Previous 1 2 3 Next 33 Replies Latest reply: Oct 6, 2005 6:07 AM by John Chidiac
Chance Reschke Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
Since upgrading to Tiger (10.4.x) I've had trouble with disappearing
messages in my Mail inbox. After first connecting to my mail account
several recently received messages appear in the Mail inbox, but many
older messages fail to be listed. If I select another folder, then
return to the inbox, it appears to be empty. Accessing my account
with a different IMAP client (Mail from 10.3, Pine, Squirrelmail)
shows the "disappeared" inbox messages to be intact - so this is an
OSX/Tiger problem.

I have seen several other references to this and similar problems on
this and other lists. I am running the most recent Mail update
(Version 2.0.2 732/733) with the most recent version of Tiger
(10.4.2). My problem is not die to an out-of-date Mail app, and it
can't be solved by trashing the preferences file
and Mail preferences folder and reconfiguring from scratch. Just
waiting doesn't help either.

The Mail app in 10.3 works fine. Other IMAP mail clients work fine.
Tiger mail is seriously broken. Is anyone from Apple listening?

More Detail:

I have a single mail account that uses authenticated IMAP and SMTP. I
have 222 saved mail folders and about three thousand messages in my
send-mail folder. If I replace my ~/mail folder on the mail server
with an empty folder, then the Tiger Mail app appears to function
normally. I've only looked at this for a few minutes, so it seems
promising. However, this isn't a solution to the problem. I need my
mail client to work properly with all of my mail - saved and new.


  • Jeff Watkins Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I just wanted to echo the above comments. I upgraded to Tiger a couple of days ago and have the same problem. After viewing messages in the Inbox, I can go to a different mailbox and when I return to the Inbox, the messages are gone.
  • Greg Johnson5 Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    The exact same problem has occurred for me, not only for the inbox, but in many (but not all) of the folders I have set up. The messages are still there if I look in user>Library>Mail>Mailboxes>folder, as I can open them up in their own window. However when I try to access them from within the Mail application, most are empty.

    I have been on Tiger for some time now, but did the latest update 10.4.2 about a week ago. All was fine until today, then suddenly the empty folders appear! Trashing the had no effect for me either.
  • Geraint Morgan Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I've had this problem for a few weeks. The first time it happened I simply thought that it was my fault. Its' happened twice since and I'm becoming increasingly annoyed. Apple need to sort this out. I'm going back to Entourage until I learn more. I hate to do it but I need my mail in my inbox, not at the end of a cumbersome library journey.
  • Hugo Villegas Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)

    I just login into discussions to ask for help with this same problem and I found that I'm not alone with this.

    Is it anyone from Apple reading this? if so, HELP!
  • Jason Yeh Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)
    I just wanted to say that i have the same problem here.

    I vaguely remembering this happening to me maybe once a few weeks ago (a few days after I first installed Tiger) but I thought I messed something up with importing mbox files.

    I restarted the computer and all was fine -- until yesterday when my entire inbox disappeared again. It's been gone and I've tried a few reboots and permission repairs and such. No luck.
  • Hugo Villegas Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    One additional comment:

    I started notice that I have a problem with mail because I was searching for an specific sender and spotlight results were 0 although the sender has many mails on some of my mail boxes.

    Maybe the problem we have is related with spotlight indexed engine?

    No idea
  • EmmEff Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I have the same problem as well. I started having all sorts of IMAP problems with Tiger. I am using Thunderbird for the time being.
  • Chance Reschke Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    For what it's worth, I just spent a few more minutes on this and discovered that the problem does indeed seem to be related to the number of saved mail folders.

    I logged into my mail server and moved my mail directory (~/mail) to a backup location, then created a new ~/mail directory (my IMAP prefix location) and copied a subset of my 222 saved mail folders into it.

    After deleting the file and ~/Library/Mail folder on my mac, then restarting mail and going through the whole config song and dance again I discovered that the magic number in my case is something < 150. That is, if I have around 120 saved mail folders I have no more problems with disappearing mail. With 150 or more saved mail folders the disappearing mail problem resurfaces.

    Still not a good solution, but maybe some help the folks at Apple who are hard at work trying to solve this problem, right?


  • David Wu Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I also had this symptom. I had a look at my imap directory on the mail server, and discovered that a subdirectory "INBOX" was in my imap directory. Removing this directory (and synchronizing/rebuilding) solved the problem. If you are going to try this, I suggest not deleting right "INBOX" right away, but renaming or moving it. If everything works fine, then you can delete it.

    I'm not sure how this directory was created. Interestingly, this directory did have a mailbox in it with a sent message. So perhaps it was something I did inadvertently earlier.

    Good luck!
  • Chance Reschke Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    You are a genius! After reading your post I had a look in my ~/mail dir on my mail server and discovered a small collection of garbage that had accumulated there over the years: variations on INBOX, some non-mail files, etc. I moved all of these out, repeated the trash Apple Mail conifg, reconfig drudgery, restarted Apple Mail and Presto! all's well with the world.

    After restarting Mail a few times, reading mail from various folders, etc. Things are still looking good. Mail is still updating its local cache (I have a lot of saved mail), but I can stop fiddling with this now and get back to work.


    - C
  • Chance Reschke Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Ack! I spoke too soon. The broken behavior has returned. No other IMAP mailer I've tried has these problems. I was very happy with 10.3 - the mail issues alone make me regret "upgrading". Back to Pine for me.

    - C
  • David Wu Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    That's too bad. Do you know if you still ended up with an "INBOX" directory on the server after it stopped working?

    By the way, are you using a particular imap folder? I was using ~/imap, and
    eventually for compatability reasons with our webmail service, switched it to ~/Mail. My Apple Mail apple seems to still be doing okay, but I'll be keeping an eye one it....

  • Chance Reschke Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Yes, all my mail is intact on the mail server. This has always been the case. The delete Apple Mail config / Reconifg dance typically results in a one-time display of INBOX contents on my Mac, followed quickly by the frustration described earlier. Other IMAP mailers - I use Pine and Squirrelmail (a webmail system that runs on my mail server and interfaces with my mail account via IMAP) - work fine. OSX 10.3 Mail works fine. These problems are specific to the Mail app in Tiger.

    My imap folder is ~/mail.

    - C
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