7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 3, 2014 5:22 PM by ClassicRay
MouseBoy Level 1 (0 points)

Ref: TS2537: Mac OS X 10.5: Mail shows no viewer window, can't be quit.  The fix is no fix for the same issue occurs in Lion 10.7.2.  This condition does not occur with all users.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2011), Mac OS X (10.7.2)
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (184,575 points)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.


    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It’s unlikely to solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.


    The purpose of this exercise is to determine whether the problem is caused by third-party system modifications that load automatically at startup or login. Disconnect all wired peripherals except those needed for the test, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. Boot in safe mode and log in to the account with the problem. The instructions provided by Apple are as follows:


    • Be sure your Mac is shut down.
    • Press the power button.
    • Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone, but not before the tone.
    • Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).


    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including wireless networking on some Macs.


    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.


    Test. Same problem(s)?


    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode.)

  • Krag Level 2 (240 points)

    I've had problems with Lion mail... Quitting at random while doing random actions, selecting a message, dragging a file into or out of a message, etc.


    NOW with 10.7.3 a NEW problem, when I selected a mailbox NONE of the messages show... I quit mail, restarted and now they show... WTH?


    Mail should be a STABLE program.

  • John Zwiebel Level 1 (40 points)



    After working with the apple support folks, I believe we have solved my problem.


    To repeat the symptoms:

      -- updated from Snow Leopard to Lion

      -- used a Time Capsule to install all my data on the new Mac

      -- Opened Mail which had to reindex all my mail

      -- During the reindex, there were a couple of places that things ground to a halt for an extended period

      -- Mail quit after the index was complete

      -- No matter what I did, I could not get a message viewer window to open up


    We first tried removing the 3 Envelop-index files

      -- quit mail

      -- Finder:Go (hold down option key: LIbrary:Mail:v2:MailData

      -- Move "Envelope-Index*" to the desktop, 3 files

      -- start mail

      --> this will reindex all your mailboxes, basically the same thing that happened the first time mail was opened

         This did not work for me


    We removed the Mail folder and then imported each mailbox one at a time

      -- quit mail

    -- Finder:Go (hold down option key: LIbrary

      -- Move "Mail" folder to the desktop

      -- start mail

         Mail will ask you to enter one of your email accounts

    -- A message viewer will open

    -- send some test mails to yourself

      -- Finder:Go (hold down option key):LIbrary:V2:Maildata

      -- copy the Accounts.plist that is in the "Mail:V2:Maildata:Accounts.plist" to the above directory

      -- Open Mail Preferences, all of your accounts should be present

         FWIW: I found two versions of one account, one active and the other not.  I deleted the active one

         since it wasn't suppose to be active.

       -- Send emails to each of your active accounts to ensure its working


    Now you have to import each email account.  You can do it all at once, but if something goes wrong

    you may have to start all over again.


    In Mail

      -- File:Import Mailboxes

      -- find the Mail folder you placed on your desktop

      -- select Mail:V2:[IMAP-*|POP*]

      -- the emails will all be found in an "Import" mailbox in Mail

      -- Move the mails to the appropriate inbox (or whatever box)

      -- Delete the Import mailbox

      -- repeat the above for each account


    Optionally, you can rename the Import mailbox to something else if you don't want to have to worry about

    having an active account.


    I'm pretty sure I lost some emails, but they were very old and I think they were the emails that were causing Mail to not work for me after the initial install.


    If I decide it is important, I can mount my old sparse bundle and try to import those emails from there.



    FWIW: in other posts, some folks found they could get things to work by just opening Mail over and over again.

    I did not find that to work.

  • ArchitectBob Level 1 (0 points)

    I just upgraded to Lion today and experienced the same problem in Mail. No viewer window and no ability to quit Mail. My fix for this won't work for all because of the way I upgraded.


    Before I upgraded, I wanted to install a larger hard drive in my Macbook Pro. I did this and used time machine to restore my data. This left me with the old drive with all of its data in place.


    After trying several of the work arounds suggested here and having none of them work, I replaced  the ~Library/Mail folder on the Lion system with the ~Library/Mail folder from the original Snow Leopard drive.


    It was a long (40 gig) transfer but after I did it and launched Mail in Lion, it rebuilt it correctly and my mail is now back up.


    Hope this can help some people.

  • HisNameIsDave Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same problem with Mail on Mountain Lion. No matter what, I could't get the main mail window to open and show my mailboxes, even though the dock icon showed the number of new mails and task bar was showing for Mail. I could only open new message screen. I tired to rebuild the mailbox database again and few other tricks I found from googling... no help. Not showing mail even in Mission Control. Until...


    I noticed I started having similar problems with other applications as well (e.g. Microsoft office). Finally I figured out the problem... for me it related to using a secondary display now and then, disconnecting and reconnecting the cable once in a awhile. For some time, I hadn't used the other display, and about the same time the mail stopped opening the main window. I got my mail main window back by plugging back the external display and deselecting the "mirror displays" check box form display properties! There it was all the time, the mail window, somewhere outside the reach of screen. I guess even when I had restarted the computer, ML remebered my window positions and left mail outside the only display I was using at that time.


    Obviously Mountain Lion has some things to learn when it comes to the use of multiple displays on a temporal basis.

  • DaveNate Level 1 (0 points)


    I had the same problem, when trying to use mail accounts which were backed up by simply copying ~/Library/Mail


    Mail started, but no viewer window. No sending mails etc. I could access the preferences and see the backed up accounts though.




    What did it for me was deleting ~/Library/Mail/V2/Mailboxes


    I hope this helps somebody out there.

  • ClassicRay Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same issue on Mavericks, right up to 10.9.2. I too had been using a secondary display sometimes, and what solved it for me was reconnecting a secondary display, removing the "Mirror Displays" option in System Preferences, moving the Mail window back to my primary display, quitting Mail and then restarting it.


    As a previous poster had found, Mail had been remembering my previous secondary display and trying to open Viewer windows on it even when it was disconnected. Hope this helps.