Best email client for Mac? (Thunderbird problems!)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by JayceyF, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. JayceyF macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    Hello to all from a newbie here. :)

    I'm needing some email advice. When I got this machine a while ago, I was advised not to use the Mail app - wise decision, it lost things, and just behaved erratically.

    I was then pointed in the direction of Thunderbird, which has been serving me well - until yesterday. After weeks of satisfactory use, it's suddenly giving me "Unable to connect to your IMAP server. You may have exceeded the maximum number of connections to this server. If so, use the Advanced IMAP Server Settings dialog to reduce the number of cached connections.". I've trawled through forum after forum, and done everything suggested (the main suggestion being to change the "Maximum number of server connections to cache" to 1). It sends fine, but doesn't receive - the exception being as described below.

    I've got 10 email accounts running on there - only two are IMAP and the rest are POP, but the IMAP ones are the important ones. But this problem seems to affect the POP ones too, despite the error message. All are Hotmail/Live accounts apart from one IMAP one, which is Gmail - Thunderbird receives the Gmail mail OK, but not the Hotmail. So could this be a Hotmail problem? :confused:

    After briefly considering Entourage (which I have in my Office 2008 Suite), I decided that was too old and creaky, and not really up to the job.

    After trials and errors with other free email systems (including a horror called Inky), I've ended up with Opera Mail, which is at least allowing me to load my accounts & is receiving my mail - although it's rather odd-looking, and trying to import any address book into it is a total and ridiculous nightmare (they seem stuck in the dark ages regarding contacts).

    So I currently have a working solution with which I can use my accounts without having to log into online Outlook every time. However, what I'd REALLY like to do is to 'mend' Thunderbird once and for all, receive my mail into there, and get rid of that silly message. Does anyone have any useful suggestions, please?

    (Note - this only started happening after I updated my OS X, which may have nothing to do with it, but I just thought it might be worth mentioning?)
     
  2. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Near London, UK.
    #2

    I've been using it for 5 years, never had a problem.
     
  3. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #3
    Airmail
    I've used mail.app, thunderbird and more recently Airmail ($2 in Mac app store). I find that airmail crashes a lot but it does get around issues I had with mail.app. I keep both in my dock but I use airmail a lot more than I use mail.app. I keep my inbox small on the main account I wish to reply from. Having tens of thousands of emails in my inbox (in my main archive account) simply overwhelms both mail.app and airmail so I never leave it sitting with those inboxes active. I like IMAP a LOT better than POP but I have found that POP accounts tend to use fewer resources on the client end.

    Outlook?
    I don't recommend entourage or outlook or anything else from Microsoft. This is mainly out of personal preference and mediocre experience with MS products on OSX. For instance, I picked up Office 2011 for $10 through our company "home use" program. I installed it for my wife in addition to iWork and LibreOffice. It gave us nothing but headaches from activation to conflicts with LibreOffice to Windows-like behaviors like stealing file associations away from other programs. When her Mac crashed, I "forgot" to reinstall MS Office and she hasn't "remembered" to ask me. The MS DVD is downstairs in the basement next to the 78 rpm records and buggy whips where it belongs.

    Webmail
    Sadly Thunderbird is not (very) actively maintained. When I'm really hard up, I use webmail through one of the big providers, either gmail or outlook.com. I prefer not to go anywhere near the snake pit that is yahoo. I have an account there that languishes in neglect. I guess for me the issue is the bad experience my cousin had. Att uses yahoo for their customer email if you use dsl. Her email was hacked repeatedly and both Att and Yahoo were astoundingly clueless in everything from account recovery to account setup and protection. I doubt they even have basic 2-factor login set up. You really don't want to do business with any provider that is too dumb to offer rudimentary features like 2-factor login unless you have no choice.



    mail.app limitations
    I've become frustrated with the "dumbing down" of settings in mail.app. Tossing me out to System Preferences to pick email accounts is not only clunky but disruptive to the way I prefer to do things. Not only that, mail.app INSISTS that the from address matches the login used to retrieve email. This flies in the face of using a single gmail or other inbox as an "aggregator" and prevents me from replying to an email as the person to whom it was addressed rather than the login of the account I happen to be using at the time.

    hosted exchange workaround
    To get around this, I have set up a hosted exchange account so that the login matches the email I wish to reply as. This was a huge waste of my time to get around a limitation that has no place on a desktop email client like mail.app. I could use my AppleCare to get Apple involved with this but they are rather hardheaded and I don't have time to teach them how to do email properly so I just live with it. Maybe I'll find the time to lodge a complaint on Apple's feedback page...
     
  4. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    Wow - thanks for the replies, guys (even the one-liner - there's clearly some less complicated souls around than myself?!).

