Mail.app message sort has become stuck on wrong default sort

Discussion in 'macOS' started by RedTomato, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #1
    Hiya,

    My mail.app seems to be stuck on the wrong sort default.

    Like most people, I prefer my messages sorted in date order. Somehow, my work mailbox has become stuck on sort by message subject.

    I can change it to sort by date, however, if I send an email (in any account), it reverts back to sorting by subject. Quitting and restarting Mail.app also reverts it to sort by subject.

    I've googled and can't find anyone else with this problem. It now seems to be spreading to my other mailboxes, and I'd like to fix it.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Might be a corrupt .plist. You could try deleting it and let Mail rebuild it:

    /Users/username/Library/Preferences/com.apple.mail.plist
     
  3. RedTomato thread starter macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #3
    Problem solved.

    Tried removing the plist, and mail.app lost all my setup information for my various accounts and other funky things, so I put the plist back.

    I had a look through the plist, and found I had some viewing windows set to sort by subject so I corrected them to sort by date, saved and relaunched mail.

    Fixed my MacRumors folder but not my work email folder :(

    Found Apple's Plist viewer doesn't let you search through a Plist, so I downloaded a plist app, and used that to search through the plist for sort-by-subject. Fixed the ones I found, saved, and restarted mail.app.

    Still no dice. Then I noticed that the number of viewer windows listed in the plist didn't match what I was seeing in mail.app.

    Looked about and found that mail.app had multiple hidden windows that had carried through various restarts, updates, force-quits etc. Revealed and closed them all down (they appeared in the Window menu but not on the Dock).

    Reset my work email folder to sort by date (in Mail.app, not in the plist) one last time and restarted Mail.app. Yay - the new setting is holding!

    Seems that setting a sort option then hiding the mailbox window fixes that sort option for as long as the window lasts (and it remains open but hidden through almost everything you can do to your Mac), and the default can't be changed, even if you mess about with the plist. I'd call that a usability bug.

    Thanks for the tip, and the journey was worth it - I learned a bit more about plists today. Remarkably similar to messing about in the Windows Registry.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    Glad you got it sorted out, and thanks for posting the steps.... very enlightening!
    Watch your language! :D
     

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