Users complain VIP mailboxes still not working properly in OS X El Capitan

Posted:
in macOS edited December 2015
OS X El Capitan users are continuing to deal with a problematic bug that prevents messages from showing in the Apple Mail app's VIP mailboxes, AppleInsider has learned.




The VIP tools are meant to make it easier to find messages from important contacts, such as a spouse or boss. The glitch is causing VIP boxes to display fewer messages than they should however, if any, even on Macs with the latest release, OS X 10.11.1, installed.

The issue appears to trace back to El Capitan's launch, and it does not affect the iOS version of Apple Mail.

How to fix it

There is a temporary workaround, noted in Apple's support forums:
  • Select an individual VIP box
  • Open the View menu
  • Selecting "Sort By" and "All Mailboxes"
  • Click on the main VIP mailbox, and that should should force messages to show
Apple is at work on an OS X 10.11.2 update, now in its fifth beta, which might potentially solve the problem. It's not clear when the code will be officially released, but the company will presumably want it done before the Christmas holiday.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    lewklewk Posts: 14member
    I've had the same sort of thing working for years by just using a smart mailbox. That's an even better "work around".

    LewK
  • Reply 2 of 17
    I mean, does anything really work properly in El Capitan...I have mail issues, Safari issues, Messaging issues..the list goes on and on....in addition to that my Apple Watch keeps randomly resetting since WatchOS2 & iOS 9 is pretty buggy as well....It's so frustrating sometimes but then I think of the alternative: Windows & Android and maybe the grass is still greener on the Apple side of the fence...but for how long and at what cost???
  • Reply 3 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,087member
    All I can say is your experience is not the norm. I have none of the issues you describe.
  • Reply 4 of 17
    RedRed Posts: 1member
    No I think his problems are more the norm now.
    I am having all kinds of issues with El Capitian. And IOS 9.
    I am in the AV business or I would be seriously thinking about switching to another OS.
    Apple better get there QC in order or they will be headed the way of the DODO quicker than you might expect.
    I switched to MAC's because they just worked. Well every OS seems to be buggier and buggier.

    This is definitely a management issue.
    The little people as they call themselves at the Company have expressed this to me many time.
    Sales have become more important than quality.
    I couldn't agree more.

    Maybe little Timmy Cook needs to tell Wally Street to take a hike while he minds the store for a while!

    RED
  • Reply 5 of 17
    Agreed. I am having all kinds of niggling issues:
    - Logos dropped from Excel spreadsheets
    - Mail issues, slow to send, had to rebuild database, no able to delete emails from iPhone (only on my Mac)
    - PDF sizing is crazy (large & then blurry when shrunk) and always opens with the thumbnails on the side to soak up screen space.
    - Duplications in Notes.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    FWIW, I'm having problems with the Mail app since El Capitan... My me.com account won't send or receive.
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Apple is really doing a bad job with software, since Craig Federighi, software's quality sucks, Apple ruined a lot a apps, Photos, GarageBand, MacOS X, iOS are buggy and crippled. Also some hardware issues, like millions of iPhone and iPad yellowish screens.
    In the past I wrote about issues directly to Steve Jobs, he red my messages and answer me many of them. And many real issues were corrected promptly. I wrote Tim Cook 3 times, but sometimes does not understood that the problems were for millions of users. He send me a technical assistant, asking me to take my product to a authorized repair center in warranty.
    Or he was playing deaf?
    It is very sad to see Apple slowly becoming a mediocre quality company with nice designs.
    Also Apple software has lost intuitiveness.
    I encourage every Apple user with legit issues with Apple products to write Tim Cook directly, his email is very obvious [email protected]
    Maybe this way he really does something about it. ; )
  • Reply 8 of 17
    "All I can say is your experience is not the norm. I have none of the issues you describe." followed by four (and now FIVE) respondents seeing issues, like @knakaneezee.
    See @lkrupp, two can play this game. Except the way SCIENCE works, our issues disprove your assertion. The bugs are there, be happy you're not seeing them. Doesn't mean they aren't there. Doesn't mean they're rare. Doesn't mean they may not, at some seemingly spontaneous point in the future, manifest for you too. Cross your fingers, because our experiences should indicate to you that you've been lucky, not "norm". Code is code…"bugs" in code DEFINE "the norm".

    "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman.
  • Reply 9 of 17
    Software quality, whether it be on OS X or iOS (or tvOS for that matter), has become an issue. Complexity has certainly increased however, so have the number of tools to support testing of software before a release. I hope some serious (multi-billion dollar style) thinking is being put into solutions to deploy better and more focused quality software and hardware.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    I upgraded my iMac to its latest OS and BAM!!!! My iMac is now a paper weight. Never will I use an Apple computer again.....I may have to deal with issues using a windows PC but at least upgrading form windows 8.1 to windows 10 has not turned my PC into a useless paper weight.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 374member
    "All I can say is your experience is not the norm. I have none of the issues you describe." followed by four (and now FIVE) respondents seeing issues, like @knakaneezee. See @lkrupp, two can play this game. Except the way SCIENCE works, our issues disprove your assertion. The bugs are there, be happy you're not seeing them. Doesn't mean they aren't there. Doesn't mean they're rare. Doesn't mean they may not, at some seemingly spontaneous point in the future, manifest for you too. Cross your fingers, because our experiences should indicate to you that you've been lucky, not "norm". Code is code…"bugs" in code DEFINE "the norm". "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman.
    You have way too much opinion for such meagre knowledge. 

