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From my point of view I have absolutely identified the culprit here.
I made a single change, over 35 days ago, and from that moment I have not had a single recurrence of the problem. Prior to that I had this problem occur several times a day, sometimes with up to 4 multiples per email and thousands of emails at a time.
During the same time period I have had this problem once on my iPhone - using the Apple iPhone Mail client.
The single thing that I changed in my system was to never launch Mail.app again. I very reluctantly changed over to Postbox and whilst the interface is clumsy at times it has provided great service and never had this multiples problem.
I'm sure that this is a complex problem with multiple factors at play. What I can say, however, is that the Mail.app is the thing that is necessary, though perhaps not sufficient, in order for this problem to occur.
BTW I have no relationship whatsoever with the guys who develop/market Postbox.
The easier solution, perhaps, would have been to never turn on the computer again! I put your solution in the same category
Keep in mind that I have never had this problem even once, and I am using 16 email accounts from various providers in Mail 4.1, in Snow Leopard. But I don't use Time Machine.
Message was edited by: Ernie Stamper
I bought Snow Leopard on the first day it came out, and have been having this problem throughout. I have tried all of the solutions recommended on this board. NONE OF THEM WORK.
The one thing I have found is that the problem absolutely never happens when I am traveling (and I have been out of town about 50% of the time since I upgraded). On the other hand, as soon as I return home, it happens pretty much within the next 48 hours. This leads me to believe that Time Machine is part of the problem -- my guess is that it is the simultaneous activation of Time Machine, Mail.app, and iPhone, checking a POP account, that causes the problem.
APPLE, IF YOU ARE OUT THERE LISTENING, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. After all the potshots you took at Vista, I am having disastrous problems with Snow Leopard. Not only this, but I can't seem to mount my Time Capsule hard disk anymore (though Time Machine, strangely, works fine). Another external hard disk was ruined. Come on people.
Yes, it is outrageous -- but I feel sure it will be fixed, soon. As to why it happens, it seems certain to be because Time Machine causes an old version of the MessageUidsAlreadyDownloaded3 file to replace the one that would remember that the messages were downloaded. So they download again.
Doesn't excuse Apple.
Ernie Stamper wrote:
it seems certain to be because Time Machine causes an old version of the MessageUidsAlreadyDownloaded3 file to replace the one that would remember that the messages were downloaded. So they download again.
I'm not at all sure that even that can be called "certain". I'd have thought that if it were, then excluding the MessageUidsAlreadyDownloaded3 file from the TM backup would fix the problem. But I and several others have found that hasn't fixed it.
And also ... now that this thread has become so long it's darned hard to track everything that's been said on here .. so it's hard to be certain of this now - but I have an idea that I recall at least one person who's never used TM reporting the problem. (Can anyone confirm ... ?)
I do use TM on my main machine, but I've also had this problem on my MacBook and MacBook Pro, neither of which use TM - both with my IMAP (i.e. not POP) MobileMe account and Snow Leopard.
There's the possibility that there's actually different problems at play here, the MessageUIDs file (and maybe TM) affecting POP users and something else for IMAP accounts, but given the fact that the problem can go for weeks before it starts again, it's difficult to assess the success of any solution. If people have deleted the MessageUIDs file and excluded it from TM but still have the problem, then I hate to say it, but is the MessageUIDs file a red herring?
It is difficult to relate the two problems, and what I have been talking about would only apply to POP accounts.
One discussion that might interest you is found at:
which speaks to the complexity of IMAP issues, but which I have not encountered either. It would be best if you then started a new topic with your issue only.
Whilst I understand what you are saying here, I think there's a danger of forgetting that the DownloadMessageUIDs file (and possibly TM) being at fault is only a theory at this stage, and just dismissing anything that might disprove it is as "another issue". After all, aren't there people in this thread who have tried the suggested fixes but are still having duplicate emails?
I'm not saying that you're not correct in what you are saying, ultimately you may well be, I just feel it's important to keep an open mind and not dismiss any factors that put a fly in the ointment, i.e. adjust the theory to fit the facts, not the other way round. OK, some of the other factors may eventually turn out to be red herrings, but (from memory), these need at least to be considered:
Some people also having issue with IMAP (or was I the only one?)
Some people not using Time Machine
Some people experienced problem before Snow Leopard
Some people still having problems despite deleting DownloadMessageUIDs
Some people still having problems despite excluding DownloadMessageUIDs from TM backups
Admittedly I am placing a good deal of reliance upon a single report of contact with Apple -- but it is a very cogent report of conversation with tech services of Apple, and is very logical:
Once I reflected upon this, considered that many people had found temporary relief from forcing the recreation of the MessageUidsAlreadyDownloaded3 file, only to have the problem reappear at some point, it seems a very likely scenario. I cannot say if only excluding the file from backup will always work, but I suspect if done properly that it will. I strongly suspect that not using Time Machine at all will result in relief. I am not at all surprised that Apple is not trumpeting this explanation because it is a very embarrassing situation. It will probably be glossed over even after it is fixed! Since the person reporting has only made the one post, that ID may even be a stand-in for an Apple representative, but that cannot be known.
I have had the same problem with multiple emails but I am trying to ignore it all until Apple comes up with The Fix mainly because I haven't a clue where or how to start deleting things here there and everywhere. Multiple emails have only occurred since upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard and only on my desktop. My MBP was also upgraded and (so far) I have had no duplicates on it. Both machines also link to Time Machine which finished a back-up half an hour ago and there are no additional duplicates (yet?). Sometimes I receive two batches of duplicates once or twice a day and then nothing happens for maybe 5 days. It seems completely random.
I used to use Entourage but gave up on it when I started getting multiple copies of birthday reminders on iCal and on my Blackberry so I switched to Mail and didn't have any trouble until SL was installed at the beginning of October. I have 3 email accounts: MobileMe (IMAP), gmail (POP) and BT (POP). I am only getting duplicates on the BT account. Both POP accounts are set up in exactly the same way - same boxes checked, etc.
A couple of weeks ago I phoned Apple to see if they could help and I was told multiple emails were something they had never heard of! Same answer from our local Apple store.
Looks like Apple just released the Mac OS X 10.6.2 update.
Please see if you can follow this best practice for the update:
• Complete a full Time Machine update.
• Ensure all Apple applications are in their default locations e.g., Safari and Mail are in /Applications etc.
• Quit all applications.
• Run software update from the apple menu to start the Mac OS X 10.6.2 upgrade.
I've never had the problem come back since I deleted the DownloadMessageUIDs (and I never checked my mail from a different computer, even though I've been told that had nothing to do with it), even with many, many TM backups since then, but I was just waiting for a full month to pass before I said so and this update came today (just 2 days before it would have been a month since the problem last occurred for me).