Even after OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks update, users still complaining about Mail issues

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.36.31 AM

It’s safe to say that Mail in OS X Mavericks has been the new operating system’s least impressive point. Since launch, users have been complaining about issues relating to Gmail accounts, stability, and overall synchronization. Apple first attempted to patch up these bugs with a fix in early November of last year…

But as the bugs kept on showing up in Mail, Apple started recommending that customers use some temporary fixes listed on Apple’s support website. Luckily, OS X 10.9.2, which was released yesterday, was supposed to finally just make Mail on Mavericks work correctly for everyone. In my personal testing since release, synchronization with Gmail accounts is much improved and now completely usable. Testing from other users agrees...

But it seems that as 10.9.2 fixed the syncing bugs, some stability issues have re-appeared. Several posts on Apple’s Support Forums indicate issues with the Mail app crashing at launch. One user explains the new problem:

When I start Mail, there is forever the spinning beach ball. Only exit is to force quit. When I deactivate the Gmail-Account, everything is fine. When I reactivate it: spinning beach ball.

And several users corroborate:

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.42.50 AM

It appears that users with this problem are mostly Gmail users:

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 10.44.30 AM

One user on another thread seems to indicate a fix:

The problem in my case was a corrupt IMAP account. I disable my mail accounts one by one by unchecking “Mail” in the System Preferences settings and try to start Mail. Don’t forget to enable the account again before disabling the next one. That point us to the corrupt mail account. What I do next is to delete the corrupt account and create a new one. In my case without data loss because of IMAP.

Some users on Twitter are also reporting the new issues:



On the bright side, it appears that feedback on Mail in 10.9.2 is more positive than negative, so Apple definitely did make some important fixes in this update. On the other hand, there are clearly issues remaining for Apple to patch up in the near future.

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  1. I moved my Gmails off Mail and into Mailplane 3 yesterday. Now, my iCloud email isn’t even syncing correctly. I am using my iPad for iCloud. It is getting pretty obnoxious having to use multiple programs on multiple devices to get my stupid email.

    • zebuscat (@zebuscat) - 9 years ago

      Try the following to solve your Apple Mail Gmail issues :
      Enter your Gmail Account using a Web Browser.
      Check your Mailbox Labels for ‘/’ entries (e.g. [Imap]/Drafts .
      Edit any ‘/’ Label you find. Remove the ‘/’ from the Label -> [Imap] Drafts.
      Save your modfied label name(s).
      Now reenable your Apple Mail Gmail account – launch Apple Mail.

      This fixed my Apple Mail beachball issue.

      • Wow… I just tried your suggestion and sure enough, I had a “/” in my [Imap] Drafts folder name. I removed the “/” and booted up mac mail. So far, its has not crept above 10% usage. Prior to this it was exceeding 100%, sometimes as high as 200%!! Fingers crossed that it keeps working.

      • Sidney Efromovich - 9 years ago

        Wow!! After months of looking for solutions, it was THIS that did it?! Amazing! I had to go through my three accounts, and sure enough, I had several folders with “/” because of the way nesting used to work. Taking those off completely smoothed my Apple mail, and my Mail CPU usage went from 115% + to almost nothing. Also, my fans are no longer blaring. Can barely believe it. Thank you zebuscat!

        P.S. Just so you understand how much I’ve hunted, I’ve spent hrs with customer care and even had a 30min session with an Apple developer where they were trying to understand why this was all happening.

      • Michael Dale - 8 years ago

        wow .. months maybe years of suffering though horrible crashes and spiked CPU load and you just need to remove a / from the labels :( .. man.

  2. Rich Babeck - 9 years ago

    Apple Mail will NEVER be my default Mail app on my computer until they resolve the auto capitalization issue. it drives me crazy !!!!

  3. Mr. Grey (@mister_grey) - 9 years ago

    Most of the “problems” are really just Gmail problems so I don’t give a crap about that stuff and I don’t think people using Google’s non-standard implementation have anyone to blame but themselves.

    I’ve noticed a bug that was introduced with the update for us “regular” folks though … When you answer a notification of new mail by clicking on it, it now takes you to mail with that particular email open in a separate window. This is new behaviour, it doesn’t seem alterable, and it started happening on all my computers immediately after the 10.9.2 update.

    I find it amazing that Apple didn’t (seemingly) take the basic step of testing what happens when you click on a mail notification with the new code. The alternative might be that whomever tested this actually likes opening each email they get in a separate window, but that’s geezer behaviour. No one reads their mail like that now do they?

