I would send you money. I had tried just about everything and was about to do the container piece that Topher was suggesting which would have been horrid for me as I use a POP mailbox and had more than 20 years of mail archived in it) and I saw this. Tried it and it worked. You rock.

    3. engageproductions

      Removing the address book folder worked for me too after trying everything above. Thank you for suggesting that!

    4. Terry

      Another user who’d tried multiple steps outlined above, but what finally worked was removing the Address Book. Thanks a truckload, Simon!

    5. Jan Steinman

      Oh no! I tried this, and now Contacts has the same SBBoD disease that Mail (and System Preferences –> Accounts) has! It seems to be spreading…

  5. Eddy de Pender

    Thanks for this article. I found the mail that causes the problem, but if I select it in order to delete it, it crashes all the time. Can anything be done about that?

    1. Mike Lewis

      I had this issue as well. Mine was for a message in one of my gmail accounts, so I logged into the web interface and deleted the offending message. When I restarted Mail, the message was gone.

      Moral of the story: if you have access to the corrupt email in a different way, see if you can delete it from there.

  6. larry

    I have a slightly different mail issue after upgrading to Yosemite. I can’t delete (or move to Trash) any messages. Trash is greyed out and I get the massage Trash is read only, any thoughts??
    Also overtime I open mail the “mail activity” says it is downloading x of xxx messages, but nothing new shows up.

  7. Krista

    Thanks for your efforts to write a post on this! Unfortunately, my mail turned into Read Only (it says between brackets) and asks for adding Accounts when I start it. After I type in my Google credentials, it blanks out the things I filled and I have no other choice then to click cancel after which mail quits…
    (I also tried with iCloud mail and my office mail, but that didn’t change anything).
    Does anyone have any suggestions? I deleted all possible files, reinstalled Yosemite, fixed Permissions and verified the disk..

    1. Chris

      HI Krista , Check if you have any accounts listed in your in system preferences / internet accounts? if you do , I suggest you remove them and then try again. If you google account already exist it will not allow you to enter the same details in mac mail again. I had a similar issue .. Best thing is to remove all your accounts and start again..

      1. Krista

        Thanks Chris, for your quick reply! That was a good suggestion, I came one step further! But now it says that my Gmail account already exists. (However, I did remove it, and actually removed the Mail container and Mail folder from the Library as well..)
        Do you think it could have something to do with the fact that I use Mail on 2 Macs at the same time? It should be possible right?

        1. Krista

          Update: it now says “an unknown error occurred”. The mail app still says (Read Only). It may be the case that it can’t write new account details to some kind of file somewhere..

        2. cvbotha

          How is your mail setup ? pop or Imap – I don’t think that should be an issue when using imap – Have you tried setting up a new user and then adding your email accounts ? I found removing it all and redoing the lot worked for me.

          1. Krista

            Thanks for your reply! Unfortunately I couldn’t even add an email account, so there was no account set-up in IMAP nor POP. Somehow Mail turned into Read-Only and I couldn’t do anything about it. I could not remove my iCloud account from the computer, cause Mail prevented that and I couldn’t add my Google account. My final solution was a clean Install of OSX, which took me half a day 🙁 But not everything is working fine…

  8. Laura

    I’m having the same issue with my work exchange account. Mac mail doesn’t crash, and it sends new messages just fine, but since downloading Yosemite it won’t accept incoming emails. I tried all of the above, including clearing mail’s sandbox container. I need to retain all downloaded messages as only a few weeks are stored on the server and I have a record going back years. Any other suggestions? Any chance apple will come out with a larger fix in the next week or so?

    1. Keith Pitty

      I’m also having problems with my work exchange account. Mail often crashes when I have this account enabled. Hopefully Apple fixes this in the near future.

  9. Adrian Vallarino Chiossi

    Mail still crashes on startup. I don’t even get to see a single window, it goes straight to the crash report. I tried all of the above including clearing the container, nothing.
    Since I installed Yosemite I haven’t been able to open mail, thank good for my iPad and iphone.
    I might have to consider going back to mavericks or making a clean install, I don’t know, Apple had no answer either.

