9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 31, 2006 10:10 PM by Glenn Kukla
irene smithers Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
This just happened out of the blue. Apparently I've got 277 new emails, but they're old ones. OK, you're right, I should delete a few, but does anyone know what the deal is here? Any help appreciated.
  • 1. RE: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    Hello Irene.

    What is the size of the account's Inbox mailbox - number of messages and overall size?

    Have you ever used the Rebuild Mailbox function on the most active mailboxes?
  • 2. RE: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    irene smithers Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hey Allan,

    I'm not sure what the size is. There were 277 emails there. I marked them as opened - that seemed to do the trick for now.

    I haven't rebuilt the mailbox - should I?

    Thanks.
  • 3. RE: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    If you enable the size column for the message list - at the Mail.app menu bar go to View > Column and select Size, the number of messages and overall size of a selected mailbox will be available in the status bar.

    I would use the Rebuild Mailbox function on the account's Inbox mailbox. Open "In" in the mailboxes drawer to reveal the account named Inbox mailbox. Select the mailbox and at the menu bar, go to Mailbox and select Rebuild.

    It is a good idea to use the Rebuild Mailbox function on the most active mailboxes on a regular basis - monthly or every couple of weeks depending on activity.
  • 4. Re: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    zigzag7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    What difference does it make what size it is, Allen? That doesn't make any sense.

    I keep around 1,000 e-mails in my inbox at all times, give or take a couple of hundred. This has been true for years. I go through a delete lots of messages or move them to other mailboxes pretty regularly when my inbox gets to be around 1100.

    In the last couple of months, however, Mail has been both purging e-mails (I lost more than 600 last night from my inbox--many of which were very important), and this morning more than 62 e-mails in my inbox were marked as unread, though I had received them yesterday and read them then.
    There is something really amiss with Mail, and I'd like to know what it is.
  • 5. Re: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    What difference does it make what size it is, Allen? That doesn't make any sense.


    It can make a difference and it probably doesn't make sense to someone who doesn't know the mailbox size limits with the Mail.app and who only registered with the Apple Discussions on 11/18/05 and has 3 posts.

    All email clients have limits on either the size of individual mailboxes or the size of the single database file whichever is used.

    Check Mac OS X 10.3, 10.4 Mail: Overstuffed mailbox is unexpectedly empty for more information regarding the mailbox size limit with the Mail.app.

    Entourage utilizes a single database file for all data and Entourage X has a 4GB database size limit. The database size limit was increased with Entourage 2004 but there is a limit.

    Is this a POP type account?

    Since an account's Inbox mailbox is usually the most active mailbox and more prone to corruption over time especially if the Rebuild Mailbox function is not used on a regular basis, it is not a good idea to use an account's Inbox mailbox as the final storage location for all received messages not deleted.

    Message attachments are also saved in the account's Inbox mailbox. An "overstuffed" mailbox issue (which is really corruption) can occur at any mailbox size depending on the number and size of message attachments contained in the mailbox and as a mailbox approaches or exceeds 1GB in size for Jaguar/Panther Mail and 2GB for Tiger Mail so the mailbox size does matter.

    Did you upgrade to Tiger from Jaguar or Panther? If so, there are some mbox package content files left over from the mailbox conversion process to Tiger Mail which are no longer needed but are not deleted after the conversion. Although these left over package files should cause any problems, sometimes they do which can be removed.

    Something else to consider which may not make sense, what is your hard drive capacity and available free space?
  • 6. Re: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    zigzag7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm sorry if I seemed to be insulting you, Allen. I wasn't. I was really asking a question. I do understand your answer that, ultimately, size does make a difference. In my case, my 1,000 e-mails were only taking up around 30 or 40 MB, not nearly what the limit is. So I guess now my question is, why would 600 e-mails just disappear from my inbox last night? It was not overstuffed. It has happened once before about a month ago. I have been rebuilding my inbox, and I can't find any other disk errors. Then, after all these e-mails disappeared, and I rebooted the computer this morning, I had around 62 e-mails from yesterday that I had already read and, in some cases, deleted, that appeared again as unread. I really can't figure this out.
  • 7. Re: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    zigzag7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Also, Allan, I really am not a neophyte. I've been using Macs since 1984. I just don't usually find it necessary to log onto discussions, but this particular problem has really got me stumped.
  • 8. Re: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,340 points)
    That's OK - it's been a long week for me and I took your opening question and statement the wrong way.

    As previously provided, an "overstuffed" mailbox issue can occur at any mailbox size and is more likely to occur depending on the number and size of message attachments contained in a mailbox and especially as a mailbox approaches or exceeds 1GB in size for Jaguar/Panther Mail and 2GB with Tiger Mail.

    An "overstuffed" mailbox issue really means the mailbox has some corruption and a mailbox can have some corruption without having the typical "overstuffed" mailbox symptoms such as a warning message indicating a selected message has not been downloaded from the server.

    The Rebuild Mailbox function should be used on the most active mailboxes on a regular basis - monthly or every couple of weeks or so depending on activity but if rarely used or only used after experiencing a problem, it can make the situation worse in some cases if the mailbox has gradually become corrupt over a long period of time.

    Did you upgrade to Tiger from Jaguar or Panther?

    What is your hard drive capacity and available free space? The Mail.app alone requires the same amount of free hard drive space as the overall size of the Mail folder at Home > Library > Mail and if you don't have adequate free hard drive space for OS X to function properly without considering the Mail.app, data loss can occur but I don't believe this is the problem in your situation.
  • 9. Re: Previously Opened Mail Marked Unread
    Glenn Kukla Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I've experienced the same problem ever since the first version of Mail; I've reported it as a bug, but the issue has never been corrected. In my case, an "overstuffed mailbox" is not the problem -- I keep my Inbox pretty clean (currently I only have 41 messages totaling 2.3 MB) and I rebuild it at least weekly.

    I learned that the problem occurred much more frequently if the Inbox was selected when I quit Mail, which meant the Inbox would be selected when the program was launched. My plan of attack is to make sure an empty mailbox (such as the Outbox) will be selected during launch, and I wait until the silly "Gathering children from disk for local account" message has flashed before selecting the Inbox. Even then, every 2-3 weeks I will lose all flags and every message will be marked "unread". It's always the Inbox that gets screwed up.

    iMac (Snow)   Mac OS X (10.3.9)