Mail on macOS Catalina introduces some new features that are supposed to enhance your productivity. The primary features are the ability to block senders, mute threads in order to stop notifications from email chains and an updated classic column layout. The Mail search functions also seem to work better. If you recently upgraded to macOS Catalina and your Mail is crashing or showing other problems, this guide is for you.
- 1 Quick tips
- 2 Mail Crashing or stuck on macOS Catalina
- 3 Mail will not Open as there is not enough space in Home Folder
- 4 Email content not showing up correctly after macOS Upgrade
- 5 Unable to send or receive new mail after macOS Catalina Upgrade
- 6 Reader tips
- Re-enter your Apple ID & iCloud password in System Preferences > Tap Apple ID icon and type in your password
- Try re-building your Mailboxes
- How to back up your iTunes library before upgrading to macOS Catalina
- How to create a macOS Catalina USB installer
- Track and sort unanswered emails on your Mac and boost productivity
- 21 Apple Mail tips and tricks you may not have known for iOS and macOS
- Mac Troubleshooting & Help
Mail Crashing or stuck on macOS Catalina
This is a common problem with Apple Mail that some users experience after updating their macOS.
You try and launch the Mail app on your MacBook with macOS Catalina, but it crashes every time. Killing the Mail processes and restarting your MacBook doesn’t seem to help with the issue either.
First, make sure that you run a time machine backup of your MacBook (or whatever backup method you use) before troubleshooting the issue.
If you are stuck with Mail crashing on macOS Catalina, try each of the steps below.
- Open Activity monitor from Utilities or using Launchpad.
- Search for anything with Mail, highlight them and click on the ‘X’ at the top left corner of the screen to force quit the app
- Open up a Finder app session
- You will need access to your User library
- Go to Folder ‘Containers > com.apple.mail > Data > Library > Saved Application State‘
- Move com.apple.mail.savedState to Trash
- Next, in Finder app, press down the Option key and click on Go at the top of the menu
- Type in ~/Library/Containers
- Drag com.apple.mail and com.apple.MailServiceAgent out to your desktop
- Similarly, remove the envelope files from ~/Library/Mail/MailData and drag them to trash
- 1. Envelope Index
- 2. Envelope Index-shm
- 3. Envelope Index-wal
- Empty your Trash and Restart your Mac
If your Mail works without hiccups, you can move the files from your desktop into Trash ( file from step 8 above).
Some users may still experience the Mail app crashing issue even after clearing up the Saved state files as shown in the prior steps.
If you are having the issue here are a couple of additional things to try:
- Run First-Aid on your main partition
- Using Finder remove the entire Mail folder to trash from ~/Library
- When you restart your MacBook and launch Mail, it will automatically build your Mailboxes and folders and populate it with your old Mail.
Mail will not Open as there is not enough space in Home Folder
Some users find that after upgrading to macOS Catalina, they are unable to open Mail. When trying to open, it shows a message “Mail cannot save information about your mailboxes because there isn’t enough space in your home folder”.
If you run into this issue with macOS Catalina and Mail, the best thing to do is to delete the Mail Plist folder and retry.
- Open your Finder App on your Mac
- Click on Go followed by Go To from the top menu
- Type in
- Look for com.apple.mail.plist here and drag it out to your desktop
- Restart your Mac and then try opening up the Mail program again on macOS Catalina
Email content not showing up correctly after macOS Upgrade
Several users have found that they can only look through the email headers but can’t get to the detailed content.
If you are having challenged with Mail formatting your content correctly or not displaying it, you should check the following:
- Rebuild your mailboxes and see if the issue is solved.
- Uninstall any anti-virus or similar third party software from your MacBook and restart your Mail.
Unable to send or receive new mail after macOS Catalina Upgrade
Some users experience this issue following your macOS Catalina upgrade. The Mail app opens up without any issues and you are able to look through your old emails in the folders BUT for some reason, you are unable to get any new emails or send emails out.
If you are having this issue following macOS Catalina, check out some of these tips.
- First and foremost, you want to rule out any connection issues
- Click on ‘Window’ at the top from Mail main menu and choose ‘Connection Doctor’
- If you see any issues with the connections, you can click on ‘Log Connection Activity’ and re-run the process.
- If the connections are all green, go to step 8.
- Next, click on ‘Open Logs’ and check if it is an authentication issue or another issue
- For stubborn issues, delete the email account from your Mail app and re-add it
- Run Connection doctor to check
- Open Keychain Access from Utilities folder or launchpad
- Type in ‘@‘ without the quotes in the search box on your right
- Select the account, right-click and Delete the password from your iCloud keychain
- Now, open up the Mail app
- Click on Mail > Preferences > Accounts
- Delete the email account
- Add the email account back with particulars
- Restart your MacBook and re-launch Mail
Check and see if your send/receive process is working again. Sometimes the corresponding credential entries in iCloud Keychain can get corrupt ( duplicates etc). The steps above remove these entries from your iCloud Keychain and once you re-install the Mail account, the credentials work as desired and you are able to send and receive emails.
You can also check the forums or support pages of your email service provider to see if there are any issues with them supporting Mail app on macOS Catalina. Sometimes the smaller providers have issues with Mail following macOS upgrade.
If your email provider is Google’s Gmail and you are finding yourself with constant authentication issues, you may want to check out this post.
We hope that you were able to resolve some of the common Mail issues on macOS Catalina via this post.
Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or if you want to share a tip that helped you with getting your Mail up and working on macOS Catalina.
- All I needed to do was open up my System Preferences for iCloud and reenter my Apple ID/ iCloud password
- Give Rich’s approach a try! Open Mail and choose Preferences > Accounts. Select the account giving you a problem. Look under the Mailbox Behaviors tab, check if your Trash Mailbox is set to none. If it is, change it to Trash or Deleted Messages or whatever you think appropriate. Close preferences and then restart the Mail app. Once relaunched, try deleting your email messages.
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.