    1. Adrian Vallarino Chiossi

      Process: Mail [2153]
      Path: /Applications/
      Version: 8.0 (1990.1)
      Build Info: Mail-1990001000000000~3
      Code Type: X86-64 (Native)
      Parent Process: ??? [1]
      Responsible: Mail [2153]
      User ID: 501

      Date/Time: 2014-10-23 16:58:04.964 -0200
      OS Version: Mac OS X 10.10 (14A389)
      Report Version: 11
      Anonymous UUID: 37AD4B93-0953-463B-6F69-D127E8F3659A

      Sleep/Wake UUID: CE80511A-A83B-49F6-899E-6AA8EBD02688

      Time Awake Since Boot: 61000 seconds
      Time Since Wake: 24000 seconds

      Crashed Thread: 12 Dispatch queue: NSOperationQueue 0x60000003fd00 :: NSOperation 0x600000452570 (QOS: UTILITY)

      Exception Type: EXC_CRASH (SIGABRT)
      Exception Codes: 0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000000

      Application Specific Information:
      *** Terminating app due to uncaught exception ‘NSInternalInconsistencyException’, reason: ‘Absolute path passed into -[MFIMAPAccount mailboxForRelativePath:isFilesystemPath:create:]: //Sent Messages’
      abort() called
      terminating with uncaught exception of type NSException

    2. Ed

      As soon as I downloaded Yosemite os, I lost all use of email. So frustrating. There are some workarounds, bc I have 2 computers, but many work emails 16k are inaccessible. I’m back up, and have Apple escalated tech guys working on it, but they got nothin
      I can open mail, but it won’t load, says it corrupt and will load if i quit and restart, but that doesn’t work either. No knows. Have i lost use of my beautiful 27 inch iMad? So sad. I cannot open says it is adding messages, it is not working. Need help,….anyone???

  10. surfleshans

    Same here, installed yesterday evening, haven’t been able to open mail since.
    Deleted accounts, etc, still crashes. I am not too happy on this update!

  11. wordpress11com

    Deleting the ›‹-folder plus – after getting mail not to quit immediately – deleting *one* corrupted mail in the inbox fixed it for me: thanks a lot for your helpful article!

    1. Jeff Sirianni


      How do you find and delete the Corrupted Mail? I think mine may be in my DRAFT folder because I can use mail but when I click that folder it crashes.

      1. Burkhard Schirdewahn

        @Jeff Sirianni

        I was able to open the inbox-folder and opened *every* mail in there – and one of them crashed the mail-app. I deleted that one & emptied the trash.

  12. Tim Allen

    Thank you for the article; whilst I was not having issues with crashes I had (one) Exchange account that simply wouldn’t connect after the upgrade; deleting and re-building the Container fixed this.

    I do have another strange problem with Mail, and that is the appearance of a shadow iCloud mail account, which switching off and on of the iCloud mail setting, etc. and removing iCloud in Internet Accounts, etc. has failed to clear. After re-building the Mail Container, back popped both identical iCloud mail accounts. It is not causing any issues as I have disabled one of them, but it is a bit weird……

  13. Jenny

    Dear Topher,
    First of all: Thank you for helping everyone out!
    I have the same problem: After installing Yosemite on my MacBook Pro (from Snow Leopard) I got this message after Mail tried importing all my E-mails: “Mail index is damaged. Quit program and mail will repair index when re-opened.”
    However, nothing is repaird. I went through all the things you posted. I tried disabeling all my Internet Accounts, – it opens, but crashes again after some seconds, or crashed as soon as I try connecting with it with any E-mail account.
    Any more ideas on what I can do?

    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      Are you able to load Mail at all? If so, then select your mailboxes and choose Rebuild from the Mailbox menu. This will clear out the current index and create another based on the messages you have in your mailboxes.

      1. Helle

        Dear Trooper, I do have exactly the same problem as Jenny! Mail imports Mails into some “inbox” than comes the message that Mail index is damaged and will repair – but nothing happens. I cannot load (and use…) Mail at all. What can I so here?

          1. Helle

            dear Topher, I cannot open Mail since it is corrupted somehow, I don´t know where to select the inbox….. sorry I never had a problem like this, feel very clumsy..

