Announcement: Upgrade to macOS Mojave

With features like Dark Mode, Stacks, and four new built-in apps, macOS Mojave helps you get more out of every click. 
Find out how to upgrade to macOS Mojave >

Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.


Question: mac mail failed rebuild pop account

My husband had over 25 000 emails in his mac mail inbox, in an attempt to clean up his inbox and improve the performance of his macbook pro. I started moving the mails to local folders. I got it down to 15 000 but was finding that the spotlight search in mail was not bringing up all the mails when i was searching names and subjects to bulk move mail. I decided to rebuild the mailbox thinking this would reindex the mail and make it easier for me to find and move the mail to the local folders. Since it was so many emails, I left it over night, its now been 2 days and the mails are still not showing in the inbox. New mail is coming in to the mailbox and the sent folder is in tact, but the inbox is gone. How can I retrieve those that were in the inbox prior to the rebuild?

MacBook Pro (13-inch Early 2011), iOS 11.1, mac mail

Posted on


Page content loaded

Dec 24, 2017 11:43 AM in response to nickydia In response to nickydia

I have the exact same problem, only my mailbox is 10 times larger! I have chatted with support several times and the only suggesting is to wait, and if it doesn't work, try to find a backup on another device. Not good. What I cannot tell is if it is working in the background on rebuilding the mailbox. Is there a way to tell if the rebuild is ongoing using Activity Monitor?

Dec 24, 2017 11:43 AM

Reply Helpful

Dec 24, 2017 1:01 PM in response to nickydia In response to nickydia

I think I found all the old messages, but cannot get them easily into mail. Maybe this will help you.

In Library (you need to press Option and then use the Go dropdown menu to find it), there is a subfolder called Mail.

In Mail I have a subfolder called V5.

In V5 I have a bunch of subfolders with long hexadecimal names like 92007CF4-0898-47FA-99FF-8382E4FEEC39.

In that folder I found INBOX.mbox, the mailbox I had mistakenly tried to rebuild.

Clicking on INBOX.mbox I find another subfolder with a long hexadecimal name 9927E1C1. . .

In that folder I found subfolders called Data and Data_Rebuild.

In Data-Rebuild are subfolders 0 through 9. Drill down in those several levels until you get to a subfolder called Messages. And there you will find some of your mail. There must be thousands of these subfolders and I am not sure how to get them all re-imported.

Dec 24, 2017 1:01 PM

Reply Helpful

Jan 4, 2018 5:00 AM in response to RandolSchoenberg In response to RandolSchoenberg

I am also having problems - my massive inbox is blank. I also can't tell if after choosing 'Rebuild' if this is actually underway as there is no indication.

If all else fails I will attempt to restore using time machine.

Once I get the mail back (as this isn't the first time) I will be switching over to Outlook for may email as I believe its more stable (though I would prefer to stay on Mac mail).

Jan 4, 2018 5:00 AM

Reply Helpful
User profile for user: nickydia

Question: mac mail failed rebuild pop account