Mail app major malfunction

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by roken70, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2013
    Hi there,

    I have what seems like a major malfunction of the Mail app in OS X 10.8.

    I can start Mail normally, but Mail does not connect to any of my mail accounts, nor can I send mails. I cannot quit Mail either. I have to force quit Mail.

    It looks to me like a problem with the access to the key chain. When I recreate a mail account, I am asked to verify the certificate of the mail server. Here Mail gets stuck too. I cannot get out of the dialog (no matter which button I press). When I press Show certificate for example, the dialog blinks and reappears. There is no new dialog where I can see the certificate or edit the trust. Cancel does not cancel the dialog.

    I have tried a number of things, like resetting the Mac and recreating my key chain. It is not a network problem either. I can setup my mail accounts in Thunderbird and everything works like a charm.

    Can someone help me? What can I do to tackle the problem (except for Apple support, they couldn't help either - so far)?
  2. macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    If you've gone through Apple support already and they have not been able to assist, then its time for something a bit more dramatic.

    I would suggest reinstalling the OS, which also reinstalls mail. Obviously you will want to have a current backup before taking this route, but once reinstalled, i would suggest you try mail BEFORE applying your backup restore.
    Once you confirm mail works, I would suggest taking another fresh backup and then you can restore your original backup and again check the operation of mail once it completes.

    If it fails after restoring your backup, then you know for certain that you have some corruption in one or more files that mail leans on. Assuming that is the case, you can restore the fresh backup you took and then selectively restore your original backup being careful to not restore any files related to mail.

    While this may not be the most direct route to solve your problem, reinstalling the OS has some other secondary benefits and hopefully will solve your mail issue as well.
  3. macrumors 68030

    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Did support have you create a new user account to test Mail?
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 18, 2013
    I would prefer avoiding a re-install. This is not MS, I thought.. ;) Also, I would like to find out what happened.


    No, but I did and the new Mac account had the same problem.
  5. divideby, Sep 18, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013

    macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2009
    So if it's not a user specific issue (occurs both on test and your user), then it's the OS or your mail server. Try setting it up on a different Mac with same OS if you can (like on an Apple Store Mac).

    If issue occurs there then it's your mail server, if not then it's mostly OS and re-install would be best bet. Also knowing what you're using for mail would be helpful. Good luck!

    If you don't want to reinstall, you could open up activity monitor, find Mail, hit Inspect, then choose Open Files and Ports. Figure out if there are any files (not user level) are possibly conflicting. It takes a sort of intuition. I suppose you could compare it with either a good working setup, or potentially thunderbird.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Apr 26, 2011
    Just to be clear when you say account, you created a new User in System Preferences to test Mail. Often the terms account, user, profile are confused.

    Testing in a new User will quickly tell you if the problem is system wide or if it's your User's folder that contains the problem.


    Go to System Preferences --> Create a New User in Accounts. Switch to the New User by logging out/in or use Fast User Switching.

    Test issue in the new User.

    Do you still see the issue?

    If yes, then the problem is with your base files.
    If no, then the problem is in your User's folder.

    If you have enough free disk space (20 GB would be enough for a simple test of Mail) you can partition your drive and install Mac OS X on the new partition. This will take approx 45 min.

    Booted from the new partition, open Mail and enter your account. If this works then you know you need to do a full scale backup and re-install.

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