8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 28, 2009 2:01 PM by David Yeh
Todd I Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
10.5.7 with all patches & app updates. Mail Server is using IMAP4:

Downloading of larger attachments (2 to 4 MB) often doesn't work well in Apple Mail (I see it often, as does a colleague, so I don't think it's specific to my MBP).

- Status indication in main message view is non-existent. At most, Quick Look says "Downloading Attachment", with no indication of % downloaded or rate of download, estimated time, etc.

These attachments often take an unusually long time to download, much longer than the size of the file would dictate. In several cases, I have given up on the attachment, downloaded the file via http, uploaded it to another www server via scp and e-mailed the URL all while the Mail attachment download was downloading.

- In the Activity View (Cmd-0) I can see the "Downloading attachment" task. Sometimes that seems hung with no animation on the progress bar. If I hit the Stop sign, it starts again, but only shows the "spinning blue candy cane", not the left-to-right progress bar. It basically doesn't seem to be really transferring.

Usually it will eventually transfer, at some much later point. Currently, it's been in this state for ~ 30 minutes. This does not happen to my Windows colleagues using Outlook.

MacBook Pro 15" Core2 Duo 2.16, 2GB; CoreDuo Mini; PPC 1.42 Mini, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • 1. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    David Yeh Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Agree. It's gotten to the point that if I really want to download a large attachment, I'll just go to mail.mac.com and download it off the webmail interface.
  • 2. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,475 points)
    Hi,

    I don't experience this behavior with any of my IMAP accounts (several). What are your selections in Mail Preferences/Accounts/Advanced (I don't need to know the server name, but only the other info, btw)?

    Ernie
  • 3. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    David Yeh Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    I guess I should qualify this that this is mainly a problem when my network is congested (as Verizon DSL often is around here at peak periods). It tends to work smoothly otherwise. During congested times, Mail (or my IMAP server, or some combo of the two) seems to have a hard time staying focused and keeping the download coming, whereas other clients (e.g., Mac.com Webmail), the download is slow but steady. It's hard to tell for sure, really, since there is no progress meter of how much has been downloaded (that's a complaint for a different thread), but as the OP noted, it seems to take a lot longer than it "ought to", and eventually I just give up.

    Anyways, under Accounts, the usual server name entry, under Behaviors, only Move deleted messages to the trash is selected, under Advanced, "Don't keep copies of any messages", Use SSL, and use IDLE command are all checked. I don't think any other settings are relevant.
  • 4. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,475 points)
    David,

    I am sure you know that when Don't Keep is selected, the message and its attachment does not download until you click on the specific message in the list of messages -- perhaps you use this setting precisely because of the sluggish behavior?

    With this limited info, I am going to guess that there is some issue with auto negotiating the DNS address. If you send a message, is this rather slow even if a small message? If this is the case, prepare two messages for sending, and click to send the first one. Then as soon as you hear the swoosh indicating the message has left, click to send the other one. If the first one seemed slow, but the second transmits almost immediately, then there may be some work to do regarding DNS, although this is less likely to impact receiving, normally.

    Ernie
  • 5. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    Todd I Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I can tell you for sure it's not a DNS issue in my case. All normal send/recv of small messages happens fine. I can also use the Activity viewer window to see all the parallel mail connections and watch while the connection opens and appears to be transferring for long periods of time. "netstat -an" in a terminal window also allows me to see the connection entries and verify it has resolved the hostname and made the connection.

    My account settings are configured to 'keep copies of all messages and their attachments'
  • 6. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,475 points)
    Agreed -- yours is not DNS! When DNS, there is a long time connecting, rather than transmitting.

    Perhaps you should run a speed test at various times on your connection. A good one is:

    http://speedtest.net/

    But this may not show much if all other functions seem fine.

    Ernie
  • 7. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    Todd I Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the response. I should clarify the details from my original post.. When running into this problem, I went to the webmail interface for my mail account and downloaded it via HTTP. I then FTP'd that file back up to WWW server to make it accessible to the person I wanted to give it to, then e-mailed that person with the link.

    So, I downloaded the file and re-uploaded it, all via the same network link my mail host is connected through. All the while, the Apple Mail activity still showed the same status of transferring, and only finished the transfer 30+ minutes later (as compared to the ~1 minute transfers via FTP and HTTP).
  • 8. Re: Attachment Download often doesn't work well in Apple Mail
    David Yeh Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    Yes, I have Don't Keep selected on purpose. I didn't go into the full ugly details, but suffice it to say I have other (more antiquated) ways of checking my mail, and only pull up Mail when I need to download an attachment or view funky HTTP formatted mail, etc., that my antiquated system can't handle. I don't think it's a DNS issue, but I'll certainly check on that.