5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 20, 2013 4:46 AM by Hemantfrommelbourne
skypromise Level 1 (0 points)

I've upgraded 10.6.8 v1.1 and SecUpd2012 004 with no luck.  mail.app is in applications w/ pencil/ruler icon and will not open. Any suggestions?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • kevinkendall Level 1 (115 points)

    Nope. No suggestions, just clear step by step directions here in how to get your Mail fixed, skypromise.


    I just copy-pasted some boilerplate fixit text about 10 min ago into a reply to a woman's post who's dealing with the same issue, & I'm pretty sure it's all still at the top of my clipboard, so here ya be...... 


    Good luck to you, skypromise.

    I hope this helps you get your Mail back.

    Kevin Kendall




    Essentially, you've got to start over; i.e. get things back pre-Security Update installing, & then do it all over again. Only correctly this time.

    Essentially, the problem is caused by not having Apple Mail (i.e., Mail.app v4.5) in the root of the Applications folder when that Security Update is run.

    Yep. Believe it or not. That's what got your & probably tens of thousands of other people's Mail hosed.


    For starters, the very first thing you've got to do is get your Mail v**4.5** back if it's "disappeared," & then back into the Applications folder & delete all other instances of Mail.app (duplicates, old versions from previous OSX's, etc.) and, for the sake of eliminating confusion after everything's fixed, all copies of Mail.app aliases wherever they are on your HDD. Trash 'em all except one, the v4.5 Mail.app, if you've got it still.

    THEN you can re-run the SecUpdate file & get your Mail up to snuff, to v4.6.


    2 parts to this fixit: A & B.

    A is the Mail.app v4.5 recovery part,

    and B is the fix all the rest part.

    The last extra part, Part C, will repair most all Mail plugins, if you have any, that don't work for you after the Security Update updates your Mail from version 4.5 to version 4.6.


    NOTE: Do this first "Part A" ONLY if you've done a harddrive-wide search for Mail.app version 4.5 but you can't find it (it's GOT to be version 4.5 !! ).  The version number of Mail that is inside the Applications folder is critical. If you find a version 4.6, DUMP IT.  All Mail aliases, DUMP THEM. All you want is Mail version 4.5, and it's got to be moved to the root of the Applications folder, where Apple puts just about all of their applications.


    PART A: How to reinstall Apple Mail if you can't find a Mail.app version 4.5 anywhere on your harddrive:

    1. Do a HDD-wide search for all instances of Mail.app. Delete them all. However, should you happen to find a Mail.app v4.5 somewhere, move that to the Applications folder & wipe out all the rest of the Mail.app's, if any.

    Wipe out all instances of aliases to Mail.app, too.


    2. Get your OS-X Installation disk into your DVD drive.

    Dbl-click "Optional Installs" in the window that comes up, & then dbl-click on the "Optional Installs" package file within that folder.


    3. Click on "Continue" in the first two steps of the installation wizard.

    Click "Continue" and then "Agree" to accept the license agreement.

    In the "Select a destination" window click on your Mac's hard drive & then click on "Continue."


    4. Click on the triangle icon next to "Applications" on the "Custom Install" screen to open up the list of OS-X Applications available.

    Select the check box next to "Mail" and then click on "Continue."

    Click "Install" to reinstall Apple Mail.


    5. Restart your Mac.


    6. Back at the Desktop, first run Disk Utility, select your harddrive, & click on Repair Disk Permissions.

    When finished, run "Software Update..." under the Apple menu & install anything having to do with system file updates  to ensure that your Mail.app is up to date (i.e., skip an iTunes or Safari update if you want to, for example).



    PART B: Update OS-X & Mail v4.5 in particular to version 4.6 using the downloaded "Security Update 2012-004" file:

    I went thru all this Security Update / post-update / DOA Apple Mail stuff in late September, & I found the answer(s) thanks in part to others on here & I eventually got my Mail working just fine again, & fairly quickly, if you count the time it took to download the actual Security Update file as a time-consuming absolutely necessary step independent of however much time *that* frankly unforeseeable & unexpected major necessary step took.


    First, I'm going to assume that you've got Snow Leopard running on your Mac, since that OS is the only one with a recent Security Update (that I know of), & which has some people like yourself screamin' about their Mail not working anymore.


    Essentially, the problem that you & I & others experienced with Mail after running the late September "Security Update 2012 004" for Snow Leopard is that the actual Mail.app, which without the Update installed is version 4.5, was *NOT* inside the root of the Applications folder.  That's it...... believe it or not. All this trouble because of that.  And since the Apple Security Update software authors' code looked for Mail.app v4.5 to be there and ONLY there, then when the code they wrote didn't find it there instead of adding a then/if search & find & update function in the code, it just dropped into the Applications folder a half-baked, nonfunctional v4.6 Mail.app do-do.