  14. Adrian Vallarino Chiossi

    Ok, I finally got it to work, but it was long and nervwreaking experience.
    Here is what you need for my solution, a clean intall:

    1- a Mac capable of loading the OS from en external drive (I think all Yosemite capable macs can)
    2- two, yes two external hard drives (I used firewire, dunno if USB works) IMPORTANT: one must be big enough to backup your entire mac’s HD
    3- a copy of the Yosemite instaler (4,5 GB) in one of the drives.
    4- patience
    5- nerves of steal

    Ok, here is what I did:

    1- set one of your external HDs as your Time Machine drives and backup your Mac (preferences, time machine, backup now)
    2- wait
    3- on the second external drive intall Yosemite
    4- go to preferences and setup the drive from 3 as the startup drive
    5- reboot
    6- run Disk Utility
    7-take a deep breath and hope Time Machine works as advertised
    8- format your mac’s HD probably containig years or work
    9- install Yosemite on your empty Mac
    10- after it installed and booted from it, select “restore from time machine”
    11- hopefully at this point you will be presented with the option to select your time machine drive and the latest backup, select it
    12- wait (and pray) took mine 6 hours to fully restore
    13- reboot

    The first startup will be long and slow, after that your mac will ask you for some passwords (icloud, imessage, etc) but after thst it should be as you left it before the clean install.

    Oh…and Mail should work just fine… Did it for me

    One last note , the installer wont instal legacy Java. You might not even needed, but if you do, a promot will pop on screen gibint you de option to go to the instll page and grab it. Just do it, its pretty straight forward. For example all apps in Adobe CS 5.5 need it.

    Hope it helps

    1. Alex D

      I just did this, and email was lost entirely. I took the precaution of fitting a new disk to my Mac, and kept the old disk just in case.
      It took 12 hours to restore the disk in the Mac from Time Machine, and everything appeared where it should be, except no email.
      I then used the old disk externally, and searched for .mbox without success.
      Looking for /library/mail on the old disk did not identify where the actual email is stored.

      These “virtual container” ideas are a real pain. Losing email is a total disaster. I deeply regret upgrading to Yosemite from Mavericks: while Mavericks was stable, Yosemite crashed out from so many different apps. Even Chrome does not work on Yosemite.

    2. Jan Steinman

      While I appreciate the time you took to describe the process, this sounds like the “Windows” approach to anything: re-install the OS!

      I expect more from Apple. If I wanted Windows-type issues, I could have saved a lot of money.

  15. Tanya

    Since upgrading to Yosemite my mails have disappeared altogether. I rebuild, they return for less than a minute and disappear again. Also, sending mails are a problem. Can’t login to SMTP but settings have remained unchanged. Can anyone assist? Please I have vital information I can’t afford losing. Will appreciate any help.

  16. J Sabine

    Installed Yosemite 10.10 on my iMac desktop computer (2010) which was previously running 10.6.8. The processor is 3.06GHz Intel Core 13 and the Memory 4 GB 133 MHz DDR3.
    I can’t open Mail and the Mail upgrade fails after it seems to have transferred most of the data and gives me this message.
    “Your Mail index has been damaged. To repair it, quit Mail.
    Mail will repair the index the next time you open Mail. Your mailbox and messages will be preserved.”
    Any suggestions

  17. David

    For me, the issue was my gmail account, similar to your experience with Yahoo. Disabling works; deleting and re-adding did not.

  18. David

    For me, problem (so far) solved). The crash report always said: Application Specific Information:
    *** Terminating app due to exception while holding database lock ‘NSInternalInconsistencyException’, reason: ‘<MFEWSStore: 0x6100001fe900 (mailbox=)> is not a Library IMAP store’
    abort() called

    So I deleted the offending mailbox (losing >140 saved email), and so far, no more crashes.

    1. Tamby

      Yes! This is my problem and how I fixed it, but the problem is I need that mailbox and every time I put it back the crash starts occuring again.

      1. Bradley

        Hi Tamby and David, I figured this out. You have a rule that is moving an email message from one mailbox to another. The two mailboxes are not the same technologies. Likely the rule is moving an email from an IMAP account to an Exchange account. I’ve reported this issue to Apple. Look for a fix in the coming months.

  19. Deborah

    Lord have mercy. I’ve tried all the suggestions except that last one. Don’t have the nerve nor the know how for it. Getting my mail from the Yahoo site now. VERY bummed. Also have to check Gmail manually from the web site. NOT COOL Apple. . . not cool.