    Here's how things really work. If you're having problems with software bugs, they are there, somewhere. If someone is not, the bugs in the software are not affecting them. There is no way for users to determine the frequency of manifestation of certain bugs in the code.

    The biggest problem for Windows machines is the software must execute across a virtually uncontrolled environment of PC manufacturers and chipsets, with haphazard upgrade cycles controlled only by individual users. There is no way for MS to test all possible combinations of machine configurations to determine if and what configurations cause the problems to appear.

    Apple has far less problems than MS because the machines are designed by Apple. But, there are multiple supply chains, multiple chipsets from multiple manufacturers over multiple years that make up Apple's hardware. Every piece of hardware is likely to have functional differences that the software, at some level, must handle. These differences are handled by multiple levels of abstraction within the software (and hardware) so that the differences do not (or are less likely to) propagate higher in the software stack. 

    But even Apple machines differ on what software is loaded, how the software is configured. One thing is guaranteed. Almost no one does clean installs. A clean install requires all data be backed up. Then wipe the system, do a full reset on all hardware, erase your disk, run hardware tests to determine if the hardware is experiencing degradation, repartition your drives, then install the OS, then reinstall each application, then bring back your data. 

    Professional and highly competent IT staff do just that spending 6 months to a year or more planning for and testing upgrades before they go live with their customer base. There are reasons for that even in highly controlled IT environments. 

    There is this theorem (or axiom?) called the Fundamental Theorem of Counting. If Event 1 can happen in N1 ways, Event 2 in N2 ways, Event 3 in N3 ways,..., Event n in Nn ways, the total number of combinations of unique events is N1 x N2 x N3 x .... x Nn. This is a hypercube in n-space. 

    So, there are millions of cells in this multidimensional hypercube over which software must work. Only a limited number of these cells can be thoroughly tested. It is a tribute to the industry that such tight tolerances can be controlled that the hypercube can be treated as sparse. 

    When things fail, instead of complaining like a whiny baby, be useful. Isolate the particular circumstances and conditions in which things don't work so that hypotheses (that's a scientific word -- look it up) can be developed and tested. That's how problems and bugs can be fixed. 
  • Reply 12 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,249member
    This seems to be already fixed in the beta I am running; 10.11.2 Beta (15C48a)
  • Reply 13 of 17
    neutrino23neutrino23 Posts: 1,529member
    It works OK for me on a rMBP with El Capitan, but it is not perfect on the new iPad Pro. Somehow it only displays the last few days of VIP email. I took it to the local Apple Store and they could not resolve it. He could not find any internal documents on the topic.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,249member
    I take back my last comment.  It is still having random issues for me.  
  • Reply 15 of 17
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,543member
    My experience mirrors lkrupp ... I previously had some issues under Yosemite and the first release of El Cap, but they have all been cleared up. I'm not trying to say that other aren't finding legit bugs that aren't just user-caused issues (as about 95 percent of "Apple problems" turn out to be, in my experience), I'm sure they are there ... since the company is currently beta-testing 10.11.2, which they wouldn't be doing if all the bugs were fixed, but ... looking at the sales figures for the company, I have to wonder how many **typical** users are seeing any of these problems.
  • Reply 16 of 17
    I know this isn't exactly the same issue, but it's connected and some parts are pretty much the same. I'm experiencing three issues (defects) with El Capitain and mail Version 9.3 (3124):-
    1) My actual VIP mailbox keeps disappearing from the mailbox panel. I've no idea what causes it, it appears to me intermittent. I can make it reappear by going to my inbox, searching for a VIP message, selecting it, and then clicking on the VIP asterisk that appear next to the sender in the mail item window. Don't ask me why that works!
    2) Several mail addresses that I marked as VIP lose their VIP asterisk. Selecting them and then "Add to VIP" makes no difference. These items appear in the VIP mailbox despite not having the asterisk, again, this makes no sense.
    3) The asterisk disappears from some of my previously marked VIP senders and they DO NOT appear in the VIP mailbox. When I select "Add to VIP" the asterisk appears and the mails from that sender reappear in the VIP mailbox where they should have been all along.

    So yes, there are issues that manifest themselves to me and therefore there are defects in the code that show up to some people. I like the features in mail, I've tried other mail readers and it is my favorite, but I need the VIP system to work properly. 

    Being greedy, I've like to be able to have a little more granularity over defining a VIP item. Right now it is based solely on the sender. I referee soccer games and my game notifications come from a commercial product that also sends out other messages. To see my assignments in the VIP inbox I also have to put up with seeing 4 out of 5 messages from that commercial product that aren't related to the assignments. I know that I can use SmartMailboxes or Rules to solve this issue, but I'd like to be able to do it in the VIP inbox for consistency. When it works VIP stands out a lot more than Smart mail.

  • Reply 17 of 17
    BTW, my Mac is too old for the newest OS versions so I'm stuck on El Capitain...
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