OS X Mavericks Mail Troubles? Apple Just Published a DIY Fix

But not the catchall you've been waiting for -- these must be some pretty nasty bugs.

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For the record, I’ve been using OS X 10.9 since it was in beta, and haven’t yet — knock on wood — encountered any of these Apple Mail-related issues I’ve been seeing others grouse about for months.

Among the problems: Gmail message downloading shenanigans, subsequently fixed in a November update (I don’t pull Gmail IMAP directly, I have Gmail forward everything to another master account, thus I never experienced this), moving or deleting messages, and most troublesome of all, retrieving new mail automatically — sporadic enough for some that it’s required they quit and restart Mail to resuscitate the application. Apple released a second formal point update, OS X 10.9.1, in December that claimed to address some of these issues, but for many, Mavericks’ mail complications continue.

There’s no catchall fix yet, but Apple just published a DIY workaround for the most onerous of problems: “New email messages not received until Mail is quit and reopened.”

Here’s the fix in full:


For some email providers, new email messages in Mail may only appear to arrive when Mail is first opened. No new email arrives until Mail is quit and reopened.


Quitting and reopening Mail forces it to re-establish a connection to the email server. You can use these steps to receive new mail messages without quitting Mail:

1. Choose Mailbox > Take All Accounts Offline.
2. Choose Mailbox > Get All New Mail.

As a shortcut, you can also add the Take All Accounts Offline and Get Mail buttons to your Mail toolbar.

1. Choose View > Customize Toolbar.
2. Drag the Take All Accounts Offline button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
3. Drag the Get Mail button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
4. Click Done

To receive new mail messages, click the Take Offline button, then click the Check Mail button.

In other words, the only fail-safe stopgap remains zapping Mail’s Internet connection. Apple’s just making that less inelegant by showing you how to build shortcuts to the electric paddles.

On the other hand, it’s roughly as simple and fast to hit control-Q, then click the Mail icon. Or if you want to get flashy about it, there’s probably a way to run the “Take All Accounts Offline -> Get All New Mail” process through Automator, put it on a periodic timer, and effectively roll your own auto-check process.