8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2012 7:53 PM by kevinkendall
linlin1 Level 1 (0 points)

Mail icon displays the following "you can't use this version of mail with this version of mac os x"


Mail version 4.5


It was ok on friday, my daughter used the mac to update her ipod to ios6, would this cause a problem?


All my updates are up to date.


Any help, thanks.

iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,684 points)

    Some users have reported this problem if the Mail Application has been moved out of the top-level /Applications folder, or duplicated in another location.


    When the Security Update is done, the old version of Mail is disabled.


    The solution has been to:


    1) make certain Mail is in the /Applications folder

    2) There is no other copy anywhere else.

    3) Once steps 1 and 2 have been done, Manually download and re-apply the Security Update (2012-004) by hand.


    Security Update 2012-004 (Snow Leopard)




    If the Mail.app has been LOST, it can be re-installed by applying the 10.6.8 version 1.1 combo update. But this update is quite large and it is usually not necessary:


    Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1

  • linlin1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The problem is Mail is no longer listed in applications, and how would i know if there was a copy somewhere else.



  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,684 points)

    Use Finder search "by Filename", "on This Mac", for Mail.app:


    I show another copy, but mine is on another drive:


    Screen shot 2012-09-20 at 9.05.16 PM.png

  • linlin1 Level 1 (0 points)

    thanks, i found out how to do this but all there is in the file is Mail  application which opens the warning again and mail downloads folder.


    what next



  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,684 points)

    Manually download and re-apply the Security Update (2012-004) by hand.


    Security Update 2012-004 (Snow Leopard)


    Click the link in Blue above. select the correct language. Click The Download button. wait for the download to complete.


    Double-click  to open it. Double-click  SecUpd2012-004.pkg to Install.

  • kevinkendall Level 1 (115 points)
    !! WARNING !!
    about the September 2012
    "Security Update 2012-004"


    If you've got "Mail.app" in a folder OTHER THAN the root "Applications" folder,



    Because *IF* you use OSX's integrated Software Update app from the Apple menu to do the "004" updating, and *IF* your Mail.app is NOT in the Applications folder, then buddy, you've got some sitdown fixit time ahead of ya and/or some internet tie-up time downloading the "004" update file itself.

    Been through it all, already.  In fact, just got done getting my Mail back up & running. And I tried everything short of attempting to unpacking my "Mail.pkg" receipt file using... whatever... even Pacifist couldn't get it out. So that fixit "Plan D" died quick. And I'm not savvy enough to use Terminal commands to do "Plan E," so that SUDO stuff was my brick wall.


    So I compressed my entire "Mail" subdirectory that contain all my emails, for safekeeping during the required surgery, or whatever would work, leaving the original Mail directory where it was. In case something bad happened in all my fixit whatevers, the one thing I *didn't* want to cross paths with was a hosed Library -> Mail folder. Then I'd be pssd. But I can wipe out that ZIP now 'cause all's well now. After 6 hrs of downloading thru a mobile broadband hotspot running at only 14KB/sec speed due to my having gone over my T-Mobile hotspot plan's bandwidth amount (throttled-down after reaching the limit, tho not cut off completely. Kinda nice, but it's a huge speed drop).


    I tried moving the two Mail.app versions around, compressing them & then trashing the original so they wouldn't be recognized, blabla, even booted my Mac in Safe Mode & reinstalled the "MacOSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) Update Combo.dmg" update file, which in the past has fixed many problems. But after restarting, not this one.

    Like a dummy who ignored knowing better, I had my Mail.app in a folder other than the Applications folder, with only an alias to that being in the Applications folder. NOT GOOD ENOUGH. The updater don't see that as nuthin special or useful.

    So if you've got, like I've got, "old" icons for Mail.app (v4.5) in your Finder toolbar & in your Dock that all point to "Mail.app v4.5" in whatever folder you've got that in, other than in the Applications folder (where Apple apparently REQUIRES that it be located, and ONLY there, at least for OSX updating purposes), then after you download & autorun that "004" updater using Software Update, NONE of your pre-existing Mail icons will work. And MOST aggravatingly, **NOR** will your brand-new "Mail.app v4.6" work that came out of the "004" updating installation.  So basically, your Mail.app's... all of 'em.... are hosed. But only if you run the "004" update without your "Mail.app v4.5" being located in your Applications folder and ONLY in your Applications folder. And duplicates of Mail.app, scattered around your HDD??  Always a problem with many Apple apps.... The Apple software engineers apparently like 'em to be in the Applications folder, and in ONLY there, and ONLY the latest version, and ONLY 1 single copy of each on your entire HDD. They just don't seem to stress that enough, it appears. Kind of an oversight for them to not emphasize that, IMO...


