The best Mail alternatives are in my opinion Thunderbird (free) or Outlook (part of Office for Mac 2011 Home & Business, trial version available). Both are very good mail applications. Both can also be used as replacements for Contacts and Calendar, but I'm not sure how well contacts and appointments can be synchronized with iOS devices.
Apple mail is still the best in my opinion. I would stick with it.
Since upgrading to Mountain Lion I have had some problems too, mainly it becoming very slow. However by doing the following I seem to have eliminated most problems and mail is fast for me again :
1) Close mail
2) Using Terminal run this command:
sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Envelope\ Index vacuum;
3) Move the following file somewhere else or delete it (I moved it in case :-) ):
4) You are done restart mail and all good.
Of course do a backup before doing all this.
Wow! That vacuum command certainly did speed up Mail on my computer! It also solved a months long problem that I had with attachments that would be visible in Mail. Thanks for the tip.
Deleting com.apple.mail (which is a folder, not a file), however, seems not to be necessary and a good idea since it deletes all individual Mail settings. I had it only moved aside and moved the original back and everything is fine.
Just to be clear of the order:
Do I move the ~/com.apple.mail folder before or after running the Terminal command?
Do I move the folder back to the Library before or after reopening Mail?
My gut instinct is to:
1. Close Mail
2. Run Terminal
3. Move the folder
4. Reopen Mail
4. Close Mail
5. Replace the folder
6. Reopen Mail
I moved folder before running vacuum command in terminal.
Also I did not bother to replace folder back so skipped your step 5 and everything is working great.
My understanding is that folder is used by the new sandbox features of mountain lion and is not needed.
Any other questions let me know. Let me know how it goes.
I moved the Folder - ran the Vacuum Command - did not replace the folder
Mail opened but I had lost my personal settings while retaining the account settings.
I replaced the Folder and reopened Mail --> WOW!
Everything back to normal but the speed increase is amazing!
Will see if other problems are solved - especially the intermittent problem of Accounts going off-line for no reason.
But what a difference in performance.
Thanks a million!
ok I found the vacuum command and did that but can not find Libraries/containers anywhere. I am running Mac OS X, version 10.7.5 (It tells me my software is up to date) and Mail version 5.3 (up to date as well)
I am on a MacBook Pro and since putting on Lion my mail has been very slow. I wanted to give this a try.
Can you lay it out exactly where to find this library/containers file?
In Lion, Open your Home folder --> Library Folder --> Containers Folder --> com.apple.mail Folder
In Mountain Lion, your Home Library is hidden.
To view it:
Go to Finder --> GO menu --> Hold the Option key down --> Scroll down to Library --> Click on Library
-->Containers --> com.apple.mail Folder.
Hope this helps!
This tip continues to work - Mail is now OK - but could be better.
Here's hoping Apple updates the Mail program!
WOW, I ran the script, but did not move/delete the file from Containers. Made a fantastic difference. Mail opened in a flash, the spinning beachball is no longer the baine of my life and so far accounts have not gone off line or mysteriously lost password settings from the smpt settings. Let hope it stays like that.
Thanks for the pointer to thins one, was ready to give up on Mail ant try another mail client.
What exactly is this command? Does the OS use it (and if so, when?).
It sounds like (maybe) it's a command to rebuild the indexes which point to your email.
If that's what it does, I'm curious how things might have gotten screwed up to begin with.
I've noticed that Mtn Lion Mail has so flaws that didn't exist in Snow Leopard.
The one that cause me the biggest headache is the "Save As". When you select a few emails, and then SaveAs RTF TEXT, in Mtn Lion they appear in your messages appear in the RTF in random order. I'm wondering if this Indexing has something to do with it.
Just seems funny that there's this magic pill laying around, but Apple doesn't use it.