Apple Mail won't display my main account mail (main profile)

Posted on 2009-05-18
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Guys !
My wife has three profiles (acctounts) and has a inbox setup for each.
All of a sudden the mail client (Mail) will not display the email when the main identy box is selected. The left hand column of the Mail GUI indicates that new mail has been down loaded but the screen is empty period.
I have already: Restarted both Mail and the OS, run file permissions and run Text Tool disk repair and verify and all state they have completed w/o problems remaining but this problem remains
Both the "Main" mailbox and the mail box in question indicate that 18 emails are unread and have been received but none of this mail is displyed in either place
Mac OS 10.4.11, Mail 2.1.3, iMac-Intel core-2 Duo, 1 Gig RAM, 235Gig HD
Thank you in advance  (Mail is setup as POP3)
Question by:bd_good
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LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 24412785
From the Apple Mail Help file:

Rebuilding mailboxes
In some cases, you might need to rebuild a mailbox to update the list of messages in the mailbox--for example, if messages appear to be missing or garbled, or if you cant find all relevant messages by searching. Rebuilding a mailbox can take awhile; its recommended for fast Internet connections only.

To rebuild a selected mailbox:

Choose Mailbox > Rebuild.

For IMAP accounts, locally cached messages and attachments are discarded and the messages and attachments are downloaded again from the server to your computer. Your mailbox appears empty until the download is complete.

About reindexing messages
If there are problems with information in your mailboxes, it may be necessary to reindex your messages. During this process, certain Mail folders on your computer are moved to another location, such as your desktop. When Mail is reopened, it rereads and reindexes all messages in all local mailboxes. The reindexing process can take several minutes depending on how many messages are in your local mailboxes.

When Mail detects a problem with your mailboxes, it may alert you that it needs to repair them by reindexing your messages. At other times, you can reindex messages yourself. To do so, quit Mail and, in the Mail folder in your home Library folder, move the Envelope Index file and any folders that begin with Mac-", Exchange-", or IMAP-" to a different location, such as your desktop. When you reopen Mail, it reindexes all messages.

Author Comment

ID: 24413326
Hi !
The procedure you outline is the kind of thing I was hoping existed..

Having said that- the mail setup at hand is POP 3  but rebuilding the inbox and the mail for the account she has labelled Main Identity ( that's the default-she was lazy) would seem to be what's required.

Can I still accomplish this w/o deleting the mail that has been indicated as received but is still not visible?? Under POP3 the mail is probably no longer avaiable to reload from the server unless I learned the difference wrong between POP and imap

Author Comment

ID: 24413489
To Strung:

I went to the command "rebuid mailboxes" and it is greyed-out for both "Inbox" and the mail account in question.
I looked to see about manually forcing the process by relocating key folders but I am having troulble finding the exact folders and/or data you mentioned.

LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 24414140
You have to go to HardDrive\Users\HerUserName\Library\Mail
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Author Comment

ID: 24414775
Found it and removed "envelope lists" -restarted Mail and it said "must import mail to begin"- did that and all is the same -rebuild MBoxes still greyed out, and symbol for downloading is displayed alongside Inbox and Main Acct-both.
no mail displayed in either. Must I remove other folders as well to force a totla rebuild of mailboxes as was ?

Author Comment

ID: 24430843
I have found users/herusername/mail and the specific POP account. The problem now is that the one email account (which is her main one) will not display in Mail.
The left hand column notes correctly the number of emails received and labels the number as "unread messages" but no display. Have tried to rebuld mailboxes but it is greyed out. I also repaired permissions and checked disk with tech tool.
Finally I suspected that Mail itself might be corrupted and I could not find our install disks of Tiger (there doedn't seem to be a standalone ver of Mail to download) We DID have Leopard purchased three mos ago-so I re-intalled entire OS.
Tiger install went fine and new Mail retains exactly same problem. One addition: I can drill down to the actual messages in the Mail folder, and double click on each individually and they display!!! One at a time. but they will not display in MAIL the Normal GUI. I also have tried to import these messages by that procedure and get the message "there are no valid OSX messages to import here"......any ideas now anybody ??

Author Comment

ID: 24468911
I rebuilt all preferences and settings for  the accounts that were "stuck" and they all function correctly sending and receiving with a new copy of Mail too.

I have found users/herusername/mail and the specific POP account.folder.

The problem remains that the old email for that  account will not display in Mail itself.
 Have tried to rebuld mailboxes or import this mail but it gives the message "there are no valid OSX mail files" I also repaired permissions and checked disk with tech tool.

I presume the folder strutcure for the old emails was 'whacked' somehow ?
The files for all the archived email were NOT lost, but now are visible individually by double clicking on them one at a time . As there are 2 years worth of emails this is unwieldy. Is there any way to rebuld the folders or import the mail and re-file them in a normal folder tree?



Accepted Solution

bd_good earned 0 total points
ID: 24518543
After two hours on the phone w/apple, we had to completely rebuild the mail preferences to restore function to the email account (all settings for the provider and servers).
Alas, we STILL have not recovered the 2 years' worth of email .
(we can view the individual files through a workaround but there are nearly 1 thousand files !!)
"Mail" says there are "NO valid files " yet doubleclicking on an individual file lets you view it  (in Mail, actually!)
EE did not come through here.

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