For older MacBook owners, we are all too familiar with the numerous El Capitan problems that you had to put up with since it came out. We hope that you can mitigate all these start-up issues.
It appears that the newer (post-2012) Macbooks running El Capitan seem to be doing well. However, a few users point out that they have some challenges using the Mail App on their Macs after the upgrade to El Capitan.
Specifically, readers report that their Mail app keeps crashing with El Capitan.
Nothing is more annoying than the app crash on you while you are in the process of either drafting an email or trying to open your mail to check your inbox. There could be many issues that may be causing your Mail app to crash regularly.
- 1 Quick Tips
- 2 First Steps to solve mail app keeps crashing with El Capitan
- 3 Mail App Keeps Crashing with El Capitan? Check Damaged Email Havoc
- 4 Mail App’s crash unrelated to damaged email?
- 5 Use Mail Preferences to Your Advantage
Follow These Quick Tips To Fix Your Mac’s Mail App Crashing
- Disable all your mail accounts temporarily and try the Mail App again–if it works, re-activate each account one-by-one to identify what account causes the problem
- Delete any messages that you think are causing problems
- Look in your Mail App’s Outbox and delete any messages there. If a message is important, copy its text and create a new email to send–then delete your entire Outbox
- Move both com.apple.mail and com.apple.MailServiceAgent files to your desktop and restart your computer and then open your Mail App
- Open Mail’s Preferences and disable all accounts and then add each account one-by-one to isolate the problem
- Mail Not Opening or Crashing After Upgrade to macOS High Sierra? Tips to Fix
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In this article, we cover some of the common problems associated with the crashing of the Mail app and provide tips on how to mitigate those issues.
First Steps to solve mail app keeps crashing with El Capitan
Simple is indeed better. Thanks to our reader Kal for this great tip!
So before you do anything, turn off all your email accounts without even opening the Mail app at all, by going to System Preferences > Internet Accounts and disable ALL your email accounts.
WARNING: Deleting an account or turning off individual account features might remove data stored in your apps.
If you sync with iCloud or turned on sync with other providers (like Google), your data is stored on their servers so your data loss should be temporary.
To remove an account and turn off all its features, highlight the account and click the Remove button.
If you delete an account AND your Mac has iCloud Keychain enabled, Apple also removes this account from your other Mac computers set up for iCloud Keychain.
After disabling all accounts, try opening your Mail app
- If Mail app works, the problem is with one (or more) of your synced email accounts
- So then turn on each email account one at a time and open Mail to see if it’s working after adding each account
- As you add accounts, this process should reveal the culprit—for reader Kal; it was an Exchange account he didn’t use or need anymore
If removing internet accounts didn’t work, follow the steps below to troubleshoot this issue further
Mail App Keeps Crashing with El Capitan? Check Damaged Email Havoc
One of the common causes for the problem of mail app keeps crashing with El Capitan is trying to open an email that is damaged due to some reason.
The chances are that Mail may continue to crash as long as you have this email in your folders. It is hard to pinpoint which of the items may be causing this issue.
If you see an email from a sender that you don’t recognize, or your app crashes when you try to open this email, this could be the culprit.
Step – 1 Open Mail
- Click on your Mail app to open it and immediately hold the Shift key until Mail opens.
- This action causes your Mail App to open without any message or mailbox selected.
Step – 2 Hide Message
- Hide the message viewer portion of the window by carefully dragging the thin separator bar between it and your list of messages.
- Keep dragging until Mail shows only the list of messages, not the message viewer. In this view, you can see messages only by double-clicking to open the message.
- With this step, you may need to reset some of your personalized formatting options, such as reviewing your Mail Preferences and resizing your window panes, and width of columns, etc.
Step – 3 Select Message but DON’T OPEN
- Click the affected message once to select it without opening it.
- Then press Delete or choose Message > Move to > Trash.
Step – 4 Close Mail
- Now Close your Mail App
- Try opening it normally.
If the Mail crash issue was not related to a particular corrupted email, then you need to follow the following steps to make the application work.
Please note that you may have to recreate your custom stationery after following the steps below.
Step – 1 Open your Finder App
- Click on Go and Go To on the Top Menu as shown in the image below.
Step – 2 Type in “~/Library/Containers” and press GO
- This action opens the various application container folders.
- Drag the Com.Apple.Mail folder out of here on your desktop.
- Drag the folder onto your desktop.
Step – 3 Repeat Step 1
- Follow Step – 1 from above BUT this time around, search for the following file “com.Apple.MailServiceAgent’.
- Drag that file to your desktop.
Step – 4 Restart your computer and check the Mail App
- This method usually fixes most of the sudden crash issues on your Mac.
- If you are still experiencing Mail app keeps crashing with El Capitan or similar problems, consider re-installing the app into your Mac.
- Or set-up a visit (or chat) with Apple Support, at an Apple Store, via telephone, or online.
Use Mail Preferences to Your Advantage
- Close the Mail app
- Turn off your WiFi to prevent your email from downloading
- Open Mail app and go to Mail > Preference > Accounts
- Click each of your accounts and uncheck “Enable this account” for ALL ACCOUNTS
- Close Preferences and then close the Mail app
- Turn WiFi back ON
- Open Mail App
- Go back to Mail > Preferences > Accounts and enable the first listed account
- This process takes time, so be patient! Wait until the Checking for Mail message disappears
- Now add in your other mail accounts, one at a time following step 8
- David figured his problem with the Mail App was related to a corrupt hard drive. So he recommends to backup your entire Mac or MacBook using Time Machine or another backup method of your choice.
Once backed up, restart your MacBook, delete the hard drive configuration, then format the hard drive again. After formatting, restart your Mac and restore from that recent backup using Time Machine. After doing this series of steps, David found his Mail app now works fine!
- I figured out there was a problem with a message in my Outbox, and Mail kept trying to send the email each time the app opened. What worked for me was turning wifi off, then opening Mail (with the shift key held down) and deleting any messages stuck in the Outbox. Once cleared, connect back to WiFi.
- Go through your container folder and manually delete all the files in the “Mail Downloads” folder. Now, everything now works fine. A download was probably corrupted. However please note that you will probably lose all those email attachments
- Remove Mail from your automatic startup (login) option and open it manually
- Open System Preferences> Users & Groups> Choose your User Name
- Select the Login Items tab
- Select Mail and any other startup programs you want to remove
- Press the minus sign ( – ) to remove
- Remove Mail App versions in Library
- Close Mail
- Go to ~/Library/Mail folder using the Finder Menu Go > Go to Folder command
- Look inside that folder and see if there are different versions–folders marked “V4” or “V3” and so forth
- Keep the newest version folder and move the older ones to the trash–DO NOT empty the trash just yet
- Open Mail
- If it works normally, trash those older versions
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.