Apple addresses OS X Mail problems, offers stopgap workaround

Posted:
in macOS edited July 2014
Apple on Monday published a new support document offering an explanation and possible workaround to the ongoing Mail problems many users have seen since upgrading to OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

Mail
Source: Apple


Titled "OS X: New email messages not received until Mail is quit and reopened," the document outlines an issue that has plagued Mavericks since its launch in October.

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

A number of Apple Support Communities forum threads complain of this, and other, problems seemingly arising from the company's implementation of Mail in its latest desktop operating system. For example, multiple users have noted emails arrive hours after being sent, popping up in large chunks at seemingly random times.

While not going so far as to pinpoint the cause, Apple says the problem can be resolved by reestablishing a connection to the troublesome mail server. In many cases, the server is Gmail.

The workaround as described by Apple:
Resolution

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:

Choose Mailbox > Take All Accounts Offline.
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.

Choose View > Customize Toolbar.
Drag the Take All Accounts Offline button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
Drag the Get Mail button to the Toolbar if it is not there already.
Click Done
To receive new mail messages, click the Take Offline button, then click the Check Mail button.
Basically, Apple is proposing users create a manual process that "restarts" or reinitializes an affected Mailbox in lieu of a built-in automated process.

After receiving complaints regarding the Mail app, Apple in December issued a maintenance update meant to solve the issue. It did not.

Work continues on a subsequent update, OS X 10.9.2, the fourth beta of which went out to developers last week. In that seed, Mail and Messages were two areas of concern for testers.

Although the proposed stopgap is a suboptimal solution for power users, it is verification that Apple is taking the issue seriously and may serve as the only recourse until the company rolls out a permanent fix.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    Its a suboptimal solution for any user, not just power user.
    Besides, when my MBR seems afflicted with this bug, this sequence doesn't seem to help - sometimes quitting mail does (usually) otherwise i have had to reboot.
    Strange that something as well used and common as mail should be experiencing issues as of late.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    This is not really a solution if you have 5 POP/IMAP email accounts.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    Having an issue which started in an October release and it continues past February of the next year is not a "verification that Apple is taking the issue seriously". It's exactly the opposite.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,716member

    Great!  Maybe they'll figure out a workaround to the iPhoto/Mavericks issue next?  :rolleyes:

  • Reply 5 of 58
    Quote:


     ...the document outlines an issue that has plagued Mavericks since its launch in October.


    Apple in December issued a maintenance update meant to solve the issue. It did not.


    Although the proposed stopgap is a suboptimal solution for power users, it is verification that Apple is taking the issue seriously and may serve as the only recourse until the company rolls out a permanent fix.

    I wouldn't exactly say that there is any verification that the issue has been taken very seriously since it's been known since shortly after the release in October and there is still no fix.

     

    Looks like bottleworks beat me to the punch here.

  • Reply 6 of 58
    Having an issue which started in an October release and it continues past February of the next year is not a "verification that Apple is taking the issue seriously". It's exactly the opposite.

    rkrick wrote: »
    I wouldn't exactly say that there is any verification that the issue has been taken very seriously since it's been known since shortly after the release in October and there is still no fix.

    Looks like bottleworks beat me to the punch here.

    I will anxiously await a fix from either or both of you since the solution is apparently quite easy.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    I was about to say I have never had this issue so I'm not sure it's a Mac OS bug at all.

    Then I saw the mention it appears to be mostly if not entirely gmail. Not I'm sure it's not a bug in Mac OS. Google screwed with Mail support in iOS it's not a shock they might have on the computer as well. Try to force folks to go to the web
  • Reply 8 of 58
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    rkrick wrote: »
    I wouldn't exactly say that there is any verification that the issue has been taken very seriously since it's been known since shortly after the release in October and there is still no fix.

    Actually it says nothing in regards to how seriously they are taking the issue. Just that it's not a simple issue to fix. When two systems under the control of two different companies are involved it rarely is
  • Reply 9 of 58
    Considering how annoying it is for me, I can't imagine how bad this issue is for others who have more active accounts.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    My understanding is that Gmail is not truly IMAP. It%u2019s a proprietary system that has been somewhat compatible with IMAP, at Google%u2019s pleasure. Those last three words are the ones to pay attention to.

    But I don%u2019t have a dog in that fight, fortunately. Google-free, here.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,440member

    My takeaway message from the posting of workarounds is that Apple doesn't foresee a fix being provided anytime soon.:grumble:

  • Reply 12 of 58
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,452member

    Well all I can say you get what you paid for, since most people are choosing to use a free email account, you should have no expectations of it working properly. As someone already said, I too do not have issue since I use a real POP email account which I pay for as part of my Internet access account. 

