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Messages doesn't work on my account, works on Safety account

281 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 9, 2013 12:17 PM by Ralph Johns (UK) RSS
lindytalbot Calculating status...
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Feb 8, 2013 12:47 PM

Recently, when I would enter text into the message field in Messages, I'd hit 'return' and it would not 'send' the message. Then, a day or so later, when I started Messages, I could hear a login sound but no window opened.  I noticed that most menu items were greyed out (see below). Under Messages>My Status, I am logged in and available. Under Messsages>My Accounts, I am logged in to one AIM account and my .mac account.


When I log in to a Safety (pristine Admin) account I created, Messages works as expected


Any ideas? Any way to start Messages from scratch, so to speak?




Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 3.41.12 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2013-02-08 at 3.29.58 PM.jpg  Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 3.30.32 PM.jpg  Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 3.30.44 PM.jpg  Screen Shot 2013-02-08 at 3.31.01 PM.jpg

Messages, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Eric Root Level 6 Level 6 (13,860 points)

    Log into the account you are having trouble with. Quit Messages.


    Hold down the option key while using the Finder "Go To Folder" command. Enter ~`/Library. Move the the .plist(s) for the application to the desktop. There are two labeled imessage. Start Messages and see if that solved the problem. If so, you can delete the .plists. If not, you can replace them.


    If you prefer to make your user library permanently visible, use the Terminal command found below. It does work with Mountain Lion:



    You might want to bookmark the command. I had to use it again after I installed 10.8.2. I have also been informed that if you drag the user library to Finder it will remain visible.

  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 Level 9 (66,835 points)



    Messages can be shut down or Quit with every single windows Closed.

    It will restart in the same manner including Buddy List and the Messages Window not being visible.

    You will get Log in sounds.


    The Menus you show seem to match that state  (no window Highlighted so no active Menu items)

    "Active"/"front" Buddy list makes one item active in Buddies Menu

    Buddies menu and Buddy list.png



    You have not shown Messages Menu > Accounts to show anything is actually Logged in.

    Messages Menu Accounts.png


    However the Window Menu Pic does show the Messages (main Chat and Interface window) is grey out as is the "Buddies" Combined Buddy list option at CMD + 1.


    I would leave any*iMessage*.plist item as you don't mention the iMessage Account.

    Delete (Yes Messages still uses this) as it holds the window info.

    You may need to delete the if the app is telling you they have not Logged in.

    Restart Messages in between each deletion.





    10:18 PM      Friday; February 8, 2013

    Please, if posting Logs, do not post any Log info after the line "Binary Images for iChat"


      iMac 2.5Ghz 5i 2011 (Mountain Lion 10.8.2)
     G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
     MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
     Mac OS X (10.6.8),
     Couple of iPhones and an iPad

    "Limit the Logs to the Bits above Binary Images."  No, Seriously

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (107,760 points)

    Read this whole message before doing anything.

    Back up all data.

    Quit Messages if it’s running.

    Step 1

    Hold down the option key and select

    Go Library

    from the Finder menu bar. Delete the following items from the Library folder (either may not exist):


    • Caches/
    • Caches/


    Leave the Library folder open. Log out and log back in. Try Messages again. If it works now, stop here. Close the Library folder.

    Step 2

    If you still have problems, quit Messages again. Go back to the Finder and move the following item from the open Library folder to the Desktop:


    • Messages


    Note: you are not moving the Messages application. You’re moving a folder named “Messages.”

    Test. If Messages now works, delete the Messages folder on the Desktop. Otherwise, quit Messages again. Put back the folder you moved, overwriting the newer one that may have been created in its place, and continue.

    Step 3

    In the Preferences subfolder, there may be several files having names that begin with "". There should also be one with the name "". Move them all to the Desktop.

    Also in the Preferences folder, there's a subfolder named "ByHost". Open it and do the same thing.

    Log out and log back in. Test again. This time Messages should perform normally, but your settings will be lost. You may be able to put back some of the "" files you moved to the Desktop in this step. Relaunch and test after each one. Eventually you should find one or more that causes Messages to malfunction. Delete those files and recreate whatever settings they contained. Don't put back the "" file.

    If the issue is still not resolved, quit Messages again and put all the items you moved to the Desktop back where they were. You don’t need to replace the files you deleted in step 1. Stop here and post again.

    If you later decide that you don’t like the results of steps 2 and 3, you can undo them completely by quitting Messages and restoring the items you deleted in those steps from your backup.

  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 Level 9 (66,835 points)

    Hi lindytalbot,


    I would not have changed the action to take.


    However, unlike Linc's suggestion of deleting everything containing "" as part of it's file name I would have concentrated on the two I mentioned.

                Holds everything that can be set in the Preferences except Accounts.  Also holds some Menu item settings such as Sort Orders, whether Smileys are displayed, Names or Handles.     Holds the login Status of all AIM Accounts. Can be an issue if you are dropped from the server (they list you as Off line) but the .plist tells Messages you are logged in.      Holds similar info for all Jabber Accounts, including GoogleTalk IDs     Refers to the Bonjour "logged In"/Active State


   Refers to the Recents Items list from the file menu.  Amount in the list is controlled by System Preferences > General Section and the number set for "Documents". In Mountain Lion this is the same as Server and Applications but in earlier versions they could be different figures.

     Every Saved Status Message you have created.

          " New " item for iChat 6 and Messages and holds the Logged in State of any Yahoo account

     Holds the Buddy Pic for yourself.  The Profile at AIM if you created one. (it is overridden by any second Login that has something different).

    Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 19.46.45.png

    A Small pic version.

    Block ARD referes to Apple Remote Desktop (engine) and is about whether you allow Screen Shairng

    Then Turning Off the Camera and Mic items

    Whether the Fast User Switching action is Enabled.

    And a couple of other things from the General Section of the Preferences.

    0s (zeros) are No and 1s are Yes

    So I have "Set Off Line when Quit" set to be in use.

    This MacOSXHints item can be modified to Write to the imagent.plist and changes the display order of the iTunes info.  (Basically this .plist holds this info.)


    So you can see that some of these .plists do not bear any reference to your issue.


    Linc's Step one includes this:


    It used to be in earlier OS Versions and that contained a Pictures folder which is now in ther Messages Folder  and contains all your Buddies' Buddy pics.  (the folder still exists and contains things about the camera's abilities and Jabber cache info)

    It used to be that in iChat  if one of these Buddy pics was corrupt then iChat would not work properly.

    However it has been a very long time since I saw that happen.


    The other cache file I have never deleted in solving a problem.

    However it contains a cache.db file that can be opened in/with TextEdit and can be seen that it is stuff about the iMessages log in.





    8:16 PM      Saturday; February 9, 2013

    Please, if posting Logs, do not post any Log info after the line "Binary Images for iChat"


      iMac 2.5Ghz 5i 2011 (Mountain Lion 10.8.2)
     G4/1GhzDual MDD (Leopard 10.5.8)
     MacBookPro 2Gb (Snow Leopard 10.6.8)
     Mac OS X (10.6.8),
     Couple of iPhones and an iPad

    "Limit the Logs to the Bits above Binary Images."  No, Seriously


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