  20. Pasha

    I have installed the new OS X and I can not start up mail at all. I am getting a message box indicating that in order to start mail, it has import all messages first and in the middle of importing messages it crashes. I have not managed to start mail at all. I followed your guidance but it does´t work.
    I even removed all accounts in internet accounts and restarted computer both in safe and normal mode and tried again but It crashes and I am getting an pop-up message with LONG error message.
    “Application Specific Information:
    *** Terminating app due to exception while holding database lock ‘NSInternalInconsistencyException’, reason: ‘Require mailbox name to create IMAPMailbox for ‘
    abort() called”

    Am I doing anything wrong?

    Thank you in advance for your kindness and guidance.


    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      This looks like some deep corruption in your Mailbox setup, and wont be fixed by most of my recommendations here. In your case, if the last suggestion in this article does not work, then you may have to remove your mailboxes manually from your account’s library folder to get Mail to open. These mailboxes can be found by holding the Option key and choosing Library from the Finder’s Go menu. Then going to the Mail > V2 directory. In here, you will see the mailboxes for your various accounts. Move either the V2 directory, or its contents to a folder on your Desktop for temporary safekeeping, and then try re-launching Mail. You will need to reconfigure your mailboxes in Mail, and then re-download messages from your accounts’ servers, but then should be be able to load Mail again.

      1. Adam Shailes

        I updated to 10.10 on launch day.

        End result was a broken Mail. Restored from backup, same issue.

        Remove .V2 folder and reset all my Imap accounts downloaded etc again.

        Has just packed up again on Nov 3rd. So about 2 weeks of use.

        Totally poor show about Mail.

        Off to install Outlook now 🙁

  21. Chris

    I guess I am not alone in having this issue. But HELP!

    I just did an Apple Migrate from Snow Leopard 10.6.8 to Yosemite 10.10 and now my MAIL will not work. I get this message:

    “Your Mail index has been damaged.  To repair it, quit Mail.  Mail will repair the index the next time you open Mail.  Your mailboxes and messages will be preserved.”

    I quit MAIL and then get the same message. It is an endless loop. 🙁

    I have not seen a SOLUTION for this. If anyone has seen one posted. Can they post a LINK or comment on the solution?

  22. Diana

    I am in the SAME loop. Upgraded to Yosemite 10.10 so I could sync my new iPhone, now I can’t access email, or the folders from my email (more importantly.) This is NOT ok.

    1. Helle

      Yes! Not OK! I am stuck in the same loop too! In order to sync with my new iPhone – now I lost the Mail function all together and don`t know how to get rid of this problem.

  23. Michael Stringer

    Managed a fix:
    1) Close or Force-quit the Mail app
    2) Select your desktop and click “GO” at the top
    3) Hold down the ALT key (one to the left of cmd) and click on “Library”
    4) Open the folder “Mail”
    5) Open the “V2” folder
    6) Right Click on the “MailData” folder and hit “duplicate” to make ‘MailData copy’
    7) Go back to the original folder “MailData” and delete all content except “Accounts.plist”
    8) Load the Mail app and allow it to update all the email addresses etc. (mine took 5 mins)
    9)Go back to the “MailData copy” folder and move all items into the “MailData” folder, and When it prompts you to replace the items click “SKIP for all the items”.
    10) Relaunch the Mail app and all should work.

    1. Chris

      Michael, Thanks for your instructions.

      When I look in my ~/Library/Mail/ folder I do not see a V2 folder. I have a “V2-Temp.noindex” folder though. In that folder I do have a “MailData” folder. But in that MailData folder I do not have a file called Accounts.plist.

    2. Helle

      Hi Chris Followed your instruction – up to point 7 but the original MailData folder does not include a “Accounts.plist”
      With any trial (loop) to load the mail into the inbox the amount of mails gets bigger – 29000….34000 mails (there were only 3000 real mails before the upgrade)…. its frustrating! Any new idea?

  24. Lulu

    I have followed these instructions explicitly and this may have actually fixed the problem! However, I have also tried every fix that has been posted in different places only to find that the fix holds for a short period of time. So far…it’s been several hours and it’s working!! Thank you and I hope this solves it. For others who are experiencing this, the Gmail account was the one thing that was causing it to crash. When I removed it, my other accounts worked fine.

