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Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1



I am using OSX Mail and a address, via O2 broadband in the UK. About once a day, Mail, apparenty randomly, reloads dozens of recently read and deleted messages. So, just now for example, I appear to have 68 new messages, and it's all stuff I've dealt with already, some of it is in the InBox and some is filed in other Mailboxes - doesn't seem to make any difference. So now I'm getting duplicates and probably throwing out items I meant to keep.


This is just happening on my desktop iMac and is not replicated on my iPhone or Macbook Air. It feels as if the sync between the iMac and iCloud is somehow corrupting, if that's possible.


This has been going on for a few weeks and so isn't getting better on its own (as I have read in other postings). It also doesn't seem to be linked to any other event. The iMac is on all the time, either in use or asleep, and maybe gets restarted once a week.


I am wary of deleting things from the Library in case I either lose ALL my mail or it decides to replicate every message in the archive.


Anyone else had this problem and found a way to fix it?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.7.4), 16Gb RAM, SSD + HD
Reply by Shootist007 on Jul 2, 2012 4:56 AM Helpful
Is there an option to Delete emails from the server once they are Deleted in the mail program. Sorry I don't use Apple Mac mail because I find it lacking. But on all other email programs that I have ever used that option is there and works as it should.

All replies

  • Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1

    And yes, I have run the Mailbox/Rebuild command, which I initially thought helped. But it went ahead and did the same old duplicates trick again the next day.


    It's all quite annoying!!!

  • Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1



    Still going on. No-one with any ideas or ever experienced anything similar?

  • Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1

    And have also tried deleting the items in user Library/Mail Data such as 'Envelope Index' and 'MessageUidsAlreadyDownloaded'.


    All my messages are 'on the server' in iCloud as I access mail from two different computers and an iPhone, but it's very distracting to have hundreds of old messages reloading.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6

    Is there an option to Delete emails from the server once they are Deleted in the mail program. Sorry I don't use Apple Mac mail because I find it lacking. But on all other email programs that I have ever used that option is there and works as it should.

  • Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, good thought. I've reduced it to 'One Day' not least because I'm worried I may already be deleting items I want to keep. However it doesn't solve the problem of duplicates of current retained and filed mail appearing.

  • Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6

    A lot of this can be overcome with using IMAP servers, if they are available for your email accounts. Not all mail servers/providers allow IMAP.

  • Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1

    Sure, but this is all in an iCloud account which is all IMAP.


    Incidentally, everything's fine if I look at my mail in iCloud. It's only on the computers that it starts doing this duplication trick.

  • Glenn Leblanc Level 6 Level 6

    Your computers might have corrupt iCloud prefs. Open iCloud in System Preferences and sign out completely. This will remove the account from mail and files from the computer. Sign back in and re enable Mail.

    See if that helps clear things up.

  • Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks, I'll try that and report back if it has cured things. Rgds.

  • Iain Boyd Level 1 Level 1

    Gaaacch. Still happening. It's fine on my Macbook air and iPhone, and as I said before, on iCloud. It's just on my main desktop iMac that Mail seems to lose track of what has been downloaded/read/filed/deleted etc.


    Something is obviously getting corrupted, or not staying updated, or sticking in cache - but what?

  • Glenn Leblanc Level 6 Level 6

    You mentioned that you deleted the Envelope Index files and Message UID files (UID files are for POP accounts). An important step to that is to quit Mail first, delete the files, then restart Mail. Is that what you did?


    Retry these steps:

    Sign out of iCloud completely on that computer. Make sure the iCloud account disappears from the Accounts tab in Mail's preferences. If not, delete the account.

    Quit Mail.

    Go to the Home Library folder/Mail folder/ V2 folder and delete the AosIMAP folder for that account. Then go into the MailData folder and delete the Envelope Index Files.


    Open Disk Utility and run permission repair. Once complete, open Mail. Then go to iCloud in system preferences and sign in. Enable Mail in the iCloud prefs and you account should be recreated in Mail.


    See if that helps. 

  • CDiggle Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the exact same problem.  Deleted mail or mail moved to folders for saving will pop back into the inbox frequently.  This MAY have started around the time that the iCloud came into play.  I can't recall.  I've just been dealing with it (and becoming frustrated) for awhile.


    In any case, interesting (and clearly thought out) solution above.  My question is - will doing as you suggest erase existing indexing, causing tons of previously deleted or moved email to download again?  Just wondering before I give that solution a try.  Thanks!

  • Glenn Leblanc Level 6 Level 6

    For IMAP accounts, erasing the Envelope Index files will just reindex all messages stored on the computer and messages from IMAP servers that are stored temproarily on the computer for offline viewing. It doesn't redownload messages since it is IMAP. But as I said, it will rebuild the index file for every message stored on the computer.


    For POP accounts, the UID files tells the computer what you have already downloaded from that POP account. Deleting the UID files will cause the computer to redownload every message left on the server.

    Depending on you options set for handling messages on the server in a POP account will determine what messages you have on the server. If you have it set to never delete messages, then every message will be left on the server even if you delete or move them on the computer. You can check your mail settings under the advanced tab and see what is set for removing messages from the server. You can also click on the gearwheel at the bottom of the sidebar tab in Mail and get info on the account. You can see what messages are stored on the server. Those will redownload when you delete the UID files.


    So, it depends on the type accounts you have. If you need more specifics, post the accounts you have (iCloud, Yahoo, etc) and type (POP or IMAP).


    Note that on occasion for IMAP, deleting or moving a message may occasionally fail because of a communication error with the server or confilicts with other device settings and cause the message to reappear back in the inbox.

  • CDiggle Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks Glenn.  It is an IMAP account that I access through my desktop, iPhone and iPad.  These things never reappear on my mobile devices, but constantly on my desktop Mac.  Today, for instance, I've deleted a dozen messages about four times now and when I click out of my inbox and then go back, they reappear.  I'll give your suggestions a try and see what happens.  Thanks for the response.

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