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Mail crash / Mountain Lion: "AddressBook datafile is a directory"

8468 Views 31 Replies Latest reply: Feb 25, 2013 6:10 AM by sean_chan RSS
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Sanjaya Kumar Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 31, 2012 10:42 AM

My Mail app began crashing yesterday -- a few days after upgrading to Mountain Lion. I posted the crash dump, but no resolution yet.


It crashes right away on starting up the app.


Today, I noticed the following Console message -- it appears every time I click on the Mail app:



7/31/12 10:34:12.815 AM Mail[4427]: -[ABAddressBook sharedAddressBook] Error: The AddressBook datafile is a directory!



I'm hoping someone on these forums can figure out the issue/resolution from this clue.



  • maefromnull Calculating status...


    My mail started crashing after 2 days of running fine as well. One one of my users, the program won't open at all and on the other, it will open but then crash in about a minute or two. I think it all started happening right after I started messing with messages.


    I'm wondering if your app stays open long enough for you to open window/previous recipients to see if it is empty like mine. I also notice that there is no auto suggestion on addresses in mail.


    I do have addresses in my address book but mail just isn't seeing them or storing new recipients.


    I have tried all fixes mentioned for mail, messages, address book, and previous contacts. Nothing worked. I even reinstalled ML and that didn't help. I also spent about 2 hours on the phone with Apple. The guy who was helping me said it was the first issue with mail he knew about. Nothing that we tried helped.

  • Happy Dummy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm having the exact same issue, no resolution yet.

  • Happy Dummy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I was able to fix mine by using Appdelete to delete everything except the itself.  So one of those preference items was the culprit.  However this deletion is now causing problems with iCloud integration with mail so this scortched earth tactic isn't optimal.

  • Happy Dummy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I wasn't able to set icloud mail back up through the icloud panel BUT when starting mail I was able to add the iCloud email and it set itself up normally.  Then when checking the iCloud control panel, mail sync was on and working fine.  So this is a fix but one of last resort as it does delete your mail accounts.

  • Daniel Standage Calculating status...

    Having the identical problem on my Mac Pro.  My other computers are fine after the upgrade.  It seemed to occur around the same time MobileMe went offline and I'm wondering if email aliases could be a culpret. 

  • sean_chan Calculating status...

    @Sanjaya @Daniel @Happy


    I had the same problem and I managed to fix my problem. I put my info here :-



    But basically I just moved the following directory to a backup and let Mail recreate a new one. Please be aware that this fix just refeshes your Mail, i.e. you'll need to readd your accounts and if you pop your mail, then I'm not certain if you can re-import them back in :-




    More specifically it was the following file (or some other file in the same directory?) that mattered :-

    /Users/sean/Library/Containers/ Application State/


    Maybe if you want to try to save your popped mail, you could try just moving the away and leave the parent directory alone?


    Anyhow, give this a shot to see if it works.

  • Daniel Standage Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hey Sean,


    I echo Sanjaya's remarks, notes, and applaud.  You sir, are the man!  I tried the saved states deletion, but found that it didn't do anything, but remove the first dialog message (before the crash log).  I went back to ~/Library/Containers/ and moved the contents to the trash (but not emptied).  Opened Mail and everything was there, even the last message I had left open behind the viewer.  I didn't have to re-add anything, just had to reinstate my view preferences; akin to flashing the PRAM. 


    Thanks again Sean!  Without your help, I wouldn't have ventured down that path.  It's fixed!


    Take care!


  • Vincent Schultz Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks all, this fixed mine also. At last I can get productive



  • macfrompc Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I read through several threads before I found this one. My machine does NOT have ~/Library/Containers/...


    Here is what I have done, and so far - Mail has stabalized and is working again!


    I went to ~/Library/Mail/V2/[insert name of account here]


    Each of my accounts, three Gmail and one Mac account all conatined three hidden files:

    .dat45ab.nnn  ( the nnn were different on each account




    I shut down Mail and made a "keep" folder and omved all three files in each of the four accounts into the "keep" folder. Re-started Mail and have been stable for over two hours now (earlier today, I lost track of how many times Mail crashed).

  • MARONJ Calculating status...

    hi guys, I read through several threads before I found this one.
    My MacPro (Retina SSD) does NOT have





    really have no idea what to do ...




  • Drdul Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    @macfrompc: Thanks very much for this tip! I had tried deleteing other things like the Saved Application State folder, but wasn't having any luck and was about to nuke everything and start from scratch. Before doing that I tried your tip and deleted the hidden files in each mail account folder. Now Mail is behaving itself again, and I am a happy guy!

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