  25. IndianaJo

    Thank you so much – safe mode launch completely worked and I can finally get on with some work 🙂

  26. spicymaya

    This helped fix my autofill after upgrading to Yosemite. Had to remove mail from all accounts, quit, turn it back on and launch the app.

  27. Patrick MacKinnon

    So? Then tell me again why I should go Yosemite in view of the above long list of mail
    problems. What are the offsetting advantages?

  28. Veronica

    The mail state fix worked for me – I just added mail, preferences uncheck classic view and then recheck it and for some reason that seemed to reset my views.

  29. Jeremy

    I seem to be having an intermittent problem where my mail locks up after a while and I need to force quit the mail and re-open it. Once reopening I can access my mail normally for a while (30-50 minutes) before it happens again.

    1) I have tried deleting the account then restoring it.
    2) Deleting the sandbox
    3) Wiping my harddrive (tears flow) and restoring everything from scratch.

    I believe the issue is associated with my gmail account (which has about 80gig or so of emails in old folders). When I delete that my .me account seems to work for a day. Inky, Postbox2 and Outlook all work… but can’t stand the interface(s).

    On a slightly different note, I do find that the two machines on my network that I have installed Yosemite on both have issues hanging (beachball for 90seconds or more) from time to time. Not sure if this is triggering it.

    Just posting this, because it seems a little different from the other issues described above and hoping someone can point me in the right direction.


  30. drpaxis

    This problem had bugged me to no end. I chose to try the simplest solution, and it worked:

    I did the Go to the Finder
    Hold the Option key and then select Library from the Go menu
    Go to the Containers > > Data > Library > Saved Application State folder
    Locate and remove the folder called “
    Re-launch Mail

    No beach ball of death. Thank you. This was the one suggestion in all the things I read on line that made clear sense, matching what I was observing.

    Thanks so much

    1. Tom

      I did this and also unchecked the Mail box on all Internet accounts. Mail seemed to work fine, no crashes. Then I checked the Mail boxes again on Yahoo, iCloud etc. and it was fine. But when I checked the Google account it crashed. I had some other issues like the computer not responding to the keyboard consistently but this seems to have solved all problems. I deleted and tried to reconnect the Google account and got an error message. It works fine in Google mail.

      Thanks a bunch. I spent hours on this.

  31. dh

    None worked for me until I also moved to the desktop along with – sharing just in case none worked for you and you wanted to try one more thing.

  32. m biehle

    try resetting your router. started experiencing all these problems when i installed a new router after loading yosemite. unplugged the router to try to bring the old one back but it didnt work – so reinstalled the new router and all of a sudden everything is working again. poof!

  33. Mike C

    I’ve wasted too many hours on the wretched Mail App on my 2012 MBA.All was good until a week ago. I can get mail but cannot send out. IMAP connections good. SMTP no. No problems at all with Mail on a 2010 iMac ( both on same Yosemite builds). Copying the settings from the iMac to the MBA, zip. Unchecking the auto update ( in both places), nada. Works fine without this change on the iMac. Getting rid of logins in Keychain, deleting accounts in Mail, and restoring, no good. Following the instructions to delete or modify Library files, also no luck. Impressive the number of offered solutions and inconsistent outcomes online. Can’t get more rubbish than that…looks like either webmail or another app in my future.

  34. Keith

    Never had any problems with mail until Yosemite came into my life. Nightmare scenarios on a daily basis, emails just disappear from my inbox before my eyes, can’t clear anything from junk folder, certain emails not sending for some obscure reason. I have to shut down mail and restart just to read todays emails before they vanish. DOING MY HEAD IN.

  35. Robin

    I just upgraded to OSX Yosemite… did a clean install since I have a 2007 iMac that was running Mountain Lion and I wanted to avoid installation problems. ( I had previously tried to upgrade to Mavericks last year and had lots of problems.) Everything appears to be working fine, all reinstalled files and apps OK. But there is a glitch in Mail. The custom message header list is missing in Preferences>Viewing>Show Message Headers>Custom. There is just one item to choose from: Headers. Hom can I fix this?

  36. Chuck McDonald

    My e-mail problem is the option-delete key no longer leaves the next message unread. I have not been able to find a fix for that. Also the junk mail folder doesn’t seem to be working properly anymore. problems started after upgrade to Yosemite and 10.10.1 did nothing to correct them.

