How to remove Apple Mail completely (sandboxing, Containers?)

toke lahti

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2007
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Helsinki, Finland
I'm having huge problems with Mail, so Apple's support says that only procedure they support, is wiping the whole drive and installing everything again.
I'd like to not loose 100 apps and their settings and their history, so I'd like to first try just wipe out the Mail.

Anybody know, should I just remove
~/Library/Mail and
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail
or is there something else also and does sandboxing somehow make these re-appear from some hidden location after re-boot?
 

n-evo

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Aug 9, 2013
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Amsterdam
Everything should be recreated once you start Mail. But to be honest, I've never done this myself with this particular app. I'd remove your email account prior to deleting these support files as well, and restart your Mac before launching Mail again.
 

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toke lahti

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2007
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Everything should be recreated once you start Mail. But to be honest, I've never done this myself with this particular app. I'd remove your email account prior to deleting these support files as well, and restart your Mac before launching Mail again.
w00t!
AppCleaner is free, knows all the folders and works correctly and is up to date with all the changes in os versions every year?
Apple shouldn't allow this kind of madness!
 
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Honza1

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Nov 30, 2013
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Apple Mail is part of the macOS and I suspect regular App cleaners may not be able to clean it up and unistall. But resetting Mail is relatively common problem and if you google it, you will find pages describing what to do (and how to backup for case of disaster). My quick search did not find, however, anything specifically for Mojave. That may not be such issue - Mail.app is kind of obsolete code but you can expect only minor changes or modifications against prior system versions. In any case, I followed one of these pages few years ago and it fixed my Mail problems.
NOTE:
1. make backup of your disk first.
2. try removing all Mail plugins if you have any. I use some of those and all Mail problems were eventually traced back to them.
3. reinstall of macOS in place using full installer might help and is less destructive than anything else.
4. If still issues, follow one of the pages Google finds with "completely reset Apple mail"
 
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toke lahti

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2007
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Helsinki, Finland
Apple Mail is part of the macOS and I suspect regular App cleaners may not be able to clean it up and unistall. But resetting Mail is relatively common problem and if you google it, you will find pages describing what to do (and how to backup for case of disaster). My quick search did not find, however, anything specifically for Mojave. That may not be such issue - Mail.app is kind of obsolete code but you can expect only minor changes or modifications against prior system versions. In any case, I followed one of these pages few years ago and it fixed my Mail problems.
NOTE:
1. make backup of your disk first.
2. try removing all Mail plugins if you have any. I use some of those and all Mail problems were eventually traced back to them.
3. reinstall of macOS in place using full installer might help and is less destructive than anything else.
4. If still issues, follow one of the pages Google finds with "completely reset Apple mail"
I've had this "user folder" or "home dir" for over 15 years and it has gone through 5 macs. I have about 100 apps installed and they all have hunders of settings stored in ~/Lib. Browsers have years of history I don't want to loose.
Wiping the whole computer because one App has problems shows how "windows" macos has become.
 

Honza1

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Nov 30, 2013
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I've had this "user folder" or "home dir" for over 15 years and it has gone through 5 macs. I have about 100 apps installed and they all have hunders of settings stored in ~/Lib. Browsers have years of history I don't want to loose.
Wiping the whole computer because one App has problems shows how "windows" macos has become.
Well, the fact you have the same "home folder" for 15 years shows, how non-Windows Apple system is. But I digress.

My home folder is also quite old, may be not 15 years but close to it. Based on my experience, this is something which needs a some OSX/macOS knowhow and some serious time to keep working right. Once in a while (every 2-3 years) I have to go in detail through Library and many other locations and clean "crud" which can cause issues. I have found years old kernel extensions (incompatible with current macOS versions) for devices I did not have for years, and lots of other stuff, all trying to load or do something. All needs to be evaluated and if needed, removed. It is tedious work to keep system clean manually...

While I understand this home folder migration (it is so convenient!!), it is also something which can cause unexplained troubles down the road with weird system (mis) behavior. Juts warning.

It may be useful to catalog what you really need and use and at convenient moment move only needed stuff into a clean environment.
 
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toke lahti

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Apr 23, 2007
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Yes, having same homedir for 15 years tells how much better osX has been over Windows.
But, Apple's official support saying, that to repair Mail, you have to kill the whole computer is telling you how Windows macos is becoming.

Well, Mail needs a real absolute re-write badly. I guess one of the reasons, why Apple Support does not advice you to "just remove everything about Mail", is that the mess Mail has become: 29 Locations to wipe out!