Catalina, I wish I'd never installed it

But see, that’s the problem. As soon as you launch Mail, it will try to sync with the servers, so any problems will be there too. Having the email On My Mac would in fact be safer, because it would divorce it from whatever another client can do to the truth in the cloud.

Oh, so I must have misunderstood entirely. I thought the problem was with local copies of email, not that Catalina actually screws up IMAP accounts.

If that’s the case I definitely need to archive IMAP emails first. Bummer. That’s a lot of work. Tons of folders, tens of thousands of messages with attachments. But thanks for the heads-up, @ace.

Yeah, sorry. Worth reading @mjtsai’s canonical post and the later comments.

I’ve spent more than a few hours over the last couple weeks with a friend in the UK who just bought a '19 MBP with Cat installed. MA from the 10yo ElCap MBP went well and pretty smooth.
Except Mail.
What a f’n mess. I think they are finally thru the worst of it.
Initially, they had a 60G Mail archive. Yea you read that right, 60G.
After plundering about and doing research on Cat (I’m on HS and will stay there for the time being. Been very stable) we managed to trim that back to 20G.
Still too big, but now it’s down to hand to hand combat. They know that’ll take time.
But seems like they are quarantined in the UK for some reason, so there is plenty of time.

Good, coz I was just about to suggest dropping back to HS if it would take it.

The removal of adjustable column width in Mail just defies logic to me.
But that new MBP is stupefyingly fast.
When I scroll their machine from here, it’s faster than my machine hands on.
There is something to be said for clock speed and 6 cores, or whatever it is.

Honestly, I find that hard to parse through. What I gather from it is that there’s problems with the initial migration to Catalina, and then there’s problems with transferring between IMAP accounts whereas the latter seems to go beyond just Catalina. Nobody seems quite clear on what bugs have been fixed and what not. But the biggest omission to me seems to be that nobody is clear on the remedy. Sure, we can all just manually archive hundreds of thousands of emails, but then what do we do when they disappear? Sure, import from those archives. But who says that will then work? And what about those emails that disappear without us noticing? How do you ever escape this cycle? Unless of course you just ditch Mail entirely. What a royal cluster ****.

Yep, it’s a mess. Of course, those are the worst-case scenarios—I think it’s safe to say that most Mail users aren’t losing email or there would have been much more of an uproar. It’s a gamble, with pretty good odds that nothing bad will happen, but a gamble nonetheless.

If I were a Mail user, I’d archive my mail to an external app with the assumption that if Mail corrupted my mail store, I’d be switching to another email client and starting over with a clean mail store.

I’m afraid that sounds quite reasonable. I didn’t really want to leave Mail entirely. Although I appear to be a minority here, I’ve been using it since the OS X PB days and I honestly actually quite liked it.

Simon - can you expand on how you run your own IMAP server at home? I’ve always thought that would be best, allowing me control (with backup) of all my incoming mail from multiple sources by moving incoming mail to one place and accessing it there. Thus always having access to all my email history from all my devices with my own sorting structure (like On My Mac folders). ISPs usually block incoming traffic to mail and web servers for individual customers, and that has stopped me in the past. Also the problem of actually getting the mail onto a local server, without a personal domain and some kind of dynamic DNS pointing at it.

I used EagleFiler to archive my messages, which was painless. The archive is very easy to search and I have found no need to re-import.

If you do re-import from EagleFiler (or other archive software, I think), messages lose their status such as read, unread, etc. However, you can also import from a clone, which preserves message status.

I don’t actually run it at home. It’s a linux server a couple friends and I together own and operate out of the bomb proof basement of a hosting provider. :wink: It used to be an old Sun Sparc station that had a lot of sentimental value to me (one of the first workstations I got to administrate back in college was a Sun), but we migrated to x86 Linux a few years ago. I like it because I’m in total control, I have CLI access to it, I can also use it as a web server and I can run my own on-server spam filtering. I don’t need to deal with ***hole companies like Comcast or sell out my data to Google. Plus, I can create a gazillion email addresses for free which I can for example chose to be unique so I know immediately when some company got hacked or sold out my information.

There was a thread about hosting your own mail server on here a year or so ago. IIRC the consensus was it was a lot of trouble and hard to do, i.e. not worth it. Personally, I don’t necessarily agree with all of that, but there is definitely a valid point to be made there. I will say that I wouldn’t do it if it were just me. Having hard-core Linux geek friends is definitely a required ingredient IMHO. One of these guys actually works for a very large company that does IMAP hosting so he really knows the worst pitfalls and keeps me safe. :wink:

Thank you, @davbro. I think what you and @ace propose sounds quite reasonable. A separate archive app is probably a good idea regardless of sticking to Apple Mail or not. You say you use EagleFiler and Adam mentioned Mail Archiver X. Both seem to be around the same reasonable $40-45. It appears EagleFiler is more of a general data archive, whereas Mail Archiver X appears to be tailored to email archiving. I probably only need/want email, and I don’t think it needs to be automatically archived. With these things I prefer manual control. Anybody else have an opinion on this? Is one clearly better than the other at something specific?

