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Question: Mail shows wrong message body

OS X 10.9.4 / 3.2GHz Quad-Core / 16GB DDR3

Mail 7.3 (1878.6)

IMAP Server at InMotion Hosting


I continue to see messages in my mail folders that have the header information (From / Subject / Date) from one message in the message listings, and the From / Subject / Date of a DIFFERENT message in the message preview.


This is NOT Google. The IMAP server is from InMotion Hosting. On the server, the messages are accurate: the From / Subject / Date information is attached to the message body it represents. It is only in Mail that the information gets scrambled.


I have used the Rebuild for this mailbox, which usually corrects the problem. On occasion, I have to delete the mail account from Mail and add it back in again to force an accurate rebuild.


Why is this happening?


Other search phrases I've used include

Wrong message headers in mail

mac mail wrong messages

wrong imap messages mac mail

Mac Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9.2)

Posted on Aug 20, 2014 9:25 AM

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Question marked as Helpful

Aug 20, 2014 3:16 PM in response to Stephen M. Paulsen In response to Stephen M. Paulsen

Quit Mail. Force quit if necessary.

Back up all data before proceeding.

Triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it:

~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData

Copy the selected text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C. In the Finder, select

Go Go to Folder

from the menu bar. Paste into the box that opens by pressing command-V, then press return.

A folder window will open. Inside it there should be files with names as follows:

Envelope Index

ExternalUpdates.storedata

Move those files to the Desktop, leaving the window open. Other files in the folder may have longer names that begin as above. Move those files, if any, to the Trash.

Relaunch Mail. It should prompt you to re-import your messages. You may get a warning that the index is damaged and that Mail has to quit. ClickOK. Typically, the process takes a few minutes, but it may take hours if you have gigantic mailboxes. In that case, you may be able to speed things up by temporarily adding your home folder to the Privacy list in the Spotlight preference pane. Remove it when Mail has finished importing.

Test. If Mail now works as expected, you can delete the files you moved to the Desktop. Otherwise, post your results.

Aug 20, 2014 3:16 PM

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Question marked as Helpful

Aug 20, 2014 3:16 PM in response to Stephen M. Paulsen In response to Stephen M. Paulsen

Quit Mail. Force quit if necessary.

Back up all data before proceeding.

Triple-click anywhere in the line below on this page to select it:

~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData

Copy the selected text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C. In the Finder, select

Go Go to Folder

from the menu bar. Paste into the box that opens by pressing command-V, then press return.

A folder window will open. Inside it there should be files with names as follows:

Envelope Index

ExternalUpdates.storedata

Move those files to the Desktop, leaving the window open. Other files in the folder may have longer names that begin as above. Move those files, if any, to the Trash.

Relaunch Mail. It should prompt you to re-import your messages. You may get a warning that the index is damaged and that Mail has to quit. ClickOK. Typically, the process takes a few minutes, but it may take hours if you have gigantic mailboxes. In that case, you may be able to speed things up by temporarily adding your home folder to the Privacy list in the Spotlight preference pane. Remove it when Mail has finished importing.

Test. If Mail now works as expected, you can delete the files you moved to the Desktop. Otherwise, post your results.

Aug 20, 2014 3:16 PM

Reply Helpful (11)

Oct 30, 2014 6:48 AM in response to Linc Davis In response to Linc Davis

Thanks for the info, Linc!


I've been having this same problem, and rebuilding the mailbox (as mentioned elsewhere) usually solves it only temporarily -- the same mailbox will have the same problem with different messages (two messages having their sender and subject switched) within a few days. Before I try this, I noticed other files with the same names and a "shm" or "wal" suffix (e.g. "envelope index-shm", "Envelope Index-wal"). Should I move those to be rebuilt as well, or will that cause some problems?


Thanks!


OS X Mavericks (10.9.5)

Mail Version 7.3 (1878.6)

Oct 30, 2014 6:48 AM

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Nov 4, 2015 4:06 PM in response to Linc Davis In response to Linc Davis

Hi Linc,


Just to say a massive thanks for this information. I have just started using apple mail for the first time on 10.11.1 and this same problem has appeared. Needless to say I was less than impressed with the robustness of the mail app but your solution has fixed it for me. thanks once again.


David

Nov 4, 2015 4:06 PM

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Jan 21, 2016 2:28 AM in response to Linc Davis In response to Linc Davis

I've noticed this very same problem for quite some time now, and finally got disturbed enough to start looking for a solution (mainly because, for some reason it hasn't affected the folders I use the most).


I found this thread in less than a minute - and your answer solved it.


Great thanks!

Jan 21, 2016 2:28 AM

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Aug 10, 2016 1:19 PM in response to Linc Davis In response to Linc Davis

I have a similar problem where messages are showing the incorrect header and subheader, but the messages themselves are also modified in a strange way. When viewed on any other device, they read as normal, but they look like spam on this one machine. Now I can't use this machine to check mail because I might mistakenly delete an important message.


I tried your suggestion, Linc Davis, and it seemed to work for a short while, but things are incorrect again.


Here are a couple screen shots showing my situation.


On my iPad, the message loads correctly, and here's how the mailbox looks:

User uploaded file

On my iMac, this is how the inbox looks:

User uploaded file

The actual message appears to be embedded in the spam message at the bottom:

User uploaded file


Anyone have any suggestions?

Aug 10, 2016 1:19 PM

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User profile for user: Stephen M. Paulsen

Question: Mail shows wrong message body