    My recommendation for this particular September 2012 "004" update:

    If you run Software Update, and if you see the "Security Update 2012-004" listed as available for download, UNCHECKMARK IT.  DO NOT DOWNLOAD IT USING SOFTWARE UPDATE !  Instead, download the actual update file itself.

    Same thing, only a different way of doing it. Most importantly, you'll be skipping the auto-installation that Software Update performs.

    AND you'll have that update file on your HDD for future fixits, should a nasty "unfixable" problem come up.


    First, #1. Do a filename search for "Mail" (Option-Command-Spacebar). Scroll down to where the "Apps" are located in the list under the "Kind" column heading. First, find your Mail.app that's v4.5. Get that bugger into your Applications folder if it's not already there. Next, Trash all other "Mail.app" apps you see in that same list that you may have elsewhere on your HDD.

    #2. Go here: https://support.apple.com/kb/DL1586

    And download the actual "004" DMG update file: "SecUpd2012-004.dmg"

    And of course, it's a biggie.... 270MB... so watching grass grow may be involved here if you've got a slow connection (go to a MacDonalds & do it, like I shoulda done).

    3. After downloading, I'd recommend closing down all apps, emptying the Trash, and restarting.

    Then, after restarting, run Disk Utility's "Repair Disk Permissions."

    Then, doublecheck that the Mail.app version 4.5 is in your Applications folder.

    THEN fire up & install "SecUpd2012-004.dmg."



    After the reboot, your Mail.app version 4.5 in the Applications folder will have become Mail.app version 4.6 in the Applications folder, and all will be well again.

    And you can dump that zipped-up "Username -> Library -> Mail" folder then, too.


    Happy Mac'in!

    Kevin Kendall

    Macbook 7,1

    (Apple's very last all-white Macbook model)

    2.4GHz - 256GB Crucial SSD - 8GB Crucial RAM

    OS 10.6.8 Build 10K549 + Win 7 Ultimate thru VMWare Fusion v5.0.1

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (56,684 points)
  • kevinkendall Level 1 (115 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder wrote:


    A new article has been issued on this subject:


    Mac OS X v10.6: "You can't use this version of Mail…" alert after installing Security Update 2012-004

    Thanks, Grant.

    I did those things yesterday but WOW..... For those unsuspecting and/or newbies and/or those who got blindsided by this particular Apple snafu, and who don't have those two gargantuan discrete update files already downloaded, & who used Software Update under the Apple menu to do the "004" update in which case those files are not accessible or useable to reinstall them in the conventional sense, but rather  to have to download nearly 1.3GIGABYTES of software, and then install them one after the other with reboots after each, all in all taking probably close to an hour with the download time & one-after-the-other Update reinstallation times (i.e., watching grass grow, a la Windows' neverending fixes) for most Mac users just to fix a problem that could *easily* have been prevented with some kind of a warning message to updaters from Apple's software engineers/update webpage publishers that Mail v4.5 and *ONLY* v4.5 *MUST* be located in *ONLY* the Applications folder prior to running the "004" Update makes me question the reknowned sympatico of Apple's software engineer people for Apple's customers. Not "putting themselves in the customer's place" before "authoring and publishing" in other words - - - And not meaning to cast aspersions just 'cause I can, but that's something that the Microsoft Windows SW engineers have always been notorious for not doing. And WE AIN'T THE LOGIC-LOVING NUMBER CRUNCHERS that think it's cool & fun to decode arcane and/or suddenly mysteriously-generated, sometimes completely indecipherable OS error code messages in error windows. We're the intuitive visual folks who like integrity of design & how everything works together with everything else BY DESIGN, rather than building block, multiple-cubicle-software authors' piecemeal stuff, namely like (by comparison to OS-X), forever DOS-based FrankenWindows......


    Well, I guess thanks to Apple for finally publishing this fix & making it available to their afflicted customers, but.......

    IMO, and I'm sure in others' too, a warning message somewhere in the "004" Security Software Update screens would have inarguably been much, much, *MUCH* BETTER.  I'm very surprised by this oversight on the Apple employees' parts, namely those associated with the 004 Update publishing, particularly considering the extreme time-consuming & extreme bandwidth-consuming steps it takes to fix the resulting problem..... When maybe what..... 20 words or less addressed to 004 updaters would have prevented all that??  Again, hmmmm.......