9 Replies Latest reply: May 22, 2013 10:10 AM by etresoft
Robert Schwenkler Level 1 (10 points)

I'm searching for mail I sent last month and it's gone... not 100% of the messages in the time frame but say 75% of the messages.

I went into time machine and it is there.  What the heck is going on.. I need to be able to have my mail sends searchable.


This is for a imap account but I'm just looking at the computer that I mostly use here...



iMac (27-inch Mid 2010), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 8gig ram
  • etresoft Level 7 (27,410 points)

    Try rebuilding your mailbox.

  • Robert Schwenkler Level 1 (10 points)

    No, rebuild mailbox didn't help... the emails that are missing are from the imap account.  I have other pop accounts that are fine... just this one imap.

    In pref's I have Store sent messages on server and never delete.... BUT

    I check the online web version of this email account and it does not have any of these emails so messages are not being stored on server


    I'm using thunderbird on my laptop because I couldn't get mac mail to work properly while traveling.  these emails are fine and the sent messages are storing on the web server (but I don't see these sent messages in my mac mail imap sent)


    I love mac mail layout and function but I can't afford to lose emails...

  • William Lloyd Level 7 (21,030 points)

    Do you have Mail set to delete messages after a specific period of time?  This is a per-account setting, so you need to check it for all accounts.  Also, Gmail's IMAP implementation is _very_ nonstandard so if you're using Gmail, it may not work.


    As an aside, I'll note that there are MANY issues with archiving sent mails.  While email is "standardized," unsent email is not and there are no good headers on sent mail messages.  I would actually recommend that if you need to rely on tracking sent mail, that you actually set it so you bcc: yourself on every message you send, and then just have Mail delete your sent mail folder on a daily basis.  The bcc; emails you can file away, and they *are* stamped with mail headers, so they're much more reliable for... just about everything.


    Take this as helpful advice from someone who has used a LOT of mail clients and seen all the issues involved with said sent mails ;-)

  • Robert Schwenkler Level 1 (10 points)

    I have the mail pref set to Never Delete.  no it's not gmail... it's a bluehost mail account.   Maybe the bcc is the answer if I want to keep using mac mail- but that's a bit of a workaround.  Thunderbird seems to work just fine on my laptop and I'd hope that mac mail would too.   I'll wait and see if any other suggestions and either do the bcc thing or thunderbird

  • etresoft Level 7 (27,410 points)

    There is nothing about Apple Mail that would make it not work when traveling. It is ALWAYS best to resolve any connection issues before using software. Double check your settings on all machines. It sounds like you had one device or email client set to save sent messages locally or to delete old ones. One is all it takes.

  • Robert Schwenkler Level 1 (10 points)

    I have 3 devices- imac, laptop, iphone.   Originally on pop3 with just imac/iphone.  but 6 months ago started laptop and went to imap- read lot's of posts on how to transition- archived (on my mac) and then deleted the accounts.  Then added back imap, one machine at a time.  macbook just would not take the server settings- the exact ones I used in others.  so I set it up w/thunderbird which worked just fine.

    All devices set to store imap and not to delete (except trash after one month)

  • etresoft Level 7 (27,410 points)

    Robert Schwenkler wrote:


    macbook just would not take the server settings- the exact ones I used in others. 


    And why not? There is nothing about a MacBook that is going to make its e-mail any different than an iMac.


    so I set it up w/thunderbird which worked just fine.


    If it worked fine, then why would you be posting a question here?


    I have no idea what Thunderbird does. I know that even its authors are no longer interested in developing it. I bet they are even less interested in supporting it.

  • Robert Schwenkler Level 1 (10 points)

    Like I said earlier... I love mac mail layout and functionality over thunderbird... the integration is much better. I can't explain why mac mail didn't work and thunderbird did- but I spent over an hour trying to make mac mail work on my laptop and could never get the account connected... but that is in the past, the current issue is the sent mails being lost from mac mail... that is why I am posing the question here.  but enough time wasted... I'll just use bcc to archive my sent emails if there is no other answer

    I'll have to pull all the "lost" emails from time machine and archive those...

  • etresoft Level 7 (27,410 points)

    The answer is to fix the problem. Using bcc is just a hack. I am quite confident that your continued use of a system with known problems is only going to bite you again at some point in the future.