    It looks as though there are fun & games to be had out there with Mac email! ;) It's all a juggling operation by the looks of it - I'll have a go with Airmail, just to see how it handles.

    Update on my Thunderbird situation - I deleted the main IMAP account in frustration, and then tried to re-add it. Problem - Thunderbird refused to recognise it (suggested my username and password were 'wrong'?!)! I even went into Outlook to change my password there to make sure it was 100% correct, but Thunderbird still won't recognise it. So I'm stuck now with that - any solutions to that whole problem gratefully received! :confused:

    (I posted my complete Thunderbird problem into the mozillaZine forum - 1000 views and no replies - they're obviously stumped there too, lol!)
     
  5. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    ** UPDATE **

    Things have got a lot more serious, and I now have NO working email clients! Thunderbird's broken, Opera Mail broke, I tried Airmail and couldn't even create an account with it - so in desperation I went back to Mac's own Mail. And what happens? Not a single account will go online. When I open Connection Doctor, every account has a red dot under Status, saying 'could not connect to server', blah blah blah. But what's weird is that the connection status at the top has a green dot and says 'Mail was able to connect to the internet'! (And Hotmail, hotmail.co.uk & live.co.uk are oddly listed as separate accounts - and all have green dots!)

    This is telling me that none of my email clients are recognising any of my email accounts (even though they all work perfectly via Outlook/Google in the browser) - so this may not be a Thunderbird-specific problem? However, it IS a problem, and a massive one at that, so I need all the help I can get! ANY suggestions gratefully received!!
    :eek:
     
  6. mooblie macrumors 6502

    mooblie

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Location:
    The Highlands, Scotland
    #6
    Can you actually get online at all? Browsing, for example?
     
  7. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Entourage/Outlook for me. Solid, reliable and feature complete. But you'll need a copy of Office.
     
  8. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Oh yes, I can browse OK - and can reach all my email that way (but when you have several Hotmail accounts, logging out of each one every time to get to the next one is SUCH a pain). Pinging is fine - I can talk to the the outside world. It's only my email clients which are stubbornly refusing to believe that my usernames/passwords are genuine. It just makes NO sense at all to me - particularly as everything was fine up until a couple of days ago. :(

    (To roadbloc - I only have Office 2008, and Entourage is having the same problems as all the other clients!)
     
  9. ianj1972 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    http://irj972.co.uk
    #9
    Once you get up and running again, check our mailmate, probably the best power user client right now. It handles large mail archives fine etc too.
     
  10. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    It looks great - but $50?! :eek:
     
  11. PicnicTutorials macrumors 6502a

    PicnicTutorials

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    #11
    I use mailplane. I have all three accounts open in three tabs. notifications in my menubar for all three accounts. And no icon in my dock. $25 well spent. all the others I tried failed me in one way or another.
     
  12. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I've partly solved my problem! :D In order to get Airmail up and running, Airmail Support told me to set up 'two step verification'. This thing is an abomination - it screwed all my email accounts everywhere (iPhone and iPad included), and only by researching this into the early hours did I realise what the problem was, and I've now turned it off. Good riddance! (And Airmail still doesn't work, and probably never will! But that's another story.)

    However, I'm now back with my original problems (albeit slightly altered), as follows:-
    • Thunderbird - the Gmail IMAP now works, but none of the POP ones, and I still can't re-add the IMAP Hotmail account (next plan - delete the POPs and try re-adding as IMAPs)
    • Mail - deleted the POP accounts but the IMAP ones still don't work (next plan - as above)
    • Opera Mail - the only thing that's now working with all accounts (and currently saving my life, despite its limitations!)
    • Airmail - forget it, a dead duck and a waste of $2.
    I'll report back on my progress, just in case anyone is following this sorry saga. :rolleyes:
     
  13. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #13
    Sorry I can't take mailplane seriously. It only works with gmail and while it has some nice features, it has no offline mode. No offline mode? While mailplane gets around some of the multi-account login limitations of Chrome, it's missing the all important ability to work offline.

    ----------

    Two step is a must these days, if you can get it working. Outlook.com and gmail.com offer decent 2 step authentication. gmail offers the ability to use app passwords but I have found they don't always "just work." Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble but email really is "rocket science". It shouldn't be but it is. We have spammers to thank. We have Apple and the rapidly increasing dumbdownedness of mail.app to thank. We have providers like gmail that don't really follow IMAP standards to thank. And we have hackers that force all these convoluted security measures to thank. No wonder most teenagers simply use text messages and ignore email. I don't blame them.
     
  14. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Well, that's a refreshing view, and a honest opinion of today's email mess. I'm just not using two-step - why use something that breaks everything?!? (My emails aren't that important really - except to me - I'm not the Queen, lol.) And with that turned on, nothing worked on my iPhone or iPad. Useless, sorry. :(

    What's so odd is that the only thing that's working is an old-fashioned app that no-one ever mentions - Opera Mail. (There's lots wrong with it - no folders for archiving?! - but at least it's allowing me to send and receive via all my accounts. At least until something better comes along.)