    • Kristián Szabó - 9 years ago

      “Non-standard”? You mean basic IMAP from the largest email service in the world is my fault because I don’t use their browser app instead of the standard IMAP and SMTP that THEY use to run their online app? If you’re not the biggest fan boy denier I’ve ever heard, I don’t know who is… Apple is clearly in the wrong since no one else seems to have a problem. Not even my iPhone has any issue with gmail accounts. So try to use your biased brain and think for once.

  4. With 10.9.2, whenever I click on a Mail notification, it opens the Mail app, but it also opens the e-mail I just received in a dedicated window. Really annoying.
    Also, simply clicking the Power Button on my MBP would send my Mac into sleep mode. 10.9.2 seems to have disabled that feature.

    • Andrew Messenger - 9 years ago

      they’ve made it so that you have to hold the power button a second before it puts your computer into sleep mode. which is much less annoying.

  5. ComboApp (@ComboApp) - 9 years ago

    Kudos to Google, it seems like guys are doing their best to keep people within the Gmail web interface –> watching some ads and not leaving to IMAP email clients.

    For me the 10.9.2 update has indeed resolved my issues with Mail, specifically freeze ups while Mail app quitting, huge resources consumption while syncing after the first app launch.

  6. Yohay Bloom - 9 years ago

    “Service Battery” issue after Mavericks update – unresolved too… https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5478677?start=0&tstart=0

  7. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    Oddly enough, I still feel that Mail is a disgrace on the Mac (and is superior on iOS)…but I don’t seem to have any of the issues that plague gmail users with my 1 gmail/IMAP account.

    My issues are with extremely sub par fetching for Exchange. The issue where I had to quit and reopen Mail periodically to fetch new mail SEEMS TO have been fixed in 10.9.2….but that still doesn’t change the fact that its 2014 and I can’t get Push email from Exchange on my Mac (even though my iCloud account does, and my iOS devices get Exchange push without a problem).

    I don’t care why. All I know is it is a poor user experience.

    • Mark Eissler - 9 years ago

      Totally agree. I was on Windows 7 for a couple of years and got hooked on Outlook during that time, connected to Office 365. Still use O365 but use the web interface for mail as I don’t want to use the watered down Outlook for OSX. What I want is the full Outlook experience on my Mac without having to deal with pst files (Outlook downloads all of your mail for offline access)–cuz with an SSD this is the last thing you want taking up vast amounts of limited storage.

      For anyone looking for a good alternative to Mail.app, checkout Airmail (aka “airmailapp”). It’s cheap, fast, and works really well. And it’s pretty. Just wish they’d integrate Calendar and Contacts and then support Exchange 100%. :)

      • PMZanetti - 9 years ago

        Funny you should say that as I used Airmail for the last month or so while waiting for 10.9.2. It was nice, and some features I wish Mail had…but I’m back to Mail for now as the conversation view is far superior to Airmail.

      • Robert Brugman - 9 years ago

        Airmail is indeed nice. But it lacks an autosave. Mail creates an concept while you are creating the mail. Airmail doesnt do that and when you are typing an e-mail and your systems freezes (see my other post ;) ), then your mail is lost. The reason for me to move again to Apple Mail.

  8. Robert Brugman - 9 years ago

    Anyone having issues with a complete freeze (deepfreeze) of the system once every 1 or 2 days?
    I do. It sucks. My rMBP looks like a windows device :-(

    • Mark Eissler - 9 years ago

      We’ve been seeing that on two rMBPs (a 2012 15″ and also a late 2013 13″). Wondering if it’s Chrome. They will just totally lock up and need a force restart. Is that what you mean?

      • Robert Brugman - 9 years ago

        Yeah, that is exactly my issue. I have a late 2013 15” rMBP. The system totally locks up and you need to push the power button for some seconds for a hard reboot.

        Glad to hear that i am not the only one.

        Helpdesk told me to install everything again, but i am obviously not alone on this one.
        Reinstall probably wont work then.

    • pecospeet - 9 years ago

      I also am getting that with 10.9.1 on a 2011 MBA 13″.

    • Nope. I have a late 2013 rMBP and it’s had no problems. A month ago Mail wouldn’t close until I force quit it but thats it as far as I can remember.

