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Question: Mac Mail preview is black

I'm running High Sierra 10.13 on a MBP 15 Late 2011. In Mail Version 11.0 (3445.1.7) whenever I have multiple emails in a thread (i.e., replies) the preview screen is black. I have to individually open up the emails to view them. This doesn't behave the same way on my (slightly) newer MB Air. This is a major PITA . . . Any help/suggestions?


Bill

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MacBook Pro, macOS High Sierra (10.13)

Posted on Oct 27, 2017 9:13 AM

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Hello again DrBillC,

Did closing out of the Mail app and restarting your Mac temporarily resolve the issue, or was it after rebuilding your mailboxes? If you hadn't tried rebuilding your mailboxes yet, make sure to try that step. Although this issue is only with the Mail app, try calibrating your screen next if you still experience the same thing. Here are the steps on how to calibrate:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays, then click Color.

  2. Click Calibrate.

    Display Calibrator Assistant walks you through calibrating your display, then creates a calibrated color profile.

    When the display profile is ready, it’s automatically assigned as your display’s color profile.

macOS Sierra: Calibrate your display
You mentioned that you're running macOS 10.13. Have you updated to 10.13.1 yet? This update doesn't necessarily include a fix for the specific issue you're experiencing, but it's always good to be running the most current software version available to ensure all of your apps run as smoothly as possible. View steps on how to update here: How to update the software on your Mac. Test out Mail in a new user account and in safe mode using the steps we previously provided if the issue persists, and let us know what the results are.
Cheers!

Posted on Dec 1, 2017 12:35 PM

Oct 29, 2017 3:34 PM in response to DrBillC In response to DrBillC

Hello, DrBillC.

Welcome to Apple Support Communities.

I understand that the preview with the Mail app is showing up as a black screen. I may be able to help with this. If you haven't done so already, close out the Mail app and restart the Mac. If this still happens, do you have more than one email account added? If not, try adding one and see if it still happens. You can also try rebuilding your mailbox: Rebuild mailboxes


I would also start by seeing if the issue happens with a test user account and safe mode. This will help narrow it down:

Use safe mode to isolate issues with your Mac

How to test an issue in another user account on your Mac

Let me know if this helps.

Thank you for using Apple Support Communities.

Cheers!

Oct 29, 2017 3:34 PM

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Question marked as Solved

Dec 1, 2017 12:35 PM in response to DrBillC In response to DrBillC

Hello again DrBillC,

Did closing out of the Mail app and restarting your Mac temporarily resolve the issue, or was it after rebuilding your mailboxes? If you hadn't tried rebuilding your mailboxes yet, make sure to try that step. Although this issue is only with the Mail app, try calibrating your screen next if you still experience the same thing. Here are the steps on how to calibrate:

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Displays, then click Color.

  2. Click Calibrate.

    Display Calibrator Assistant walks you through calibrating your display, then creates a calibrated color profile.

    When the display profile is ready, it’s automatically assigned as your display’s color profile.

macOS Sierra: Calibrate your display
You mentioned that you're running macOS 10.13. Have you updated to 10.13.1 yet? This update doesn't necessarily include a fix for the specific issue you're experiencing, but it's always good to be running the most current software version available to ensure all of your apps run as smoothly as possible. View steps on how to update here: How to update the software on your Mac. Test out Mail in a new user account and in safe mode using the steps we previously provided if the issue persists, and let us know what the results are.
Cheers!

Dec 1, 2017 12:35 PM

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Nov 16, 2017 3:26 PM in response to brenden dv In response to brenden dv

I've tried rebuilding the mailboxes several times, rebooting, etc. and couldn't clear the issue again. I did update to the latest release (10.13.1) and no change. Running the calibration has, at least temporarily, fixed it again. I'll let it run again for a while and see if it is a permanent fix.

Nov 16, 2017 3:26 PM

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Nov 19, 2017 12:52 AM in response to DrBillC In response to DrBillC

Same problem here. I have an early 2011 15" MBP and it shows those black boxes in the mail preview too. I was calibrating the display when I bought the Mac to fit to my color profile for photo edits on my external monitor. With this profile the black boxes appear. But when I switch to the profile provided by Apple for the display they disappear. But this profile is far off with its colors. Returning to that is no option for me. Any suggestions?

Nov 19, 2017 12:52 AM

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Nov 20, 2017 6:43 AM in response to DrBillC In response to DrBillC

Thanks for the reply, DrBillC.


I had a friend with the same problem but wanted to wait for your reply before giving her the solution. She has a MBP with the Intel HD Graphics 3000 and also a Samsung external monitor. I gave her the solution and she disconnected the monitor from the MBP and calibrated the display, and it worked! However, when she connected the external monitor the black area came back in Mail. She calibrated the Samsung display and Mail was corrected. All is good now.


It will be interesting to see if Apple spends the resources necessary to fix this bug in those old models of Macs.


Thanks again for your reply, and for this post.

Nov 20, 2017 6:43 AM

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Nov 26, 2017 9:12 PM in response to DrBillC In response to DrBillC

Yes, as you've seen there is a bug with some display/color profiles in Mac Mail. I'm using a custom calibrated color profile that validates fine and works in other Apple color managed applications (Preview, Photos, etc), but mail preview goes black.


If your MBP has dual video GPUs you can also try going into "System Preferences > Energy Saver" and un-select "Automatic graphics switching" as another potential work around. That works for me with my custom profile on a MBP 17" 2011 for now.


Hopefully they will fix this. It *seems* there is some bug with color profiles that use matrix entries and the integrated GPU. Just a guess from what I've seen.


-James

Nov 26, 2017 9:12 PM

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Nov 26, 2017 10:36 PM in response to DigitalAddict In response to DigitalAddict

Hi James,


that corresponds with my latest findings. It seems that when I have connected my MBP to the external monitor the boxes do not appear. As the dedicated GPU is used in this case there seems to be a problem with the integrated Intel GPU and my color profiles. By the way, did you also have crashes of the Window Server from time to time when the integrated GPU is used with the color profiles? I don't know if this is related to this or another problem.


Best Carsten

Nov 26, 2017 10:36 PM

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Nov 26, 2017 11:44 PM in response to mod_ebm In response to mod_ebm

I haven't noticed any Window Server crashes, but to be honest my MBP has only been on High Sierra for about a week and a half now, and the profile I'm using is literally days old. It's also not my main system, so it doesn't get as much use.


I use DisplayCAL/Argyll with an Eye One Display 2 for display calibration. The sad thing is that I had to create two profiles from it. The first/original is a more accurate profile (which is also more sophisticated) but runs into another Apple bug that completely crushes blacks in Preview, Quick View, etc. The second profile is a more simplistic matrix version which gets around that Apple bug, but has trouble with Mail using Intel GPU. Yet the more sophisticated original works fine in Mail. Can't win, go figure. 😉


Hopefully their display team looks into some of these issues. Profile support used to be strong, but seems to be slipping IMO.


-James

Nov 26, 2017 11:44 PM

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Question: Mac Mail preview is black