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MarkNYC1 Level 2 (205 points)

After upgrading to Mountain Lion, my Mail no longer works with the auto-complete of email address.

My works fine, it just seems that Mail is no longer able to 'read' from my Contacts.


I use iCloud and everything was great for years.  Mail preferences is set to Auto-Complete email address from my Contacts.


Not sure how the problem started, but I launched Mail on a 2nd computer  - on the same iCloud.

Shortly after I did that, my 1st Mac no longer auto-completes email.  I'm unsure if that is what set off the problem.


Also, I 'did' read Tom Nelson's article which did not work since it's not an 'alias' problem: -Mail-Fails-To-Auto-Complete-Email-Addresses.htm


Also, there doesn't appear to be a preferences file I can even delete in Mountain Lion.

I use Dropbox, but have never it to sync Addresses, Calendar, etc.


Any help greatly appreciated! 



OS X Mountain Lion, Sonnet Tempo SATA E4P, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
  • macjack Level 9 (51,639 points)

    MarkNYC1 wrote:


    After upgrading to Mountain Lion, my Mail no longer works with the auto-complete of email address.

    My works fine, it just seems that Mail is no longer able to 'read' from my Contacts.

    Mail auto-completes from Previous Recipients on your Window menu. So, if that's not intact it may be the reason.

  is there, but the User Library is hidden. Go to your Finder "Go" menu hold the option key to choose "Library". Then go to your Preferences folder. But before you do that what's stored in that plist is all your account settings, so you will have to completely reset up your accounts and I doubt it will accomplish anything.

  • MarkNYC1 Level 2 (205 points)

    My previous recipients are always blank.


    My is completely missing from my hidden Users prefs folder which is very bizarre.

    I have 113 'other' Apple prefs in the folder.  They don't call it something different now do they?

    Spotlighting for it doesn't even find it.




  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,040 points)

    Mail is sandboxed on Mountain Lion.


    All Sandbox applications store all their "stuff" in ~/Library/Containers.


    In Mail, the previous recipients list should be in ~/Library/Containers/

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,897 points)

    Select your card in Address Book or Contacts. Then select Card Make This My Card from the menu bar.

  • MarkNYC1 Level 2 (205 points)

    Tinkering with anything in 'synced prefs' didn't work.

    I did notcie that if I deleted the ~/Library/Containers/

    file that did seem to 'wake up" Mail a bit:  Here's what happened:


    Now if I enter a known address, I just get an endless spinning gear to the right inside my "To:" field.

    But I also noticed my Address Book window has always been blank though.

    That seems to be the big problem.

    Even with this endless gear, Activity Monitor shows that it isn't downloading anything from iCloud though.




  • DrewSchatt Level 1 (10 points)

    I was having the same problem, and I found that by removing the entire folder from ~/Library/Containers, that fixed the issue (and starting Mail back up - I'd quit it before removing that folder).


    I had to reset all my preferences for viewing and so forth, and it lost all open window positions, but no big deals for either of those (all preferences related to accounts and filters/rules and so on remained just fine).


    Hope that this helps someone else.

  • MarkNYC1 Level 2 (205 points)

    Thanks, Drew!!!

  • David Mac Pro Level 1 (5 points)

    Excellent work Drew!!! Thanks!!! This solved my problem.  I contacted Apple Support last Saturday and was awaiting a repsonse after using Capture Data for Apple.  I phoned them today and left a message about your fix. Again thank you for providing a fix to a problem that's been frustrating me for weeks.



  • vince1johnson Level 1 (0 points)

    This has been a huge pain, but this fix worked perfect .. I figured that worse case scenario I would just restore the "" directory via Time Machine if it had'nt worked. Thanks!



  • francisf Level 1 (10 points)

    This solved my problem !


    Thank you.

  • rootami Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same issue. After reading this solution I started poking around in the Container folder and found that there was a symlink for AddressBook that was messed up which was causing the problem. In ~/Library/Containers/ Support I ran:


    $ cd ~/Library/Containers/\ Support

    $ ls -lh

    AddressBook -> ??/???7??ʪ?????VT???;??\G[?:??:??????T?_Ү??



    SyncServices -> ../../../../../Application Support/SyncServices

    iCloud -> ../../../../../Application Support/iCloud


    Seeing the aliases for SyncServices and iCloud, I guessed correctly that I just needed to recreate the AddressBook alias to point to the right place. So I just removed the alias for AddressBook, recreated it, restarted Mail, and it worked perfectly. (Note: I did the following to remove the alias, and recreate it. You should confirm what you are removing is an alias. You should also always make sure you have a backup.)


    $ cd ~/Library/Containers/\ Support

    $ rm AddressBook

    $ ln -s ../../../../../Application\ Support/AddressBook AddressBook


    Obviously, DrewSchatt's  original solution to this works as well, but this way you don't have to delete the whole folder, resetting your preferences and possibly delete something else important (only recreating the alias, not deleting any files or data).

  • JadedEye Level 1 (30 points)

    Thanks Drew!


    Your solution worked for me as well.  Apple support has been AWOL on this.  I am content to reposition my windows and reapply layouts to get this working.


    Initially this container thing was causing Mail to crash on launch and deleting it brought Mail back but there was no autocomplete, so knock silicon, I have functional mail and autocomplete again.





  • Steven Slupsky Level 1 (35 points)

    Right on!!!  Thank you!!!

  • cMuriel Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Drew, I am having the same issues discussed here with mail auto-fill. I tried to find the /library/container/... but its nowhere. Is it hidden? I've tried through search, spotlight, etc. I am not very proficient in Mac yet, so your detailed help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

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