      (And the fact Quicktime doesn’t close full screen without pressing escape, confused me for a sec)

  9. Sorry but as much as I love Apple, 10.9.2 ruined the Mail.app and I suspect the Calendar.app too. If I can’t use Gmail, it is worthless to me.

  10. Greg Hartnett - 9 years ago

    10.9.2 Didn’t fix any of my mail issues:

    1. Sent messages are ‘flagged’ with red flag (blackberry, exchange, Mail combination)
    2. Does not send calendar responses from exchange (responses sit in ‘Drafts’)
    3. Conversations often don’t appear together (messages appear above, below the conversation header)

    With the amount of time it took to release this update these fixes should’ve been included. VERY ANNOYING! These are known issues listed in many forums. Apple should’ve indicated it fixed Gmail only, not Mail in general.

  11. swampscottsoxfan - 9 years ago

    I refuse to upgrade my home Mac Pro from 10.6.8 because of these continuing Mail.app issues. I absolutely depend on e-mail (home and work – my GMail account is just a throwaway account) and the performance degradation from 10.6.8 is absolutely intolerable to me. (I’ve tried other e-mail clients but they all suck.)

    I keep the Activity window open all the time. When I do a “Erase Deleted Items In All Accounts” on my Mac Pro, Mail.app takes about a minute or so (for 4 e-mail accounts). On my work Mac mini running 10.9.2 it takes SEVERAL minutes – with just ONE e-mail account, not 4!!! I just look at the Activity window on 10.9.2 and wonder, what in the Hell is this program doing all this time?!? It’s just insanely slow and the scary thing is that it was even WORSE in Lion and Mountain Lion … this is as ‘good’ as it’s gotten since 10.6.8! It’s like Apple has never heard of performance profiling tools or something …

  12. Mike Kulpa - 9 years ago

    I never had any mail issues but I did find Mavericks to be slower that Mountain Lion overall. I never saw any app bounce in the dock in ML, but in Mavericks they all did. After doing this update everything seems more responsive. Nothing is bouncing in the dock anymore, and overall it just seems faster more like ML was.

    • Mike Kulpa - 9 years ago

      I just ran repair permissions and it repaired a lot of stuff. I’d run it if you are having any issues after the update.

  13. Gee Are Pabst - 9 years ago

    If you face Gmail problems, check this work around:

  14. Lukáš Vlček - 9 years ago

    I reinstalled OS X, did the update to 10.9.2 once again and it did the trick, Mail works flawlessly now.

  15. Scott Sneddon - 9 years ago

    The most annoying Mail.ap problem for me, the failure to update my Gmail IMAP inbox (and Apple’s rather lame fix of taking the mailbox off line, and then checking for mail) IS FIXED for me. No freezes, no hangs. Mail.app is usable again. Mid-2011 MBA. Sorry for those with the problems, but they are not universal.

  16. I have been so frustrated with Mail in Mavericks I finally just gave up and bought Airmail on the App store. It works very well. Takes a while to get used to but it’s very good.

  17. I didn’t have just one problem with Mail, I had multiple issues. Ever since upgrading to Mavericks Mail doesn’t fetch mail in any of my accounts (only one is Gmail) consistently. Every day I have emails arrive that were sent days ago. I have emails I send not arriving. The final straw was it decided to start filtering out 80% of my good mail and place it in the spam folder. Apple also removed the Mark as Not Spam feature. It’s frustrating, to say the least. I switched to Airmail and all of those problems went away, which means they are not Gmail or me.com issues, they are Mail issues. This isn’t a commercial for Airmail, there are other good third party email apps as well.

  18. I’ve had no problems with Mail… I don’t use Gmail to its fullest extent though, so maybe thats why.

  19. I’m suspicious of this being a ‘Mail’ issue with these people. I think it could be a conflict with mail and third party software because I have multiple Gmail accounts and I’ve never run into any problem in Mavericks 10.9.1 nor 10.9.2. It’s likely something else going on in the computer that is causing it to have their issues.

    I helped somebody today who couldn’t get Numbers to open a previously created document in the newest version of Numbers. Turns out they never turn off their laptop. Power cycled the mac and TA-DA! everything works! *eye roll*

    Using gmail in Apple’s Mail app is one of the simplest things to configure and use. If these folks can’t get that to work, maybe it’s not the OS, maybe it’s them…

  20. Frédéric Judas - 9 years ago

    In France, a site (http://www.macg.co) has find a solution : The problem would come from character “/”in the name of certain gmail folders. So if you uninstalled the gmail account from the mac, after this you change the name of the folders (just deleting the “/” in the name folders on gmail.com) and reinstall the gmail account in mail lot of users don’t have the problem anymore. Be careful you must be in imap to not loose the mails on your mac (if you are in pop3 you will loose the mails downloaded on the mac). Hope it will help.