  37. mike

    Mac mail freezing; I followed numerous advices from the net including reinstalling No-omite.
    Problem still persisted.
    As suggested here I found the problem did not occur with one particular imap account.
    My workaround was to disable this account in mail.
    Setup new gmail account
    Forward emails to the gmail account.

    This gave me my life back.


  38. Beau Jeste

    MS Outlook just won’t open at all, and on boot up, my profile is lost and says ‘user update needed’. So I go into Users in Preferences and it says everything is as it should be.
    I have no way of picking up my business e-mail.
    VERY VERY disappointed.

  39. MLG

    Thank you SO much. What worked for me was really the easier/shallower fix – disabling each account and reinitiating each account one by one through system preferences. Many thanks!

  40. royvandiepen

    Mailbox ”SENT’ states ‘only read’. Mail is sent but not shown or saved in mailbox ‘Sent’. Also deleting a mail is not possible. The mailbox ‘sent’ has a circle as an icon before it in stead the normal icon when a mailbox is working properly.

    How to solve this problem?

  41. jladams97

    I didn’t read all the comments (just too many of them to read them all) so this might be a repeat but my issue, like those here, was related to 1 specific account. For me, it didn’t happen immediately after the upgrade to Yosemite but rather some time later. Specifically, it happened when I sent 2 emails while offline and then as soon as I went online, Mail crashed. What was interesting was this: the 2 emails sent (I know this because I got replies to both of them) yet they never appeared in my sent items on the server. I don’t know what that’s all about but maybe it’s related in some way. Anyway, after I removed the offending account and readded it, all was well (except the 2 emails are still gone from my sent items, which isn’t really all that important, especially given that I did get replies on both of them).

    So all this is to say that I suspect that if you find that when you deactivate a mail account, Mail works, the most expeditious way to fix it (and perhaps the only way to fix it) is to remove the mail account and add it again (definitely try it before you rebuild Mail’s container!). I would update the section about temporarily deleting mail accounts to note that when you find an account is problematic for Mail you should remove it and add it again.

  42. Ave

    Hi all,

    I had a similar crash report as others have indicated above; Terminating app due to exception while holding database lock ‘NSInternalInconsistencyException’

    It turned out that my specific crash was due to mailbox rules I used to have before updating (when turning off all rules the mail app stopped crashing, when turning on again it crashed again). I made new rules, and also new folders where these rules now direct the incoming messages to. This worked for me, I think the problem was that the app could not find the folders anymore.


    1. owlboy

      I might be jumping the gun here, but as it stands now, I think this fixed my crashing issues too.

      I turned off all my rules (quickly before crashed again) and now it seems to be happy.

      I’ll re-create my rules one by one and see what happens, but as of now, it seems checking/disabling rules seems to help with certain instances of new crashes in 10.10.x.

    1. nonsequiturnews

      i have same issue, which is problematic since this is my business email & I need copies of what I send out.

  43. Matt Miciula

    If your mac mail keeps crashing after the update, you can get it working by going into safe mode deleting the mac mail application files and removing all internet accounts. Restart and open mac mail then add each account. Worked for me!

    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      Buy application files you should not remove the program itself from the Applications folder. However, you can remove all support, settings, and third-party add-ons that will interact with Mail when it is opened.

    1. Topher Kessler Post author

      This should only be required if you have an add-on for Mail that requires Java. By itself, Mail does not use Java so an update for it is not needed for the program itself.

  44. AA

    Topher! Thank-you.

    A consistent theme seems to be a large file in the Drafts folder that crashes Mail. That was my issue. Booting in Safe Mode didn’t help. Once I de-selected Mail from Internet Accounts, I was able to boot (in regular mode), delete the troublesome file in the Drafts folder (I also deleted some files that had been help in “Recovered” folders), and after exiting Mail, selecting Mail in Internet Accounts, was able to run Mail again (regular mode).

    Much appreciated!

  45. Berts

    Dear Topher,You might be able to help.
    I should start by telling you that I’m not a computer friendly person but I’m trying to fix my mail app after updating to Yosemite.

    Here is what happened: after I made the update, mail was working properly, however when I tried opening a large PDF image it got stock and the color circle keep on going so I force quitted mail. When I relaunched, a pop up window came up asking me if I wanted to reopen the window. I said yes and since then, the mail app crashed. After several hours with apple support, they where able to open a message from mail saying that it was preparing to import messages, which appears to be working. However that window stayed open from Friday at 3, until Monday morning and nothing happened. In the mail menu bar only very few commands are active and I can not access mail preferences.
    My email has very heavy documents, since I work with graphics. I don’t know if it matters but thought you should know.

