Mail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it

Mail in macOS Catalina introduces some new features that are supposed to improve your productivity. The main features are the ability to block senders, mute threads to stop notifications from email chains, and an updated classic column layout.

The mail search functions also seem to work better. If you’ve recently upgraded to macOS Catalina and your mail hangs or shows other problems, this guide is for you.

Quick tips Mail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it

  • Re-enter your Apple ID and iCloud password in System Preferences> Tap the Apple ID icon and write your password
  • Try rebuilding your mailboxes

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Mail hangs or crashes on macOS Catalina

This is a common problem with Apple Mail that some users experience after updating their macOS.

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You try to start the Mail app on your MacBook running macOS Catalina, but it fails every time. Killing the mail processes and restarting your MacBook doesn’t seem to help the problem either.

First, be sure to run a time machine backup of your MacBook (or whatever backup method you use) before troubleshooting.

If you’re having trouble with Mail on macOS Catalina, try each of the steps below.

    1. Opened Activity monitor from Utilities or using Launchpad.Mail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it
    2. Search for anything with Mail, highlight them and click the ‘X’ in the upper left corner of the screen to force close the applicationMail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it
    3. Open a Finder app session
    4. You will need access to your user library
    5. Go to folder ‘Containers> com.apple.mail> Data> Library> Saved application status

      Mail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it

    6. Move com.apple.mail.savedState to the trash

      Mail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it

    7. Then in the Finder app, press the Option key and click Go at the top of the menu
    8. to write ~ / Library / Containers
    9. Drag com.apple.mail Y com.apple.MailServiceAgent to your desk
    10. Similarly, delete the envelope files from ~ / Library / Mail / V7 / MailData and drag them to the trash
      • 1. Envelope index
      • 2. Envelope index-shm
      • 3. About Index-wal
    11. Empty your Trash Y restart your mac
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If your mail works smoothly, you can move the files from your desktop to the Trash (file from step 8 above).

Some users may still experience the Mail app crash issue even after clearing saved status files as shown in the steps above.

If you have the problem, here are a couple of additional things you can try:

    1. Run First-Aid on your main partition
    2. Using Finder, delete the entire mail folder to the ~ / Library Trash
    3. When you restart your MacBook and start Mail, it will automatically create your mailboxes and folders and populate it with your old mail.

Mail does not open because there is not enough space in the home folder

Some users find that after upgrading to macOS Catalina, they cannot open Mail. When trying to open, it displays a message “The mail cannot save information about your mailboxes because there is not enough space in your home folder ”.

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If you’re having this problem with macOS Catalina and Mail, the best thing to do is delete the Mail Plist folder and try again.

    1. Open your Finder app on your mac
    2. Click on Go followed by Go from the top menu
    3. Write ~ / Library / Containers / com.apple.mail / Data / Library / Preferences
    4. Look for com.apple.mail.plist here and drag it to your desktop
    5. Restart your Mac and then try to open the Mail program again in macOS Catalina

Email content does not display correctly after macOS update

Several users have found that they can only view email headers, but cannot access detailed content.

If you have had problems with Mail formatting your content correctly or not displaying it, you should check the following:

    • Rebuild your mailboxes and see if the problem is resolved.
    • Uninstall any antivirus or similar third-party software from your MacBook and restart your mail.
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Can’t send or receive new mail after macOS Catalina update

Some users experience this problem after updating macOS Catalina. The Mail app opens smoothly and you can check your old emails in folders BUT for some reason you cannot receive new emails or send emails.

If you’re having this problem with macOS Catalina, check out some of these tips.

    1. First of all, you want to rule out any connection problems.
    2. Click on ‘Window’ at the top of the main Mail menu and select ‘Connection doctor
    3. If you see any problems with the connections, you can click ‘Log connection activity’ and run the process again.Mail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it
    4. If the connections are all green, go to step 8.
    5. Then click ‘Open records‘and check if it is an authentication problem or other problem
    6. For tough issues, remove the email account from your mail app and add it back
    7. Run Connection doctor to check
    8. Opened Keychain access from the Utilities or Launchpad folderMail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it
    9. To write ‘@‘without the quotes in the search box to its rightMail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it
    10. Select the account, right click and Remove password from your iCloud keychain
    11. Now open the Mail app
    12. Click on Mail> Preferences> Accounts
    13. Remove email account
    14. Re-add email account with details
    15. Restart your MacBook and start Mail again
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Check and see if your sending / receiving process is working again. Sometimes the corresponding credential entries in iCloud Keychain can get corrupted (duplicates, etc.). The steps above remove these entries from your iCloud keychain, and once you reinstall the email account, the credentials work the way you want, and you can send and receive emails.

You can also check your email service provider’s forums or support pages to see if there are any issues with their compatibility with the Mail app on macOS Catalina. Sometimes smaller providers have problems with Mail after the macOS update.

If your email provider is Google’s Gmail and you’re running into constant authentication issues, you might want to check out this post.

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We hope you were able to resolve some of the common mail issues in macOS Catalina through this post.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or want to share a tip that helped you get your mail and work on macOS Catalina.

Tips for the reader Mail not working on macOS Catalina, how to fix it

  • All I had to do was open my System Preferences for iCloud and re-enter my Apple ID / iCloud password
  • Try Rich’s approach! Open Mail and choose Preferences> Accounts. Select the account that is giving you a problem. Look at the Mailbox Behaviors tab, check if your Trash Mailbox is set to none. If so, change it to Trash or Deleted Messages or whatever you think is appropriate. Close the preferences and then restart the Mail application. Once relaunched, try deleting your emails.
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