  21. Simon William Kitt - 9 years ago

    The important stuff like DXV RESOLUME codec support and support for top end 3rd party video codecs still has not been implemented in QT,system preview.
    on a £1500 machine supposedly designed in part for MEDIA PRO’S mavericks is still close to useless unless you only use final cut.

    You can’t charge up to 5 times the price other pc machines and just decide to ignore the needs of a whole sector of the media industry it’s not good enough also your AU plugin management still SUCKS

    I will never ever want to be forced into having my plugins organized by developer only it’s useless and a terrible way to stop us organising the 100’s of plugins lots of us use

    so you can shove logic x up your bums for now I will stick with vst’s on studio one 2.6. it allows me to organize my work flow the way I want it! .

    Oh and news flash apple these computers you sell us for vastly inflated prices are OUR MACHINES.
    6 months and still I am forced to stick with mountain lion. :(

    Osx just *cough cough* works hahaha

  22. Joe Barnickel - 9 years ago

    I have no issues with my gmail account on the current version of Mail on Mavericks. Never had an issue either.

  23. Tyler Newcomb - 9 years ago

    I am missing a lot of emails from all accounts for yesterday after restart. I can see them on my iPhone but my desktop and laptop emails are all gone for the 26th. weird….

  24. After updating to 10.9.2 my Mail app also went ballistic and got to 100% of CPU and endless beach ball. My solution was force quitting and then deactivate all my mail accounts from the Settings app. Then I relaunched Mail, which restarted problem free. Then, one by one and slowly, I re-enabled all my accounts.

  25. Zip (@ZipDon) - 9 years ago

    I ma sorry some users are still having problems with Mail in OS X Mavericks. But, let’s face it; some users are ALWAYS going to have problems with everything.

    • Lars Hilse - 9 years ago

      While I generally agree with you, this problem is just ridiculous… Talking to people working at Apple and getting some insights makes the problem even funnier. It seems that the entire mail problem, the consequences of which I estimate to have created an economic damage of several million Dollars, boils down to a sandbox issue.

      Google and Apple just can’t agree on a few adjustments. And that’s why businesses, who have lost their entire email and were therefore forced out of business, are justifiably ticked off.

      This is not about some private person losing their two dozen emails with friends; it’s about entire companies going bust because the two mega powers of the internet can’t stop being immature.

      Grow up Apple; Grow up Google!

  26. Bugs when working in Gmail/Chrome on OS X with backspace jumping down and deleting other parts of my email. Also when copy paste in and from Gmail, the marker disappear and I need to repeat several times.

  27. King Rabbi (@thebahle) - 9 years ago

    Mail crashes EVERY time I wake my laptop from sleep now!! That and if I force it to check mail manually I usually end up with a crash. Dare I say it but I feel its time to start looking for another mail client…..

  28. Also issues with Airmail.app.. But only Hotmail IMAP server wont connect…

  29. Christopher Davison - 9 years ago

    For me, one of my accounts in Outlook 2011 has completely stop working after the update. I have tried deleting the account and adding it back, but it still does not work. I even tried setting the same account up in the native Mail app to no avail.

    • prharper - 9 years ago

      I’m having the same problem. Mail and Outlook 2011 were working before the 10.9.2 upgrade. Did the upgrade and neither can connect to my Outlook.com account. The workaround is to deselect SSL (downgrade security) and they now connect. I thought the big reason for this latest upgrade was to fix a vulnerability with SSL? Wish I had never upgrade to Maverick’s. Apple clearly has done a poor job of testing prior to releasing to the public.

  30. Michael Bender - 9 years ago

    As much as all the Apple Fanbois like to point the finger at Gmail, the fact is that Apple is a second-tier player in this space and likely always will be, so it is on Apple to make Mail.app work with Gmail, not the other way around. This is ridiculous that we’re into Mavericks now for over five months and Apple can’t even figure out how to fix Mail.app to work properly with Gmail.