Not @Simon, but I have run an email server from my home since 1999:

I’m somewhere between the “don’t do it!” crowd and the “it’s not so bad, and has a lot of advantages.” My farm got pretty big when I decided to offer email service to friends, family, business associates, and acquaintances. The alternatives in those days (Hotmail and Yahoo and your ISP) were abysmal, and I felt as though I was making the internet a better place for my friends. It got rather out of hand (I think at one point I was pushing 1,000 users, many with multiple accounts) so I was kind of glad when gmail changed the independent email landscape and many of my users could relocate.

I think that a solid, reliable internet connection with a static IP address and at least one domain that you own and control would be a minimum requirement. Trying to run an email server behind a dynamic IP would be fraught with trouble these days. Also, if your IP address (even if static) comes from a pool of residential-use IP addresses, you’ll have trouble with mail delivery to a lot of places that use brain-damaged spam control <cough>Trend Micro<cough>. If you don’t know much about email behind-the-scenes, you’d need to learn about SPK, DMARC, and other spam-control measures. You need SSL certificates (free from Let’s Encrypt, but another thing to learn). You absolutely will need some sort of spam management; that might not be obvious at first, but the longer your mail addresses are exposed on the 'net, the more you’ll need it. I now run a large number of services on my network (electronic health records and medical practice management, telephony, web hosting, fax management, calendar and scheduling, synchronized notes, Minecraft servers, dynamic DNS support, DNS…) and spam control takes up more computing cycles than everything else combined. Spammers are the scourge of the internet and contribute significantly to global warming (but not from me; we’re 99.9% carbon free at this point). I use Postfix for my MTA, Dovecot for IMAP, and SpamAssassin for spam control, all free and open source and running under various flavors of Debian Linux. You’d need to know the rudiments of those platforms to be successful.

If that doesn’t sound like too much, then you’re probably well-versed enough to give it a try.

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This is exactly what I did. SuperDuper clone of 6-year-old MBP running High Sierra to new 16” MBP and Catalina. Apple Mail (3k+ saved messages, 7 IMAP accounts, 1 POP) converted seamlessly. I was worried FileMaker Pro 16 would not perform, but it meets my simple needs; if I were required to accomplish more complex tasks I would probably upgrade.

Even though I had trepidations—due to Catalina’s reputation—before pulling the trigger, I haven’t noticed any issues with Catalina. In fact I am quite pleased with its performance.

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Thanks, @sinarades. That sounds hopeful.

I haven’t found any information about this online, but they both have a free trial.

Pretty sad state of affairs when you have a computer that you are afraid to use to check your mail! It’s really disgusting!
My MBP mid-2012 is having audio problems but I would rather tolerate the occasional stuttering rather than take the chances on a new MBP. I’m holding onto it as long as I can! With continuous backups of course.

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Hi Sierra is about as good as the any new stuff they dug out of Steve Jobs trash can. On 2 of my computers I am running Mountain Lion and Tiger. After that, the people in charge pretended to be giving us updates, but they have never been better than the early, “It Just Works”, Apple products. The newer stuff wastes your time fiddling with computer tasks that used to be automatic.

The reason is simple. “Okay boys, and the girl in the back, We keep making billions of dollars in profits, but we want a few dollars more”. So, like all big corporations, they started using less expensive employees so they can show an increase in profits. This is where it doesn’t matter what the product is, we just have to make it cheap so our profits look good on Wall Street.

Maybe we have a chance to change our economic model so we are pleasing the customers. Anyway, find the Apple OS that flows for you and turn off update notifications.

Sorry to disappoint, but Apple pays some of the highest salaries here in Silly Valley. Also, some former co-workers of mine went to Apple, and they’re all top-notch experts in their respective fields.

It’s perfectly fine to complain about Apple’s quality issues, and there are ample valid reasons to do so. Just please don’t try to “explain” these with evidently false claims.


Leaving out useful features in application upgrades is not good craftsmanship.

But that usually has more to do with poor management and leadership rather than with lack of skilled engineers or solid engineering practices. The latter Apple certainly has. The former appears to be an increasingly serious issue for the company.