Troubling Mail behavior in Sonoma

I’ve just upgraded to a new M2 MBP running the latest MacOS and am experiencing several problems with Mail:

  1. My Junk mailbox is always empty. I know my ISP is filtering out the most obvious spam msgs., but there have always been ‘gray area’ msgs. that come into my Inbox, about 20% of which are not spam. Some are important. Even when I manually mark something as Junk, it disappears entirely. I’ve changed the Junk mail settings a few times, restarted, and the problem persists. What to do?

  2. What is the function of the ‘Sent’ mailbox under ‘On My Mac’? Is that like the old Outbox? It always appears to be empty, though the ‘All Sent’ mailboxes under Favorites function properly.

  3. Nearly every time I go back to Mail after doing something else, I have to reset the Inbox column widths (I still use the old table format vs. the phone Mail format on my screen). Is there a way to get them to stay where I set them??


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It would be help know what type of Mail Account is misbehaving (iCloud, POP, IMAP or Gmail etc).

  1. The issue might be a settings misconfiguration – look in Mail > Settings > Accounts and select the Mailbox Behaviors tab. The Default settings are usually good but sometimes need tweaking depending on the service type. If you have multiple email services (listed in Mail Pref’s left-most pane), click the top service and check its Behaviors Tab settings. Click each of the top three Mailbox Dropdown menus and verify (or change) the storage locations for Drafts, Sent and Junk messages. Also: Are the Erase Junk & Erase Deleted settings rational? (Rinse and repeat for each email service listed in the left panel.)

  2. Assuming you use multiple email services which are probably IMAP or IMAP-derivative, Mail’s Sidebar will offer Inbox, Sent, Drafts, Trash and Junk folders which are synchronized to folders on your mail ISP’s server and contain all your ‘live’ email . (If the service offers Webmail, you can log in with your browser and check.) “On My Mac” is a local-only folder; if you drag 'n drop a message from “All Sent” into “On My Mac/Sent,” that message will disappear from your server’s Sent folder and any local folders that synchronize with your online service (An iPhone perhaps?).

  3. Once you set the column width, try closing the main Message Viewer window. Then reopen Message Viewer (CMD-0 or Window > Message Viewer>); it ~should~ might remember your column width settings.


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Thanks for your reply. My 2 most active accounts are both POP accounts. The Mailbox Behaviors tabs only have options for how frequently to delete Junk and Deleted messages, nothing else. My university IMAP account has more options, but I’ve not kept that active as I’m not currently teaching there. I was once advised to switch everything to IMAP and how to configure that so archives continue to be stored on my Mac, but never got around to implementing it. Meanwhile I have the Junk setting to move items into the Junk mailbox, but even when I manually move something into the Junk mailbox it just disappears.

If it’s not because of a Prefs > Mailbox Behavior tab setting, check to see if you are moving the disappearing messages to the Junk folder belonging to your POP account rather than the “On My Mac” Junk folder… in which case your ISP might be deleting them as a favor to you. :grimacing:

Mail only gives me 3 options:

Screenshot 2024-01-25 at 12.52.16 PM.png

It doesn’t specify which Junk mailbox (I really don’t understand what the ‘On my Mac’ Sent, Junk and Trash mailboxes are for). For now I’ve switched from the 2nd to the first option and messages flagged as Junk are highlighted in purple until I delete them. Given that my ISP’s filtering of obvious spam works well, this is OK for now, just a few messages/day.

I updated to Sonoma 14.3 this week and now I can’t even type out a message of more than a couple of lines in Mail without the text becoming scrambled and writing over previous text. It’s starting to look like an app. written by total amateurs! So far it manages to correct itself eventually, but this suggests a serious instability somewhere.

What happens if you turn off inline predictive text in System Settings > Keyboard > (Input Sources) Edit?

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Same thing here…but it predates 14.3. Save, close, and reopen the draft fixes it temporarily but I hope this gets fixed.
And I will check the predictive text…but the scrambled text doesn’t look like that…it just smushes words together and newly typed letters are in random places. Save and reopen the draft and it looks right again but problem recurs in a few lines. Only happens for me on emails of over a length of 8 or 10 lines.

Sounds like. But it’s not my experience after upgrading to Sonoma 14.3 – I have Predictive Text on and have never seen text smushed or scrambled.

That said, I have other issues with Apple Mail, deeply miss SmallCubed’s MailSuite tools, and have high hopes for their new mail app.

Same here as what Neil is describing, though I’ve not seen it prior to the last couple of days since my last update. I turned off predictive text (which I kind of like) and a pair of quick tests looked ok, including one where I attempted to re-edit an old msg. and added more keystrokes. But I won’t know for sure until I write another new email of a couple of paragraphs or so.

Just happened again with predictive text turned off. Not the mashed up overwriting Neil L. described so well, but a paragraph got split apart with some of the text missing until I saved, closed and reopened the msg.

I have not had this text display issue in Mail, but I have had it happen in Notes. Started when I upgraded to Sonoma a month or so ago (14.2.1).

The next thing to test would be to try another account. That would narrow it down to something like preference corruption, as opposed to a bug in the app.

Hmm, more evidence:

Predictive Text was set to On. Screen-grabbed while inserting additional words into the first line of a saved draft email with several paragraphs below.

Meaning drafting a msg. in one of my other Mail accounts, or a wholly different login to my Mac?

Another account on your Mac.

Been years (decades?) since I’ve had an alternate login account. How much is involved in creating that? Would I have to recreate my mail account settings (& other apps if this works)??

Hit System Settings > Users & Groups and look for the “Add User” button

Yes, I know that part, but the question was what else do I have to do to actually be able to use the new account in Mail and other apps. Would I have to recreate all my accounts manually?

Yeah it’s a bother. How much pain is Mail’s current misbehavior causing you? This morning’s “evidence” was the first really goofy Mail misbehavior I’ve seen on my system - so I filed a report on Apple’s Feedback site and will ride on for a while. Perhaps your Mail ISP can help you with the Junk messages issue? (If you want to talk in more detail about that, shoot me a message.)