macOS Mail not responding

Hey all,

For the last few years, Apple Mail on my 2014 iMac has continually had issues. These issues have persisted across operating systems from High Sierra to now Big Sur. Every few days, I’ll sit down and find that Mail is not responding. When it’s not doing that, I find that I have to quit Mail daily, so that it downloads all of my email. I have 11 different email accounts (yes, I know … that’s a ton!) ranging from Google, Apple, Yahoo, Outlook, as well as my own domains. I’ve rebuilt all of the mailboxes and indexes, but still get no joy.

Any other suggestions or tips?


Never had or heard of that problem in all my Mac years, but my usual fix attempts for most problems: OnyX, CleanMyMac, TechTool Pro. And if none of that does the trick, re-install the OS. Another way to at least try to weed out what may be causing the problem is booting in Safe Mode. Here’s a piece about that; it applies to Catalina, but may help you along ( Finally, I’ve never had that number of accounts, but that may be a contributing factor. Good luck.

G’day TallTrees

I know that problem well. Happens (not as frequently as seems to be happening to you but certainly every couple of weeks) on my own 2017 iMac now running Big Sur, a friend’s 2019 MacBook Air now running Catalina and a load of iMacs of varying vintages at work running Mojave. Some machines are fully shut down every night, others only put to sleep.

Email client is Apple Mail in all cases, email providers are Apple, my ISP, Google and at work a Microsoft Exchange server.

Consensus at work is that the problem started with High Sierra or Mojave and we have a sneaking suspicion that it’s somehow tied in with the problem of App Store updates not working properly in High Sierra/Mojave – ie some sort of server/client handshake/read/write hiccup; and the code has slipped through to Catalina and Big Sur via OS upgrades (none of the machines with problems have had a clean OS install, only upgrades).

And yes, the only fix we, our IT bods, etc have been able to come up with is to Force Quit Apple Mail, wait few minutes and restart the app.

Cheers, Gobit