    I'm gonna keep trying - but rapidly coming to the conclusion that there's nothing out there that's 100% up to the job, and I'm going to end up with using several clients at once, like many others seem to do. (And here's where I set myself up for abuse - I adore Macs, but I never had any of these problems with Outlook on my Windows PC, even though it was crap in every other way, lol! ;) )
     
  15. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    I'm now realising that my problems are deeper than just email clients - my Internet accounts aren't working properly at all. Every time I delete and reload one, the IMAP/SSL testing fails and they get rejected. I'm also getting lots of these messages in my Console:-

    com.apple.preferences.internetaccounts.remoteservice:
    MailIAPlugin: Tried to get setting for nonexistent account with uid ....... (pile of numbers)


    There's clearly a connection here. Is this something to do with certificates?

    HELP! I'm now drowning in unfamiliar waters, and I don't want to mess up my machine (which I only bought in December!). Does ANYBODY know what any of this means, and how I can fix it? :confused:
     
  16. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #16
    Me too, and I've never seen that message ever. Maybe move off all the saved email and remove Thunderbird, using search to ensure it's fully deleted. Then re-install it...there was an update last week but I've found it to be rock solid and it's way better than Apple Mail which I would never return to now.
     
  17. ianj1972 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Location:
    http://irj972.co.uk
    #17
    give the trial a go for 30 days and see what you think. I thought the same when I started.....by 14 days I was starting to see value, at 31 days it was a no brainer.

    ----------

    Sorry to hear you are having further problems. I don't know what may cause this issue but it sounds like something may have gone wrong during the upgrade. Do you have a backup pre-upgrade you can go back to in order to retry the upgrade, or alternatively, have you considered doing a clean install? Sometimes quicker to start afresh than trouble shoot. Just a thought.
     
  18. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Hi Ian, I didn't actually do an upgrade, I only bought this machine in December and it already had Mavericks on it. (I suppose the sensible answer might be to go back to Apple as it's still under warranty - but I'm one of those stubborn idiots who likes to try and do everything myself, lol.) You are not the first to suggest a clean install, and I suspect that may be where this is going......
     
  19. fcomstoc macrumors member

    fcomstoc

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #19
    I am a huge fan of sparrow, I have been using it since the day that I got my first mac. I have 17 email accounts so having a combined inbox and great interface is important to me.

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sparrow/id417250177?mt=12

    I would recommend this program to everyone.
     
  20. CoMoMacUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    #20
    Nobody Reads This Line

    I know what you mean. I installed Thunderbird a few weeks ago for my IMAP account, and I sometimes get that message. Another occasional message is something about not being able to copy (to my trash?) after I delete a few emails. Deleting them again usually takes care of it.

    Or an email host that provides Outlook as part of the service plan. That's how I got it.

    I had almost no complaints about Outlook 2011 until a few weeks ago, when I stated getting endless error messages about not being able to connect to the server even though mail came in fine. So I gave Thunderbird a shot. I like it except for:

    1) There's no way to read the date, time and dial-in info when someone sends a meeting request unless they've copied it into the subject line.

    2) There's no way to increase and then lock in the font size for the viewing pane. Even on a 21" display, it's a chore to scan names, subjects, etc.

    3) There only way to have remote content automatically loaded on all emails is to add those senders to my address book. But I don't want every newsletter, etc. in my address book. I found a January 2014 tutorial on YouTube that shows how to configure TB to load remote content on all emails, but the settings in the video don't match what I have.

    4) The search tool is a chore. I don't want a tab of results where I have to keep hitting the More button. Maybe there's a setting that will let me display search results the way that Outlook does, but I haven't found it yet.

    So I have to make a choice: Accept those drawbacks as the price paid for not having to deal with Outlook's error messages and slow syncing, or bite the bullet and go back to Outlook.
     
  21. JayceyF thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Thank you all - I'm actually a lot further down the road. How come? I asked my husband! :) (He's been out of contact for a while!) He asked me if I'd checked that my date/time were correct - and lo and behold, they weren't! (For some reason, I was set on Apple US instead of Apple Europe?) This has helped a great deal although I'm not out of the woods yet. I can now set up my accounts in my email clients (all except Airmail, but I don't care about that) - but not with SSL. Even Thunderbird is talking to me! :D (I couldn't set them up AT ALL before.) So now I'm running them like that until I can sort out the SSL - anything's better that what I had before (i.e. nothing!). I can't understand why the time zone thing wasn't suggested before, I can only assume people don't know about it.
     

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