  31. robertlozano - 9 years ago

    removing the gmail IMAP account and adding it again solved mine but yes, definitely there is a big bug

  32. Jonathan Thorpe - 9 years ago

    I’m a big fan of OSX, but seriously, Apple keep screwing up big time with mail.app, really it sucks. Gmail is one of the most popular mail services and it’s just a nightmare to get working. Download Thunderbird, add your Gmail accounts and within a few seconds you’re done. With mail.app it takes ages with no progress feedback, an empty UI, and repeated crashes. Goodbye mail.app.

  33. Hoge Wojciech - 9 years ago

    Now only Mail, but also few other Mac software apps. This includes App Store app which keeps crashing while opening. Once I click it to open, the icon bounces for couple of times, then it stops bouncing and that is it. No further response. I’ve already tried to repair the Mavericks installation few times, it helps for a while, then everything starts to crash again. Any Apple folks solution so far ? This is just real pain in the a….

  34. Andre' Phillipe - 9 years ago

    Try this.

    Go to mail preferences.

    Select the account you want to ‘work’

    Disable the account.

    Reenable the account.

    Exit preferences.

    This worked a few times for me and it appears to work better than just taking accounts offline.

  35. djnorth - 9 years ago

    Then bugs have moved/changed is the best I can say. It is still very flaky on applying mail rules on any account, but especially GoogleMail. In fact, GoogleMail overall is still very flaky.

  36. Gretchen Sarkin - 9 years ago

    My email is shown as archived in the “inbox”. Apple support checked all settings and can’t figure out why this is happening. I watched as it deleted all my emails after installation of latest update.

  37. ob1canobie - 9 years ago

    After upgrading, and with Apple Support, I cleared the NVRAM/PRAM several times. Eliminated programs that have been on here for a long time. Cleared everything out of the startup agents, etc. And I reinstalled the OS. I can run, but the speed of which is significantly slower than the speed that I was running at before the upgrade. I am on an early 2011 MacBook Pro that is as loaded as it could be at the point it was bought and it was suggested by support that this was the reason for the slowness. My three year old laptop cant handle this upgrade. I am at the point that I cant go back because my programs, as I am told by Apple Support, will most likely not work if I do. If there had been any warning about degradation in performance I would never have upgraded. I am very unhappy I was not warned about this before I upgraded. I wish I had a way to warn others of this….

  38. Bob West - 9 years ago

    FWIW, folks… If you’re still having problems getting Mail.app to send or receive, I’ve been having problems that look exactly like the ones described here. Intermittent issues; servers offline; can sometimes send, but not receive, or vice-versa; issues with both SSL and standard connections.

    Then I realized I was also having trouble connecting to a few websites — like ones at the same web / mail host.

    So I thought… DNS?

    I Gargled for info on clearing the DNS cache on my machine, and found it here:


    The terminal command for Mavericks is apparently same as that for Lion:

    sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

    I did this at around 2pm today, and I haven’t had a single send or receive issue — or a “not found” web server — since. That’s 9+ hours, and that’s the longest I’ve gone without problems since my mail host replaced an expiring SSL cert weeks ago. (w00t!)

    It could be that there’s more than one issue with similar symptoms, and this is the fix to one of them.

    Hope this helps…


  39. OS X 10.9.2 is very unstable. I installed it after being on 10.6.8 because my Harmon Kardon Sounsticks II wouldn’t function properly. I hoped 10.9.2 would fix my external speakers issue, but 10.9.2 caused more stability and non-functioning issues AND didn’t resolve my external speakers issue. Feeling bummed.

  40. hello,

    Please press the option button and outlook icon at the same time. rebuild identity option will pop up. select rebuild and hey presto… once the operation is completed, you shall be delivered from the outlookcrash curse.


  41. Debbie Morris Courtright - 9 years ago

    All my emails also showed up in Archive…I erased Archive emails and it erased all emails in my Inbox. I am switching to yahoo mail. Sure do miss Steve Jobs!! Can’t believe Apple can’t fix this. They have had enough time.

  42. SoLa (@SoLa212) - 9 years ago

    Tried this one in Terminal and it worked for my mac (10.9.2)
    sqlite3 ~/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Envelope\ Index vacuum;

  43. John (@JohnPainter14) - 9 years ago

    Apple’s software engineering leaves a lot to be desired. Their user interface design is also not at the level of quality it was 20 years ago. It seems they put more effort on superficial product design to sell more products than on the workings of their software. Companies that do not pay attention to their customers usually do not do well in the long run.