    My work mail work from my iphone, ipad and server and my iCloud mail is not right now.

    Is there something that you think can help me?

  46. Bryan

    deleting and re-inputting my exchange account info in internet accounts fixed my issue when none of the above did.

  47. Almaata

    ******Try this *******
    1.System Preferences
    2.Internet Accounts
    3.Detele (by click – ) your current e-mail that you are using on the Mail.
    4.try to reopen the Mail
    5.if the Mail works then add your e-mail in the Internet Account again and use it as normal

    hope this help 🙂

  48. netman49

    I hope I don’t repeat a question, but in my case it’s about a new Mac with Yosemite.
    I migrated data, settings etc. from my old Mac to the new Mac.
    When launching Mail the window pops up and then disappears again.
    This happens every time after starting my Mac. Clicking on Mail in the dock does nothing.

    Mail itself seems to work fine, because I can open it in a new window.
    After stopping Mail and open it again, this problem doesn’t occur.

    It only happens at the initial start of Mail after I’ve started my Mac.

  49. Hank

    I am at a loss…. I have tried everything except throwing my MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010) off a bridge! I am a REALTOR and need to keep everything for 7 years, so emails are VERY important to me. I have been experiencing almost everything that has been said above…. Here is my slight twist….

    Now what is happening is I start my mac mail and it runs for 10-15 minutes perfectly normal. Then all of the sudden the fan would get louder and louder and Mail would not respond anymore. I would have to force quit it and repeat the process…. VERY ANNOYING! But with my mac mail not running my computer goes back to normal.

    I have had some problems with Junk Mail, that I delete, re-appearing in the junk mail folder. I have deleted it 1,000 times. It was coming from my gmail account. I have deleted my gmail account and forwarded it to my account to get rid of that little problem.

    I have deactivated the account, deleted the folder, deleted my gmail account, erased my free space, deleted all of my rules, ect…. The problem still exists!!!

    I can’t afford to lose any emails…. I have all of them stored on my iCloud account and not on my mac. I am very weary about deleting and re-doing the mac mail app or doing the sandbox technique. I am afraid that I will lose emails that I can never get back… We are not talking about a couple emails either… I have 6,500 just in my sent folder. I have been a REALTOR for 3 years now and I bet I have over 15,000 emails that I have to keep….

    PLEASE HELP!!! The next best thing is to sell a house and buy a new macbook (my wife doesn’t like that idea) LOL! Thank you everyone for your posts I have read each and every one to try and figure this out…. I am about done though….


  50. Zeke

    My Mail hung after upgrading to 10.10.3. I got a dialog saying “Upgrading mail database. This may take a few minutes”. The progress bar got to about the middle and froze. I tried force quitting Mail several times, but no help. I then ran Onyx (which fixes many things), but that didn’t fix it. I finally tried the “Remove Mail Saved State” technique, as suggested above, and restarted Mail. The progress bar zipped across to completion, and Mail launched successfully. Problem fixed. Thank you!

  51. MC

    ever since first upgrading to Yosemite I have had the same issue with Mail
    Mail hangs then the option appears to Quit or Quit and Rebuild Index.

    I think I know what action I may have made that could have precipitated this:
    I had started to clear out Mailboxes Smart Mailboxes I had created on my mac and in my two accounts in the cloud,by copying them to my desktop and then deleting the smart mailbox-only got to move 5 smart mailboxes before I had issues.

    Now I have tried various fixes including
    Remove Mail saved state
    Remove and rebuild Mail’s container

    as a last resort

    still have the same issue of hanging and the Quit Rebuild Index.

    I can of course access Mail from the cloud using MobileMe

    In the meantime-I have added an SSD to replace my optical drive and clean installed OS X Mavericks on that drive and Mail app works fine there –

    but in this state- until I can solve my Yosemite problems -I cannot upgrade the OS and I have applied all the system updates- that just retain the same Mail mis-function

    amy advice- any thing else to try?

