Why is Mail frequently timing out all of a sudden?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Moof1904, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    I check multiple accounts with Mail and this week Mail has suddenly started taking a l-o-n-g time to check each email address, frequently displaying the little exclamation mark next to some or most of the email addresses, thus indicating that the offending mail servers have timed out. When this happens it usually succeeds the next time, only to fail again a subsequent time.

    My various email addresses are served by different hosts so I don't think it's a problem with a single host.

    Any ideas?

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  2. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004

    The email addresses that timeout change all the time. Sometimes it's three of my addresses, sometimes it's four, sometimes it's five or six. And this has just started happening this week with no other changes to my system or network. And it's not the same domain for all of the timed out ones, either. It seems totally random, which makes me think it's Apple Mail and not anyone's mail server.

    Has anyone else seen Mail do this strange timeout thing?

    BTW, I've checked with other people on the same home network here, also running Mail checking mail from many of the same domains and they're not having this trouble at all. It seems local to my computer. Any ideas?

    This is driving me crazy.

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  3. obdave macrumors member

    May 25, 2008
    I occasionally have this happen, and I've found that I can always fix it by powering down the Mac, then unplugging the router and cable modem, then powering them all back up. One of these days I'll try powering them off one at a time to figure out which one it is. I know it's not the Mac because my PC goes into this mode too; however, I power the Mac off to force it to renegotiate with the router for an IP address.

    Anyway, you might give this a try.
  4. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    I'll give this a shot. Thanks. I have a uVerse box going into an AEBS, then to a gigabit switch that feeds four other computers in the house. I'll power the whole thing down and then start it up again.

    I found some scripts for optimizing Mail's SQL server and they sped Mail up but didn't solve this particular problem.
  5. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    I get this sometimes too. Closing and opening mail fixes it for me.
  6. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    Not fixed.

    I quit everything, shut everything down (including my uVerse modem, AEBS, switch, and Mac) waited and then started everything up again. The problem remains.

    At this moment, most of my email addresses are timed out. It's got to be Mail because all of my email accounts are affected and they're coming from four different domains! AAAAhhhhh! This is really annoying.

    Attached Files:

  7. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    Additional information

    I created a test account on my Mac and configured Mail to check the same 10 or so accounts from the Test account. It worked perfectly.


    Knowing that the problem isn't hardware, what can I clean/reset/discard or whatever on the main account to restore Mail to its non-suckiness?!?!?!?
  8. MarkMS macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2006
    Have you tried repairing permissions or running something like Onyx and/or Cocktail? Might help, but I'm not sure. Also, have you tried another email client like Thunderbird?
  9. Moof1904 thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    I fixed it.

    The problem seems to be PGP 9.9. I enabled the Little Snitch network monitor and watched it while Mail was checking mail. It showed that PGP was doing a bunch of stuff while Mail was checking mail.

    I uninstalled PGP and the problem went away. I reinstalled PGP and the problem returned.

    Now all I have to do is determine if it's an issue with PGP's settings and I can tweak them to stop slowing Maiil down or if I must delete PGP altogether.
  10. dr427 macrumors regular


    Oct 13, 2005
    Oklahoma City
    I am having the exact same problem as you with my mail. 2 accounts work great and two others don't. One that works is gmail and one that doesn't is gmail. They are setup identical and no known changes have occured other than one stopped working essentially.

    What is PGP? Maybe I have program and I am not sure what it stands for.

    This mail issue is very annoying.
  11. Ropie macrumors regular


    Aug 6, 2007
    PGP = Pretty Good Privacy, email encryption software.

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