    So.... what you've got to do, in these chronological steps, is:


    1. Find your Mail.app version 4.5 and get it into the root of the Applications folder (where Apple puts most of their apps).

    NOTE: If you find an earlier version of Mail after doing the Mail reinstall from the Installation DVD (you probably will, since you're likely to have run Software Updates since that initial install), you can run the 10.6.8 Combo Update v1.1 to update that older Mail to the one you previous had, to v4.5. I haven't clearly defined whether that step is absolutely necessary or not, or if running the "Security Update 2012-004" will update a version older than v4.5 up to v4.6. Best bet at this point though, really, is if your Mail is <v4.5, just go ahead & run the 10.6.8 Combo Update now, which will release you from having to run that Combo Update in the possibly necessary remedial steps after Step 4 below.


    2. Find any and all other Mail.apps you may have on your Mac's harddrive, all versions (again, you may have a bogus, half-baked Mail.app v4.6 in your App folder after running the Update. Dump it.), and delete every single one of those other Mail.apps, should you find any more (i.e., duplicates, versions older; i.e., with a smaller version number, than v4.5, etc).

    All you must have is *one* Mail.app *only* existing on that Mac of yours, version 4.5, and it's got to be located inside the Applications folder.  Dump *all* others throughout your Mac's harddrive. That includes, to avoid possible confusion down the road when Mail gets updated to v4.6, *ALL* aliases, too.


    3. Download the "Security Update 2012-004" file from here:



    4. Install the Security Update & then do the mandatory reboot.


    5. After rebooting & returning to the Desktop, your Mail.app inside the Applications folder should be updated to version 4.6 & it should work just fine.  THEN you can remake your Mail aliases from that Mail.app & stick them wherever you want; just keep the Mail.app itself inside the App folder.



    However, if you're one of the unlucky ones & those 5 steps don't work for you, then you're going to have to basically start all over & add another few steps. Basically, you'll have to "refresh" your 10.6.8's system files first.


    So start that process by doing Steps 1 & 2 all over again, and then reboot.


    Back at the Desktop, download the "Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update Combo v1.1" from here:



    Install that Combo Update, which will rid your Snow Leopard of software glitches, including possibly your existing Mail.app version 4.5 which perhaps during the file-churning may have become un-upgradeable, and otherwise ensure 10.6.8's systemic integrity, and then do the mandatory reboot again.

    After rebooting & returning to the Desktop, continue on with doing Steps 4 & 5 all over again, also.


    After completing the Steps 4 & 5 above, get back to the Desktop, & try out Mail by double-clicking it in the Applications folder.  If it didn't work before, it certainly should work now. And if so, then *now* you can make your Mail v4.6 aliases & spread 'em around.



    EXTRA PART C: How to fix Mail plugins that don't work after the update of Mail to v4.6:

    I've got several Mail plugins that did not work after running the "Security Update 2012-004," which updated Mail.app from v4.5 to v4.6, and I'm sure there are others of you out there who ran into the same consequential problem. The code in that new 4.6 didn't recognize that some of my plugins were just fine anywho & they should get fired up along with everything else.


    Here is the downloadable fix I found, developed by Code2K:Labs:


    From the Code2K:Labs site: http://code2k.net/products/mailpluginfix/


    From MacUpdate: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/37804/mailpluginfix



    Also, if you have plans to upgrade your Snow Leopard to Lion/Mountain Lion soon, Apple's got a new Supplemental Update for 10.6.8 out now that essentially will ready your 10.6.8 for the migration of your personalized stuff that you've got in Snow Leopard into Lion/ML during the overwriting OS upgrading that occurs when you run the Lion/ML installer:


  • seventy one Level 6 (12,675 points)

    You deserve a medal for that, Kevin, or a Nobel prize for literature. 

  • Klaus1 Level 8 (47,600 points)

    Shorter version that Kevin's endless ego trip:


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




    Fellow user Grant Bennet-Alder offers this solution:


    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

  • jpi3418 Level 1 (0 points)


    I tried all this but to no avail, and what's more, my Mail seems to have renamed itself to Mail 17-44-29.  I've no idea how this happened, or where the 17-44-29 but came from, but I'm concerned that this unexpected name change is interfering with the update process.  Can anyone shed any light on this?

  • Hemantfrommelbourne Level 1 (0 points)

    THe best solution to this problem, forever !!!!!!!


    replace MAC Mail with Thunderbird !!!!!


    i was struggling with this problem for past 2 years ... this is the third time it happened to me ...




    Long live Thunderbird !!!!