    1. MC

      I see now that I have 3 Recovered Mail folders on My Mac that all display a different number of unread emails but all have the same total number and same mail content in each folder

  52. Patrick Shannon

    I am happy to announce that I have found and FIXED the problem with Mail freezing upon launch with an endless spinning ball!

    This thread helped immensely, but did not have THIS particular solution.

    Incidentally, I WAS able to open and use MAIL even during this problem by simply holding down Shift while clicking on the MAIL icon in the dock to launch it.

    But HERE was the problem: I had signatures that contained an image, and they somehow “lost contact” with the image, because the image wasn’t showing anymore in the signatures. Upon DELETING all of my signatures… ( under menu: Mail / Preferences / Signatures tab ), everything worked perfectly again! So I will simply recreate my deleted signatures.

    I hope this helps others to reach the plateau of ecstatic joy that I am now experiencing! : )

    1. Patrick

      Well, seems that this HELPED, but didn’t solve the problem completely. : /
      Now, problem is only intermittent, though.

    2. Patrick

      OK, turns out it is definitely something to do with one of the accounts. By disabling almost all of them in System Preferences / Internet Accounts, no problems. Enabling them, one at a time, still no problem… Almost SURE one of these is the issue.

    3. Patrick

      Confirmed. It was one of the accounts. Simply deleted it, and re-configured it as a new account.

      1. Hans

        Would you be so kind to share how you detected which account it was and how you re-configured it without losing your mails? I’m still stuck… Thanks.

        1. Patrick

          Sure, I had about 8 or 9 email accounts. In MAIL, under Preferences / Accounts, I clicked on each one separately and “disabled” them by unchecking a little checkbox near the top of the details, “Enable this Account.”
          Then I quit and relaunched MAIL. No problem!!
          Then I re-enabled one at a time (the ones I needed most), and still had no problem, until enabling one old account caused the crash again.
          Completely deleted that account (losing that one account’s emails of course) and then re-added it.
          No problem since.
          I hope this helps you!! This was SUCH a frustrating problem for me.

          1. Hans

            Well thanks a bunch for this swift answer. I already did that with my 10 mail accounts, but unfortunately mail didn’t like my main accounts, so there’s no way I can delete them. Sigh…

          2. Patrick

            You may have tried this too, but for what it’s worth, if you can launch MAIL holding the Shift key, you might want to try Exporting your mailboxes that are so crucial. Might give you the freedom to totally wipe MAIL and start over. I feel for you, though.

          3. Hans

            Thanks for your last tip. Although I didn’t export any of my mailboxes (yet), I at least can open my Mail application without frustration. So I’ll stick to this for the time being…

  53. George

    The steps above were very helpful but in my case, when i click on the mail app it shows a message: your database is being updated, it tooks about two seconds, closes and mail don’t open, Mail doesn’t even open in the upper menu. I had to delete the whole Mail folder, not the one in the container folder. After this, i was able to configure my mail again.

  54. Reza

    Guys This is Amazing! Thank you so much.

    I had been struggling with this issue for the past 3 months and no access to mail for the past 5 days!!!

    As soon as I disabled the mail accounts, and whilst mail open and “Hung” it all opened up and mail got working.

    Thank you.

  55. Ilan Szekely

    Some insights from todays 5 hours of struggling with MAIL crashes.

    After trying some of the ideas here (in vain) my eyes caught the NETWORK CABLE.
    I disconnected it, and bingo, no crash.

    In this state I DISABLED all accounts (I have many…)
    and started adding one by one.
    iCloud – works fine !
    Private accounts on private domains – work fine
    GMAIL – BOOM. Both with POP and IMAP.
    (someone mentioned similar behavior with YAHOO)

    Now what? Try to ADD A NEW GMAIL ACCOUNT via MAIL preferences “add Gmail account” – BOOM!

    Gmail had some changes that require a SECOND PASSWORD.
    Probably Mail can not deal with this. There was a note popping up with “password required” and nowhere to enter it)

    Apple and Google, where are you??

  56. Louis Philia

    Thanks for this article! The first approach “Launch Mail in Safe Mode” worked for me this time 🙂

  57. Pat schaefer

    Thanks for the help!
    And thank you Apple for the gift that keeps giving.

    My problem started with trying to use mail drop with a large file.
    Did not work but it did put a large trd in the draft mailbox.
    This article helped very much!

    More details on Apple site

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