One mailbox in Macmail has spinning wheel as if loading new emails. It won't stop!

Posted on 2013-12-04
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I can't close the mail application without Forced Quit. Once I reopen, I get any new emails in the mailbox. When I click to retrieve more emails or my automatic email retrieval kicks in I don't get any new emails, just the spinning wheel.
Then once again, I force quit and re-open and I may or may not have new emails in the box, but spinning again until force quit.

It's driving me nuts and just started doing this 4 days ago. I first noticed it right after a friend sent me an email with two humongous photos of her cat attached.

It's my business email. So this sucks!

I'm on a 6 year old Macbook Pro, OS 10.6.8, Mail version 4.6.
I'm pulling email off of my server from my shared hosting account at Other email address in subdomains are not having this problem. In other words, I have two accounts in Macmail from the same domain and only one is giving me a fit.

Spinning gray wheel in my email client
Thanks so much!
Question by:Alicia St Rose
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 39697700
In Mac Mail .. in the Window menu at the top ... open the Activity display.  This will show you in more detail what is going on and what process is taking a long time to respond.

You might want to then check POP/IMAP settings for that account.  It can happen that mail service providers will change settings which can affect how you collect mail.
LVL 39

Accepted Solution

Eoin OSullivan earned 500 total points
ID: 39697705
You don't mention if the account is using IMAP or POP (check settings in Apple Mail).

You might also want to see if you have a Webmail client where you can access the mail server using your web browser.  You might be able to access the Inbox and delete the emails with the large attachments.

If you have POP it can happen that a couple of emails with large attachments are taking a long time to download and sending the request to delete them from the POP account can cause it to hang.  The webmail access is often the easiest way to clear the blockage.  Otherwise put the offending emails in the Trash ... and empty the Trash.

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 39699454
left that out. It's a POP account.
I deleted the email I thought it was, but maybe that wasn't it.
I'm going to try this!

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Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 39699480
I checked under activity and the Process is "Retrieving Mail".
So will deleting the emails still work?

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 39699508
Happy DAYS are here again.

Deleted all my emails, restarted mail and we are back in bizness.
But, I'll wait and see if once an email appears on my server the spinning gear starts up again.

Author Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 39699688
Well, that was short lived. I thought it was fixed. Even had a couple of emails on the server and no spinning gear. Then I got a double email in the inbox and a remembered right before the problem initially, I had 3 emails that were sent to my twice in a row. So of course I got a little anxious when I saw this new double email. So I clicked the retrieve mail button.
Back to spinning gear...

LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 39700411
OK .. so there is something amiss with either the mailbox on Apple Mail or the mail server.

Right click on the Inbox for that email account and take it OFFLINE

There are a few other things to do
1. Select the Inbox for the problem account in Apple Mail and in the Mailbox Menu run the Rebuild command.
2. Check with the mail service provider that you're using the correct servernames, port numbers etc.
3. In the mail account settings ... ADVANCED tab change the settings to remove the email "immediately" after retrieving it from the server.
4. In the Mailbox Behaviours tab .. UNCHECK the mailbox that moves deleted email to the Trash mailbox and also set the dropdown to Permanently erase deleted messages to .."Never"

Now quit Apple Mail and restart it.

If necessary also set the Inbox to back online (if it doesn't automatically reactivate itself).

If you're still experiencing problems.. I'd be encouraging you to consider changing to IMAP protocol for your mailbox as it works a little differently.

Author Closing Comment

by:Alicia St Rose
ID: 39701649
The solution was to delete all email on the server and change the setting in MacMail to "remove emails from server immediately", rather than "1 week".

So far that seems to have fixed it. Had to contact my hosting company to really dial it in, but the suggestion to delete emails on the server was spot on. So you get the points!

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