  • Reply 13 of 58
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,452member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

     

    My takeaway message from the posting of workarounds is that Apple doesn't foresee a fix being provided anytime soon.:grumble:


    I would venture to guess you are more right than wrong, and I would go as far as to say the issue may not be totally fixable on the Apple end, it could be these IMAP email accounts changed something on their end which is causing the problem. I think everyone would agree Apple has always address issues even when it was not their issue.

  • Reply 14 of 58
    hillstoneshillstones Posts: 1,490member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post



    I was about to say I have never had this issue so I'm not sure it's a Mac OS bug at all.



    Then I saw the mention it appears to be mostly if not entirely gmail. Not I'm sure it's not a bug in Mac OS. Google screwed with Mail support in iOS it's not a shock they might have on the computer as well. Try to force folks to go to the web

    Apple Mail with gmail works fine in Mountain Lion.  The problems started with Apple Mail in Mavericks, and it is ridiculous that it continues to be a problem after two software updates.  One of the main reasons why I will not run Mavericks.  I work for a small company and we use gmail for all of our work…so unreliable email is a deal breaker and the web version is crap.  Maybe Apple will fix it one of these days with the many soon to be released point updates.

  • Reply 15 of 58
    Sadly, it is not just gmail accounts that are affected. I have a MBP with two IMAP accounts with non-Apple and non-Google providers and it is affected by this bug.
    Another Mac Pro with only Apple iCloud accounts is never affected.
    Apple has known about this for months and still has got a 100% fix.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I would venture to guess you are more right than wrong, and I would go as far as to say the issue may not be totally fixable on the Apple end, it could be these IMAP email accounts changed something on their end which is causing the problem. I think everyone would agree Apple has always address issues even when it was not their issue.


    I rarely use OS X Mail but having used iOS Mail I can tell you that it is certainly NOT compliant with IMAP 4 standards. In my experience, on iOS, if I read an email using a browser based email client, but leave the read message in my inbox, iOS Mail will not get that message so I am unable to reread that email unless I go to a compliant IMAP application. Same thing with the Sent folder. Unless it was sent from the iOS device it will not show up. These problems do not exist in iCloud but are present when getting mail from a default Linux IMAP mail server.  

     

    I just recently upgraded to Mavericks and have not used Mail yet but in earlier versions of OS X Mail I have had an issue that upon launch it would download everything in my inbox as new unread messages even though they were already read using a different client. Again, totally noncompliant with IMAP standards. The whole purpose of IMAP is that the mail should display as folders just like it would on a local machine, even though it is still on the server and it should detect the read/unread/replied/forwarded flags on the message, but Mail didn't.

     

    So no, I don't think everyone would agree with your assessment that Apple is probably not the responsible party here. I think it is more likely they are. Anyway, it doesn't matter very much to me because I don't use it. I use browser based email most of the time which works fine except for iOS which is still a problem because my browser based email is not formatted very well for the iPhone's small screen so I try to use Mail which sucks in a number of ways especially on iPad. I hate having to view an email in order to delete it.

  • Reply 17 of 58

    Apple + Networking = History of mediocrity/failure.

     

    An embarrassment to the rest of the company.

  • Reply 18 of 58
    512ke512ke Posts: 781member

    Really?

     

    Mail is one of the most important things that average users do on their computers.

     

    If Mac OS can't handle Mail elegantly without workarounds, what the heck is going on with the company?

     

    I am a huge Apple fan, an investor, and a booster for the company, but if they can't get Mail right, and quickly...

     

    That's Consumer 101 Stuff.

  • Reply 19 of 58
    bugsnwbugsnw Posts: 711member

    I have .mac, aol, and gmail accounts and this bug drives me nuts. I'm shocked that Apple has taken this long to fix this as it probably affects 10s of millions of users daily.

     

    Mavericks is great, but Apple really needs to work on polish. Even things like their video: A Story 30 Years and One Day in the Making. The two paragraphs under the title are a clumsy read. I miss the sharp writing of SJ.

     

    Hey, does anyone else enjoy the mouse cursor disappearing while browsing in Safari? Sometimes I'm forced to move the mouse around erratically while clicking to get the cursor to show itself.

     

    Polish that apple!

  • Reply 20 of 58
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,106member

    Mavericks mail is a cluster f*ck.  How did this happen, Apple?

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