Healing Mail.app

My Mail.app had been acting strange… HTML newsletters from Apple sent to either my main email or my .Mac account never displayed as HTML and my IMAP accounts were giving consistent errors on launch and then lately Mail was not able to Quit without a force quite so I finally decided to take some action…

In doing a google search for my IMAP error – “IMAP command “SELECT” failed” I found very few options to fix things other than trying to add INBOX. to the IMAP Path Prefix: in Advanced options. Immediately I lost all my folders! My server folders all went away since they were not sub folders from the Inbox (that’s what the . means) so I had to go back, undo the change to the path prefix and move the folders to become subfolders from the Inbox. Moving back again, I noticed that my IMAP error on Launch was gone, but I was still unable to quit without Force Quit and this caused the mailboxes to have to rebuild each time driving me crazy with duplicate messages getting displayed again and again as I tested abck and forth. There were times when I was unable to get Mail to really even start… well it would start, but not clear past the initial load of mailboxes and message lists. Mail could be sent at this time, but not received. You can imagine the pain…

My only course of action for the moment was to open Thunderbird which worked great. IMAP enabled everything to just be there which is most excellent and I’d be happy in Thunderbird in general except for one glaring omission… You can’t sync it with your Palm on Mac. 1.0RC was released today which I upgraded to as soon as I saw it and my .9 preferences easily migrated and things were OK. I missed Mail though.

It occurred to me that one thing I had not tried yet was the ol’ kill the preferences trick. Before doing that I decided to eliminate any bundles (~Library/Mail/Bundles) not really needed for now (PGP, HTTPlugin) and then went to the local store of mail (~Library/Mail) and checked some things out. I actually had some old stuff lying in there. I recall my move from a previous machine and had POP folders from before my switch to IMAP as well for some of the same accounts. I archived that stuff and trashed the local copies and was ready to kill the preference file.

Amazingly (or perhaps not) this fixed my problem. Mail.app launched without error, mailboxes as they had originally been and I’ve received a few Apple emails today and they all came through just fine. I even received another HTML newsletter I had previously been seeing only the text to link online. I did have to accounts other my .Mac mail, but the messages were there even though it might initially scare some to see such a clean view at first. I can again quit the app without issue and restart it quickly to begin once again doing my thing.

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